Army to Apprentice: how I brought a different way of thinking to leadership
Stephen tells us how he kick-started his Barclays career as a mature apprentice.
Posted 3 months ago
The Foundation Technology Apprenticeship is a perfect balance of work and study, because you learn new things in class and then get to put them into practice in your role. It means there’s a lot of on-the-job development, picking up new skills and then actually using them.
To be honest, I never thought I’d end up specialising in tech. I was always interested in it and liked playing around with computers, but my background is in tourism and retail. I then got chatting with a friend who works at Barclays and remember being struck by how intriguing their world sounded. Let’s face it: everything’s becoming increasingly digital these days, so I thought it’d be a smart move to gain useful technology skills and qualifications while working at one of the UK’s biggest banks.
I’ve been doing the apprenticeship for just over six months now, and I’ve seen first-hand how much Barclays cares for its people. I’m empowered and encouraged to grow and take on challenges I’ve never come across before – with all the support I need. It feels like whatever you want to do, whoever you aspire to be, Barclays will help you achieve that.
In terms of the team’s culture, I find it really fun and close-knit. My manager sits right in amongst the action, and I always feel I can turn to them for a helping hand or advice. The same goes for any members of my team. For more informal chats, I’ve also got a mentor and a buddy to talk things over with and catch up on how I’m doing. In my eyes, Barclays couldn’t do more for me: they understand my ambitions and goals and make sure I’m able to realise them every step of the way.