Cory Paterson

My Working Day: Cory Paterson

01 December 2022

After joining Barclays as an intern, Cory Paterson has taken on an exciting role as a Graduate Cyber Security Analyst. He tells us about a typical day at the bank – and the joy of “getting stuck into” new challenges. 

My alarm goes off… at 7:30 am, mainly because I take a while to wake up in the morning!

My morning routine… involves a morning walk, if the weather’s nice. I take a big pint of water with me and drink it on the way. I try to keep quite healthy and fit, so when I’m working a desk job, it’s nice to get my steps in early.

Each day includes a lot of learning: as a graduate, my responsibility is to gain as much knowledge as I can from the team I am working with .

Cory Paterson

Graduate Cyber Security Analyst, Barclays

Cory Paterson on his way to work

My job as a Graduate Cyber Security Analyst involves… completing two 12-month rotations within Barclays’ Global Security Office. I’m currently in my second rotation working in the Threat Management team. We use intelligence to proactively identify, profile and evaluate cyber threats which may pose a risk to the bank.

Before that, I worked within Information Integrity Protection. This involved provisioning and updating digital certificates, which help with securely encrypting data so that applications can be authenticated and used safely.

Each day includes a lot of learning. As a graduate, my goal is to gain as much knowledge as I can from the team I am working with. I like to help my colleagues so I can get exposure to different areas, and develop a skill set I can take forward in my career.

I start a typical workday… by spending an hour reading through my emails and reports of new cyber threats, before the regular team call. In Threat Management, it is important to be aware of what’s happening in the world as the threats can change very quickly, day-to-day.

After that, I work on any assigned threat profiles – which analyse attackers or malicious software to help implement security controls. Then I look at the professional development side of my objectives – that is, completing tasks outside of my usual responsibilities to gain additional skills for the future. This might include enrolling in an online course, taking on a new side project or meeting up with other teams within the bank to find out what they do.

Cory at work

I joined Barclays because… I first took part in the bank’s cyber security internship, during the summer of 2020. All my friends were losing their internships that summer due to COVID-19. I applied to Barclays because it was the only big organisation I found that offered a cyber security-focused internship, and coming out of university, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Barclays treated us well that summer and built the infrastructure to allow us to complete the internship remotely.

The thing I love most about my job… is the freedom to get stuck into whatever I want. Here at Barclays, colleagues are encouraged to make lateral moves across teams. So if I wanted to do something different one afternoon, I could easily tap someone on the shoulder in the office and say: “Hey, can you teach me about this for a couple of hours?”

The hardest part of my job… was working on something completely new to me during my first year here. While I had experience in other fields of cyber security, I hadn’t worked with a lot of cryptography at university. In a way, that challenge was a good thing. Now I know quite a lot about it.

Cory sat outside the steps at Radbroke Hall

I like to help my colleagues so I can get exposure to different areas, and develop a skill set I can take forward in my career.

Cory Paterson

Graduate Cyber Security Analyst, Barclays

Right now, I’m working on… skilling up within Threat Management. I have only been in the team for a month, so I’m getting to grips with it. It has been massively enjoyable, though. Sometimes I don’t even realise when 5pm rolls around!

One of my most memorable days at work… was my first day in the office. I’d done three months of my first rotation, as well as my internship, without any in-person contact. I’m quite a people-focused person, so to be able to go in and start building relationships with my team – that was important to me. I really value face-to-face contact. It’s the people behind the work that get you through the day, whether you’re having a joke on Teams or grabbing a coffee.

If I wasn’t working at Barclays… I’d join a cybercrime or digital forensics team in the Canadian police force. I have Canadian citizenship, so I would have liked to join my cousins out there and link up computing with policing. That was my plan B.

After work… I use the gym as a barrier between work and my personal life. It helps me relieve any pent-up energy. If I don’t go for one day, I feel a bit lost in the evening. I also enjoy making healthy versions of fast-food favourites!

Cory smiling outside his home

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