Emma Kingston - Technology Spring Week
I was surprised by how different the teams and their cultures were. It really showcased the diverse range of technology careers available at Barclays.
Posted 9 months ago
I joined the programme in September 2013 with about 100 other graduates and the first month was completely devoted to the Initial Training Programme. It was like 2 years of university in one month – intense and challenging, with a lot of networking events. But I made a couple of very good friends and developed a network of people that is now spread throughout the bank. I also got to know how to analyse a balance sheet and how interest rate swaps work.
I’m working out of the Canary Wharf office in London as part of the Credit Risk team which is quite international - we have a Scottish guy of Indian origin, a Brazilian guy, a British colleague from Nigeria, a couple of English colleagues and my line manager is Irish. It makes for interesting discussions about football, rugby and food!
The work involves a lot of project management and liaising with teams in India to keep business critical systems running, and as an Indian who’s lived in the UK for a few years, I form a sort of cultural bridge between our team here and the one in India.
A very important and visible part of working for Barclays is the emphasis on the Barclays values, and what has really impressed me is that it’s not just lip service. Clients and visitors see the huge signs at reception and the values written on the doors of lifts and may be tempted to think that it’s all cosmetic, but I have realised that the values are now embedded in everything that the bank does and it is continually reinforced by bank-wide initiatives.
We have mandatory Barclays Values and Barclays Way Ahead training for employees - to understand the values and how they should lead to certain attitudes and behaviours. Our objectives are now aligned to the Barclays Values and it is made clear that excellent results mean nothing if they are not achieved in the ‘right’ way. We are even appraised on the basis of how well we demonstrate the Barclays Values in our work. It is truly a testament to the senior management’s drive that the Barclays Values have become a part of our daily vocabulary.
On a personal note, I moved house last weekend and the past few weeks have been filled with unhealthy food and zero exercise. Even clothes with vertical stripes and dark colours have begun to fail to give the impression that I’m fit. Time to hit the gym downstairs - less Excel, more exercise!