“The Military Talent Scheme helped me to see a career path at the bank”
After 12 years spent serving in the Royal Air Force (RAF), Vicky Hunt decided that it was time for a change. She joined Barclays through the Military Talent Scheme in 2021 and now works as a Communications Lead at the Radbroke campus in Cheshire, England. To mark Armed Forces Day, she shares how the programme helped her “draw parallels” between the skills she learned as a medic and the tasks she takes on at the bank.
When Vicky Hunt finished her college studies in Health and Social care, aged 18, she was adamant after years of studying that she wanted to move away from working behind a desk. “I wanted to gain real-world experience and provide tangible benefits to other people, so I decided to join the Royal Air Force (RAF) and become a medic.”
Vicky joined the military in 2009 and went on to hold several roles within the forces – ranging from Medical Administration Assistant to Flight Medic, Manager of External Taskings and Manager of Medical Equipment and Dry Stores. Predominantly based at the largest air station in the UK, Brize Norton in Oxford, England, she was also stationed in North Wales and Afghanistan.
On her time in the RAF, she says: “No two days were the same. There was always a constant move or an ebb and flow in the work you were doing. You would do three to five years in one location, but you wouldn’t stay in the same role within the same place.”
Twelve years after starting work in the Armed Forces, Vicky realised that she needed to prioritise her mental health – something she had found particularly difficult without friends and family close by. She felt that it was the right time for a new challenge and started looking into what it would mean to make a career change.
The Military Talent Scheme did such a good job when placing me and helped me to see a career path at Barclays.
Communications Lead, Barclays
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m a medic, so that will never work out’”
After making the decision to leave, Vicky was given access to a job site for military leavers that named potential employers to support with her resettlement – the period of time where a serviceperson transitions into civilian life and further employment. “I saw that Barclays was listed, and I thought to myself: ‘I’m a medic, so that’ll never work out.”
Despite initial doubts about whether she would be able to find a suitable role in financial services, Vicky was intrigued by the work Barclays was doing with the military and veterans and wanted to find out more.
Established in 2016, the Barclays Military Talent Scheme programme is open to any service leaver, regardless of experience, rank or service, who is in the resettlement period for the duration of the scheme. Successful applicants complete a 10 to 12-week placement where they are aligned to a team at the bank and can fully immerse themselves into a role, while getting the necessary support from mentors and buddies to help with the transition to civilian working life. It has been well received, according to a 2023 independent evaluation report, with programme participants between 2020 and 2023 giving it an average rating of 4.5/5.
“I searched for the Barclays Military Talent Scheme on LinkedIn, and I started messaging and speaking to people at the bank,” Vicky explains. “You’re never going to get a more real view of what it is like than from the people who work there.
“Each person I contacted had really positive feedback about the programme. There was no negativity. Everyone said ‘You should absolutely consider applying,’ ‘It doesn’t matter that you’re a medic or what rank you were in,’ and ‘There are no barriers – just reach out to the team.’”
With these words of encouragement from her prospective colleagues, Vicky did just that. In 2021, she was accepted into Barclays’ Military Talent Scheme.
Transferable skills and tech talent
Vicky is one of more than 300 ex-service personnel who have been supported by the bank’s Military Talent Scheme since its inception. Through the programme, she was placed with the Business Incident Management team in the command centre at the Radbroke campus in Cheshire, England, one of the largest centres for information security in the UK. “I remember coming to Radbroke for the first time and being amazed by the facilities that were available on campus for colleagues.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” she says. “The Military Talent Scheme did such a good job when placing me – and helped me to see a career path at Barclays.
“People talk about transferable skills and what people bring to roles rather than what their qualifications are. This scheme absolutely hit that message home for me. Incident management was a big part of being a medic. From a medical perspective and tech perspective, they can be surprisingly similar. Being able to see that and draw those parallels from the beginning was great,” Vicky says.
Since finishing her placement almost a year and a half ago, Vicky has worked as a Communications Lead at Barclays and was promoted in role within 18 months. She is now responsible for looking after communications for Global Technology Service Management, which involves managing internal colleague communications platforms and overseeing emails to support colleague engagement.
Day-to-day responsibilities aside, Vicky also heads up communications for the Barclays Military Resource Group (BMRG), the Employee Resource Group focused on supporting the careers of the bank’s former-military workforce.
“A big part of military identity is the team,” she says. “You live, work and eat with all of the same people, so when you leave the Forces, you think, ‘Oh, where has everyone gone?’. Knowing that support network is still here, in the form of the Military Resource Group, is key.”
Vicky joined the group last year and took the opportunity to take forward a ‘refresh’ of the newsletter template. “I wanted to bring it off the page a bit more, make it brighter and more engaging,” she says. Since that first step, she has helped overhaul the group’s communications approach, ensuring that information and resources are easily accessible to colleagues.
Respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship
Vicky cites the strong communications skills she gained as a medic as crucial to her current role: “You want to be really concise with your messaging. You need to ensure that the person on the receiving end understands exactly what you are saying – and that you will get the right response from it.” The leadership skills built up during her military career have also served her well. “Leadership will always be about managing people – and that doesn’t change whether you’re in a military uniform or in civvies at Barclays,” she says.
She has even found some similarities between the cultures of the armed forces and the bank. “Funnily enough”, Vicky says as she smiles, “the RAF’s values are ‘RISE’ (Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence), and at Barclays, it’s ‘RISES’ (Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship). A lot of ex-military personnel who have joined Barclays love the company because of the culture and values.”
Saturday 24 June marks Armed Forces Day – a time that Vicky uses as a “period of reflection”, noting that: “There are colleagues that are no longer with us, and it is nice to think about their achievements and appreciate the impact that they have had.”
As she continues to progress at Barclays, she is keen to raise awareness of the capabilities that ex-service personnel can bring to businesses, and encourage hiring teams outside of the military not to overlook service leavers.
“It’s important to recognise the people that are doing this, how amazing they are and the benefits that these individuals can bring to Barclays and other organisations,” Vicky adds. Service leavers, in turn, are likely to enjoy the experience of collaborating with colleagues in a new career at the bank.
“It’s very similar to the military in that you’ve got that same sort of desire to look after each other and help out if anyone is struggling,” she says. “On the other side, here at Barclays, everyone looks out for each other. Everyone wants to do well; everyone wants to develop and succeed and become the best version of themselves.”
Military and Veterans Outreach (MVO)
The Military Talent Scheme, the flagship programme of Barclays’ Military and Veterans Outreach initiatives, was first launched in 2016. Since then, over 300 ex-service personnel, from all ranks, have been recruited onto the programme, with more than 230 participants finding roles within the bank. In 2023, Barclays commissioned research company, Chrysalis Research, to complete an independent evaluation report. They surveyed participants on the Military Talent Scheme from its inception to the first cohort of this year and found that people gave it an average rating of 4.5/5. One participant said of the scheme: "The culture that is engrained in the organisation made it easy to reach out to veterans and non-veterans alike in order to gain insight into their roles and responsibilities.”
Barclays’ Military and Veterans Outreach initiatives, including the Military Talent Scheme, have been supporting service leaders to build successful post-military careers for over 10 years. The bank has helped more than 8,000 members of the military community to find work, with more than 700 joining the Barclays workforce.
Need to know
Vicky Hunt spent 12 years in the RAF as a medic before joining Barclays through their Military Talent Scheme. After completing a 12-week placement in 2021, she was offered a permanent role at the bank and currently works as a Communications Lead. Based at the Radbroke campus in Cheshire, England, she also heads up communications for the bank’s Military Resource Group. She was recently nominated as a finalist for an Ex-Forces in Business Award in the ‘New Service Leaver of the Year’ category.
A lot of ex-military personnel who have joined Barclays love the company because of the culture and values at the bank.
Communications Lead, Barclays
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Barclays is supporting communities by enabling people to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed – and helping businesses to grow and create jobs. Through its community programmes, the bank is:
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