Ibrahim Emara - Glasgow, Technology Summer Intern

“I was excited to find out the project I’m working on spans across Pune, Monaco and Geneva!”

Going into the first week of my technology internship with Barclays, I was a little concerned that my lack of knowledge in finance and investment banking would make me feel out of place. After working in Client Services (Technology) for five weeks, I realised I couldn’t have been more wrong. Apart from being welcoming and living up to the Barclays values every day, they made me feel more comfortable by explaining any and all concepts I hadn’t been exposed to previously.

I wanted an internship at Barclays because of its technological innovations, such as the UK's first ATM, contactless payments in the UK, and the award-winning Voice Biometrics technology; which is the platform my internship is currently focused on. My team was responsible for allowing Barclays to be the world’s first organisation to introduce ‘speak easy’ banking, whereby customers can phone in and have a human conversation while being automatically verified in the background.

During my internship, I learned about the different aspects related to this form of security, such as the need to obtain a reliable voiceprint for each customer, the thresholds required to output a ‘positive’ match and the implications of changing such thresholds.

Although I thought that my work would mostly be with my teammates in Glasgow, I was excited to find out that the project I am working on spans across Pune, Monaco and Geneva! This has formed a major part of my internship, as I am regularly scheduling calls with these colleagues and taking time-zone differences into account. However, my main role has been helping my teammates by automating the process of gathering and filtering data that is output by the Voice Biometrics platform.

Best of all, the programme has been designed so I’m not always working on the same tasks. I’ve been given another project on the side which involves creating a workflow system for my team. When completed, this will allow colleagues across Barclays to make requests to the Client Services team more effectively – notifying everyone involved of any updates to a project.

At Barclays, there are a multitude of opportunities – especially to get involved in the wider community. Recently, I volunteered to visit the Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre in Lanarkshire and helped them to renovate their garden. It was a valuable experience to learn about the different activities and support provided to deal with the effects of cancer. Following this, I collaborated with a team of employees to run a coding session at the Scottish Refugee Council, with the aim of encouraging the children there to take initiative and consider a career in technology.