Charlotte Smyth - Technology
“I work on projects that test my mettle – and I’ve flourished in countless ways.”
Posted 5 months ago
Having spent the last hour rushing and panicking to get to Euston on time, I am relaxing in a quiet, empty train carriage – a commuter’s paradise. I’m on my way from the Barclays offices at Canary Wharf to spend the day at an agency I have been working with in my current role.
Travelling is a great opportunity to get your thoughts together and reflect after a busy time. Since joining Barclays I have project managed the delivery of a prototype product, managed a marketing database and organised a graduate event. As well as that I’ve taken part in a debate at the House of Commons, spent time volunteering in the local community at Christmas and presented to the UK RBB CEO. It’s definitely been a busy time!
So it’s no surprise that on a train journey I’m usually scribbling something down. It’s been nearly five months since I started the Future Leaders Development Program, which is the graduate scheme running across Retail and Business Banking, and Barclaycard. So what have these five months taught me?
Firstly, change is a huge and exciting part of working at Barclays. I’ve spent my first rotation in a team that has only existed for a year. Dealing with change has been a necessary part of my job. But the bank as a whole is on a journey to become what Hoover is to vacuum cleaners; the brand that immediately comes to mind in the financial sector. To get there, huge developments are underway, which means new opportunities to do things that have never been tried before.
Secondly, open mindedness is essential to dealing with change. Being unconsciously incompetent (being unaware that you don’t understand something) is a state we are encouraged to challenge. I had no idea that I didn’t understand how mobile apps worked, until I took on a challenge to help develop one, and now I’m uncovering all sorts of gaps in my knowledge that I want to address. Being open minded can help you ask the right questions, and help you get to places you might not have known would interest you.
Finally, time goes way too fast! In another six months we’ll be welcoming the 2014 summer interns, and soon after that we’ll get to meet the new wave of graduates (some of whom I spent my internship with and am looking forward to working with again). It’s important to stop and take stock every once in a while, learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes.
Over the next few weeks, things will change yet again as we move into our second rotation. I’m excited to be doing something completely new and sad to be leaving my team. Wish me luck!