Jessica Barton

"Calm down. Don’t be so nervous!"I thought to myself as I entered 1 Churchill Place, the Barclays Head Office in Canary Wharf.

The Barclays sponsored degree programme had recently transitioned from the "Retail Development Programme" to the "Barclays Degree Programme", so allowing trainees to explore areas of the business outside of the branch network. Although I have only been in the Camden Branch for a year, I felt ready to explore other areas of the business.  Barclays is such a large organisation and whilst on the programme I want to discover as much of it as possible.

A few weeks ago our programme administrator reached out to us with opportunities for our next six month role rotations, which were all based outside of the branch network. These included 'Talent and Attraction'; 'Barclaycard Recruitment & Lead Generation'; 'Consumer and Community Strategy' and 'Internal Communications Business Partner'. Having read through the opportunity profiles, I became attracted to the role within Internal Communications - a role I knew little about, yet had a huge interest in. 

I had wanted to base one of my university assignments on ways to enhance communication between senior stakeholders and front line staff, so gaining an insight into how internal communications impacts a business would be fantastic for my learning and development.

After submitting my initial application, I received an e-mail requesting a face-to-face interview with the Internal Comms team. I was thrilled at the opportunity and really excited to talk about my new role as an Ambassador for the Barclays Degree Programme as well as the project work and the community agenda I am involved in. However, I was briefed that there would not only be an interview but also a short writing test - EEK! As much as I love writing, the word 'test' is always daunting, especially when you're not sure what to expect.

As I walked nervously into 1 Churchill Place, armed with a folder of my recent achievements and books relating to Internal Comms, I was warmly greeted by two members of the Internal Comms team who led me in to the interview room. Their big smiles made me feel much more relaxed, and we progressed into the informal interview where we both learned about each other. The writing test was a proof reading activity as well as writing a short blog - at least I was in my comfort zone with the blog!

I'm really looking forward to getting feedback from the assessment.  Hopefully I will be able to join my colleagues on the Barclays Degree Programme who have already successfully gained roles in the other teams. Why do I have to be the last person to find out!?