Finding Community and Opportunity in the Face of Adversity
Josh tells us about his journey as a Barclays apprentice.
Posted 6 months ago
So you’re probably applying to spring weeks and internships. Stressful, right? I can assure you that any perceptions you might have about the big corporate banks being scary isn’t true. My interest in a finance career was triggered by the fact my friends were applying. I got ‘FOMO’ as they say. But I come from a scientific background, so for me to go down a finance route was a bit out of the blue. One day I came across an ad for the Barclays Spring Week and thought to myself, “there’s no harm in applying”. And I can honestly say it was probably the best decision I ever made. But before I get into the juicy stuff about applications, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a final year student at the University of Nottingham studying Biochemistry. I’ve always found finance interesting; however, I never actually had the motivation to find out more. When I heard about a Barclays Spring Week, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to learn.
The application process was pretty easy to be honest. Just a few questions about myself, which weren’t particularly hard. Soon after, I received an invitation to complete a video interview. Just the idea of sitting in my room speaking to my laptop was a bit off-putting but, thinking back, it was probably better than a real interview. The questions were designed to see how I would react when placed in certain situations. After some weeks passed, I’d almost forgotten I even applied: until I got an acceptance email!
Spring week took place over the Easter holidays for 5 days in Canary Wharf. We were introduced to the different sectors within Barclays UK and given short presentations on each. I grew particularly interested in the Business Banking division at Barclays; a curiosity which led me to set up meetings with some of the graduates to find out more! There was so much I was exposed to. Each day I discovered a new reason to be interested in banking. The week ended with some short informal interviews about our time.
Following this experience, we all had some telephone interviews for a place on the internship scheme. I applied for Business Banking since I found it the most interesting, but there were a range of different schemes to choose from. I found out a week later that I was offered the place, so I’ll be retuning to Barclays in the summer of 2019 for the 9-week internship program.
There is so much to take away from the Barclays Spring Week. You get to see first hand what working at a big company is like. You get to meet many different kinds of people from a wide range of specialisms. And you get an insight into the kind of work expected from you if you were to come back here in the future.