Charlotte Smyth - Technology
“I work on projects that test my mettle – and I’ve flourished in countless ways.”
Posted 5 months ago
My name’s Tanya Mittal and I’m studying at the University of Edinburgh. I’m currently in my third (penultimate) year pursuing a degree in Economics and Mathematics. I first heard about the Spring week opportunity at Barclays at the careers fair at my university. Since I had a Maths background with an interest in logic and computer programming, I was immediately drawn towards the Technology division at Barclays. Barclays has a strong reputation for being a leader in innovation and technology amongst banks and it’s had many ‘firsts’. It was the first to come up with ATM cash machines, contactless cards, as well as credit and debit cards. Even the CEO of Barclays, Jes Staley said, “In many ways, Barclays is a technology company with a balance sheet and regulations.” This really goes forward to explain the depth of technology at Barclays and I knew I wanted to be a part of technology in a company that would allow me to make a real difference, perhaps even help create a ‘first’ in history.
Following this I decided to apply for the Spring week, and the application itself was very straight forward. I submitted the basic application and was invited to a video interview stage after which I was invited to the Spring Week in Technology in Glasgow. Overall I enjoyed the application process, it was never complicated or tedious.
The spring week ran over four days. I had the chance to hear panellists which included graduates as well as more senior executives, some of whom had been in the same position as me while at university. It was exciting to see how their paths had varied from when they just started to the position they had reached now! I also had the chance to shadow Barclays employees at their office in Glasgow. I heard from business analysts about recent innovations they have been a part of (such as voice recognition systems), as well as data architects and data analysts – roles I was really interested in. Furthermore, there were so many opportunities to network, allowing me to build some lifelong connections.
I also learned so much about the extent of technology in banking and how every division works together to take care of even the smallest details – helping a large firm function extremely efficiently. What I loved the most was that technology did not have to be just coding, there were so many aspects to it and I loved the idea of being a business analyst – a bridge between the developers and the business side! It combined both my degree subjects Economics and Mathematics brilliantly and allowed me to explore my passion for new technology along with applying my knowledge and love for finance by understanding the needs of the business. Another highlight for me was the flexibility of choosing my path in the firm and the opportunity to broaden my horizons and skill set.
At Barclays, not only were the employees always ready to answer questions and keen to help, but my Spring week class also had some amazing people too. Over four days, Barclays provided me a chance to get to know all 40 people in my class by the way the Spring week was designed. We had so many opportunities to interact and share our mutual passion for technology. After attending the week, I can say for certain that Barclays employs the nicest people in a non-competitive environment that allows a person to really grow and find their path without any intimidation. Even on the last day when we had our fast track interviews for the summer internship, the atmosphere was never tense; everyone was supporting each other and bringing the best out in others. It certainly is an environment I thrive in. Furthermore, each of the employees had the Barclays values strongly embedded in them and it really was something that resonated with me. Barclays also really cared about its employees like no other firm, which cemented my reasons for wanting to start my career at Barclays.
The Spring week really helped me grow as a person. Before starting the Spring week, I was a bit shy but by the end of it, I came out as a different person. In just four days, being at Barclays helped me evolve into someone more confident and assertive (in a positive way). Overall, I had the most fantastic and enriching time at my Spring Week and I am looking forward to joining Barclays next year as an intern.