My internship at Barclays
Barclays internships offer a great stepping stone into the world of work. They provide the opportunity for interns to learn about our culture and how we operate as a business, and to immerse themselves in their chosen career by working on real projects.
This summer we welcomed more than 800 interns to teams in our key global locations. We asked them to share their experiences and tell us what they’ve learned about working life, about Barclays, and about themselves.
Nimit, Investment Banking
“My internship has definitely changed my mindset. You're coming here to learn and it’s important to keep an open mind. It's easy for anyone coming from university to think they know what they're doing because of the knowledge they’ve picked up in their studies. But this is a practical work environment. You are learning from people who have been doing this for years.
“If you come in with that mindset, you’ll find it so much easier to pick things up and make the most of the opportunity. This experience has also given me more of an appreciation for collaboration. All the work we’re doing here is going to make a difference.”
Josie, Corporate Banking
“Barclays is very much an open learning environment. Everyone is keen to talk to me and tell me what they do. I've been out on lunches and client meetings so I’ve been doing lots of prep work for that.
“The first time I went out I was really nervous, but my line manager reminded me that the client was just going to be a normal person. I feel like I've made a lot of progress. I've become more confident. As long as I know what I’m going to say, I'm now happy to go out and speak to people.”
“I was excited to take on the challenge of working at a big business like Barclays. I figured I could either be nervous or just throw myself into it. You can't really go wrong as an intern. You’re learning and that’s what they want from you.
“The best thing is that Barclays has really tried to tailor the internship to my degree, interests, and ideas. I expected to be making tea and coffee but was actually given a lot of accountability quite quickly. There is also a recognition programme – when you get recognition from a director or manager, it’s a nice feeling!”
Shubhankar, Global Markets
“My internship was very structured. Teams have a good idea of what kind of projects they could put us on – after all, there are regulatory restrictions on what we can do as interns. I knew I had to develop the appropriate level of understanding first.
“My advice is to come in with an open mind and to focus on learning. I think it’s important to really step back and think, ‘How can I learn from these people who are willing to dedicate their time to me?’ Ask as many questions as you can. No one is going to judge you if you ask an obvious one. That’s what being an intern is all about.”
Arielle, Investment Banking
“I thought I would just be doing basic admin work but I'm being given the opportunity and the trust to work on new things and help build the business. I've been assigned a first-year analyst as my buddy. I work on whatever he works on and he is my first point of contact if I have questions.
“We’ve built a good working relationship. I think knowing someone really well gives me a sense of community. If I get to come back in the future, I’ll know the industry really well. The fact that Barclays is giving interns the opportunity to contribute to what they deliver to clients is amazing.”
“The main thing I’ve been working on is helping to optimise social media communications for Barclaycard. I looked at the approach taken by our competitors and identified opportunities for growth and improvement. I felt I had some real input there, which was rewarding. My team has also been working on a TV ad and it has been really cool to see the project come together from start to finish – seeing the script come to life, the casting, the props, the location, the editing.
“As an intern, you have to have open conversations with various people and talk to them about what they do. Networking can feel daunting, but it shouldn’t! Most people are happy to talk and it’s very casual. I think it has been really good to get that exposure.”
“Even though I'm only here for eight weeks, some of the projects that I've been given have been around my thoughts on the future, which is really nice. The first thing I did was a presentation on what I like and dislike about our social, what competitors were doing, and so on. They took what I said on board and immediately said, ‘Let’s have you writing some social copy for Twitter and Facebook.’ I thought there would be lots of edits but then I came into the office and my manager told me, ‘It's perfect – let’s just post it.’ And it was so exciting!
“Every day can be different; like any job, it’s what you make of it. Take every opportunity. There are so many networks and programmes, depending on what you’re interested in. Barclays wants everyone’s voice to be heard. Bring your unique voice, life experience, perspective and personality with you, and contribute!”
“I’ve actually taken on a quarterly report while I’ve been here. It’s been quite a journey. Usually it's done by someone at a much higher level than me but they said, ‘You know what? You can take over and fully own the project.’ I'm getting feedback from people at multiple levels of Barclays: analysts, VPs, AVPs. Sometimes even a director has taken a look at my graph!
“Go for it. Barclays will be there for you. Barclays will help you. There are no stupid questions. You're doing great.”
Sikemi, Risk – Market Risk
“A huge part of working in equities market risk is keeping up with the markets. One of my main tasks involves analysing news stories and picking up anything to do with our exposure in the media. Slowly I have been given more responsibility. I currently send out the weekly news update to our Global Equities market research team. I’m also building a spreadsheet of our exposure for earnings season, to give teams a snapshot of how our exposure might affect us. I’m even automating this so that it can be used after I’m gone.
“I’m passionate about women’s issues and have been able to get involved with the Women’s Network, where we have conversations about women in underrepresented areas of the bank. You get exposed to a wide range of people from different backgrounds.”
Ali, Finance – Private Banking
“At the start, it was 100% about listening. I spoke with someone who said that, when a grad comes through, they train them for three months. After three months they allow them to do the job, and after another three months they can start actually making a difference. I'm here for eight weeks, so it makes sense to listen and learn as much as I can. At the beginning I was responsible for one step of a project. Now I’m responsible for eight!
“Every week I gain more trust and responsibility. My advice is to be proactive and ask questions. One of the MDs recently said he based his workplace culture on ‘running into fires’ – learning by trying to deal with any problems yourself as best as you can. That really stuck with me.”
Avinash, Investment Banking
“It was a rewarding experience walking into the office on the first day, knowing that this was the result of the hard work and effort that I had put in. I was really excited by that aspect of it. I thought I was at the peak of efficiency with financial modelling but when I watched some of these people work, some of the associates, analysts and VPs, it’s just a different level.
“To be able to sit next to them and learn from them, to ask them questions, to get exposure to so many new concepts and ideas, has made the experience truly worth it. Only you know what you can do. People will always tell you, ‘Oh, that's hard. That’s not worth your time.’ But the only person who knows you is you. Just follow your heart.”
Interested in taking your first career step with Barclays? Visit our careers site to find out more and apply.