From Intern to CEO: My Barclays Career and Beyond
James, Barclays alumnus, tells us about his career journey.
Posted 4 months ago
I’m excited to move on to my next stage of my career with the support and opportunities provided at Barclays.
Choosing your career path from early on is a challenge. My decision to join Risk was solely based on experiences with people from various business areas. As a Group Functions spring intern at Barclays, I had the opportunities to speak to people from junior to senior level across Functions and shadow grads in different teams. Sitting at a video conference with senior members in Risk was more than what I needed for motivation to put down Risk as my choice. Even a slight feeling of uncertainty over whether it would be a good fit for me personally was overcome as my interviewer said, “Risk covers more than you would ever imagine.”
Now, I’m here as a summer intern in ESHLA Wholesale Credit. It only took me a few hours on the first day to realize that I actually knew absolutely nothing about Risk as every intern shared which team s/he would be in. Variety within Risk – Credit Risk, Market Risk, Treasury & Capital Risk, Model Risk, and Operational Risk – just awed me. Every team has its own form of challenge, color, and character. What this means to me is that it is a place where I will be consistently learning and developing different skill sets that are essential to understanding the Barclays Group.
For the project I was involved in throughout my internship, I looked at the Further Education (FE) sector and analyzed the portfolio after creating credit metrics for each client. What did I know when I first joined the team? Nothing. First, I did not know about the sector. Second, I was not familiar with different credit metrics. Third, I did not know how to understand financial statements, including P&L, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. In fact, it was my first time ever looking at credit reviews. After nine weeks, I still cannot say I know everything about the sector, but I am proud that I contributed to the FE sector review that my team will present to senior members in September. The sense of achievement coming from adding values to the team work is incredible, especially as an intern, and this is the kind of opportunity that my team provided me.
Prior to joining Barclays, I did not expect such massive support from everyone. Managing Director and Directors expressed interests in my learning progression. A/VPs and Grads took hours of their time to walk me through what their teams do and what they do on a daily basis. My team, welcoming me from day one, was happy to explain concepts and answer my questions even in the middle of their work. What I had to bring to my team was not any kinds of knowledge but the willingness to learn.
Spending my summer in Barclays has been a valuable experience with tremendous opportunity that I will never forget, and I am already excited for another growth plan waiting ahead.