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Is it already the end of Week 3?

Is it already the end of Week 3?

Last week has undeniably been the most eventful week of my internship so far. It has been a week of taking ownership, managing, delivering tasks and working as part of a special project team within Cost Transformation. The main objective of the project is to simplify how costs align with the underlying businesses to reduce complexity and allow for a greater degree of cost transparency. Something that sounds very straightforward yet is so complicated, especially considering the size and structure of the organisation.

As I reflect, I am really grateful for having the kind of support structure that we have around us as interns, especially our immediate team.  As challenging as some of the work has been, completing it and receiving feedback on it has been equally rewarding.  Working closely with my colleagues, I have been able to benefit from all the knowledge, skills and experience they have to offer. This has enabled me to grow and perform better as an intern.  

One of the highlights of my week was having the opportunity to meet and interact with senior members of the wider team; it was motivating and inspiring to learn that one of them had started out in the graduate scheme. If you thought my work was interesting, have a look at the view from my desk below. Nothing quite complements an exciting day at work like witnessing four seasons in one day!       

Finally, as banks adapt to structural reform and the political and economic landscape, one thing is certain, we couldn’t have picked a better time to join Barclays as interns.

Davina, Summer Intern (Trade Capture Utility)

I am four weeks into my internship and I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. In a short space of time, I have developed a good understanding of the rates products and teams, from knowing very little about the mechanics of Trade Capture Utility (TCU) when I first arrived. I have learnt to implement technical trade life cycle events such as novations, backloading, book reconciliation and understanding the full process of a trade from when it is executed to settlements.

None of this would have been possible without the support I have received from my team. The team have been very welcoming from day one and I have always found they are more than happy to give up their time to explain difficult concepts, answer my questions and allow me to shadow them in their daily tasks. The heads of the teams and line managers are all based on the floor too, sitting just seats away from you so you always feel included and are very well-positioned to learn from the experienced colleagues around you.  

I have had great exposure to the business so far having sat with a variety of teams including; trading, Middle Office and Operations Client Solutions (OCS) and Client Capital Management (CCM). I even had the opportunity to sit in an interview for a new position in the TCU Rates team - it was great to be on the other side of an interview for a change!

The highlight of my internship to date was when two interns and I had the chance to sit down one-to-one with Robert Wilkins, Global Head of TCU. It was inspiring to learn about his journey and the reasons for the decisions he made in his career. I was also able to ask what the future holds for Barclays and more specifically for TCU.

And there is still so much more to learn! I am looking forward to experiencing other divisions of the bank over the next few weeks; there is a lot of variety on offer here. In my next role I will be working with the Barclays Non-Core team, a key business in the bank’s strategy. I’m also looking forward to attending more of the social and networking events which are laid on especially for interns. These provide another great opportunity for me to meet colleagues and hear about other business across the bank. 

Spending my summer here has been a very valuable experience so far. I am sure my remaining weeks will bring just as much excitement and allow me to develop my skills and understanding of the sector even further.

Matt, Summer Intern (Wholesale Credit Risk)

As my fellow cohort of interns approach the mid-way point of our program, I know I won’t be the only one wondering where the time has gone. Over the past four weeks of my internship I have continued to make an impact within the Wholesale Credit Risk team. Be it compiling calculation methodology reports for various portfolio limits to present to the Board, summarising the team’s work on Brexit for the CRO of the Investment Bank or tackling the range of ad hoc projects thrown my way. My workload has definitely been varied and challenging at Barclays!

Towards the end of my fourth week, my ability to adapt was tested, having to work around changing circumstances on projects – including one a senior leader – whilst ensuring I continued to deliver excellent results.

Conversing with senior leaders alongside other Risk interns gave me the opportunity to see how Risk permeates all of the Barclays Group. I have been taken aback by how receptive those in other divisions are to meet and detail their route into the bank and some of their ongoing projects. Moving forward, I plan to build on the extensive network I have established, making the most of my relationships formed with Directors in Model Development and Market Risk. This includes utilising the shadowing sessions I have organised to understand which areas within Risk excite me.

The opportunities and resources provided have far exceeded what I was expecting, and I can’t wait to tackle the next curveball that comes my way!

12 days in and counting...

Week 2! Overall… great. It’s been another long week filled with training, meetings, Excel and more Excel. This week I’ve been really active in completing tasks set for me using real data. Would you believe it, working on real data for real transactions. Although a little scary, very encouraging. On first introduction, everything was a blur, from the lingo to the numbers. However, I am pleased to say, as the days have passed I’ve become more comfortable, spent a lot of time figuring things out for myself and asking for help when required. To top things off, I’ve built relationships with colleagues around my office trough to colleagues based in India! Exciting to say the least.

This week has also included team and individual meetings. I met with colleagues in Citizenship to finalise the arrangements of an event where I’ve volunteered to lead. With all the skill based talks and activities from last week, I’m looking forward to transferring this learning to others outside Barclays – an important gesture to give something back to the community.

I’ve rounded this week off by attending the Women Initiative Network giving me even more motivation, hints and tips for the remaining 7 weeks of my internship. It provided me with a real insight into the realistic nature of individual career journeys at Barclays and specifically how I can ensure I mould mine in the best way possible.  

No day has been the same, that’s exactly what I love about it. 10 down, 35 to go. 

My first week at Barclays

What could be more exciting than starting a banking internship that you have coveted since first year of university? Being addressed by the Group CEO of the bank on your first day. That is exactly the dream start that the Barclays 2016 summer interns received.

As we filled into the training venue, sharply dressed in our newly acquired professional attire, the excitement was palpable. New faces all around; we waited eagerly for the presentations to start. Soon, we were given talks by senior staff of the bank on a plethora of interesting topics which was followed by technical training. Our first day was capped off by Jes Staley in a talk which shed light on the bank’s strategy.

The second and third days, both full of training, passed by in a flash. The litany of presentations which covered Barclays’ history, the various functions of a bank and an overview of all the asset classes resulted in a quarter of our notebooks filled and our pens emptied.

With the fourth day, began the real assessment. My first day at the desk consisted of meeting my colleagues, learning about the product traded and realising that the learning curve is indeed very steep. The last day of the first week was more of the same; learning about the product and interacting with the desk. Overall, it was an enjoyable and insightful first week. Hopefully next week brings more excitement and a greater understanding of the product.

My first week at Barclays

After my first week of attending the summer internship programme at Barclays, I’m happy to conclude that it certainly exceeded my expectations: superb training on financial markets and conduct delivered by investment bankers and a warm welcome from my team at Barclaycard. They even threw a massive party this week - it was their 50th anniversary and celebration of Barclaycard. I even got tickets to the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park with my team! I can already say that my work is intellectually stimulating and I shape my experience in collaboration with my managers – lucky me, I have two! And my professional growth doesn’t end there. I have had over nine meetings with key stakeholders during my first week alone. The ultimate highlight of my first week was asking Jes Staley a question during his address to all summer interns, which took place within the first 12 hours of my official start. It doesn’t get any better than this.

My first week at Barclays

My first week at Barclays has been very intense and action-packed. After securing this amazing opportunity, I was surprisingly very nervous on the first day. It was a really interesting first day, I met all the other interns and we were given presentations on various topics such as our compliance duties as employees.

At the end of our induction Jes Staley, group CEO, was invited in to deliver a powerful speech to the whole cohort of interns. It touched on how banking progressed through the times, and Interns could be part of the future. I took this opportunity to ask a question regarding how the recession had negatively affected public perception of bankers. Jes reassured me that progress is being made.

Later in the week we were given a full day’s worth of financial markets training and cyber security training which were valuable, interactive and delivered by subject experts. For the remainder of the week I was based in the Global Corporate Inbounds team, where I met my team and started to understand how Barclays deal with UK subsidiaries and treasuries of parent companies. It has been a great experience so far; I hope more of the same is to come!

Ben - Inclusivity

I think the only way to be your best, most creative and most innovative - no matter what job you do – is to be able to be yourself.

When I was at university and I was looking at companies, I had heard of Barclays’ reputation for inclusivity.

Once I started to investigate further, I was really impressed with the different networks and the feeling of collaboration that Barclays encouraged.

As well as the general networking benefits and fantastic social events, I have actually seen the advantages of these networks in action. I was working on a project in my last role and a colleague I’d met through the Spectrum network was keen to contribute. It meant that the outcome of that project was even better.

I’d advise anyone who is passionate about inclusivity to be sure that the company you choose allows you to be as open as you want to be and that bringing your personality to work is seen as adding value to the business. I feel it is also important to not be afraid to talk about LGBT - talking lets a lot of other people open up. 

I’m very proud to work for an employer like Barclays, particularly regarding the sponsorship of Pride and other commitments to the LGBT agenda - not only in this country, but also in countries where there is not necessarily the level of openness we have here.

Ed - Markets Insight Game Winner

I decided to take part in the Barclays Markets Insight trading game to keep in tune with the stock market and develop a better insight into UK stocks. The platform was easy to use and encourages thorough research of a company before trading. I found myself checking news websites daily, such as Bloomberg and the FT.com, to better understand the economic events that could move my stocks. Depending on your investment philosophy the Stockfuse platform is flexible, providing you with the ability to trade daily or invest in the long term. The most important lesson for me was to stick to a game plan and not to be afraid of employing methods developed from my academic studies. I found trying to chase the leaderboard often led to untimely and reckless trading.

As a winner for the third round in EMEA, I was given the opportunity to visit Barclays in London and meet members of the sales and trading team. Stepping onto the trading floor for the first time is quite an experience; you instantly notice the diversity of the teams and the noise of the traders chatting with each other and their clients. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious and the team took a lot of pride in their work. The employees’ willingness to introduce us to members of each team and discuss their individual roles highlights Barclays’ emphasis on developing and supporting new talent. This exposure helped develop my understanding of how the sales, trading and research divisions interact to provide one complete service to their clients.

Anyone interested in the stock market should take part in this trading game.

The knowledge and skills you develop are invaluable and most notably if you do well you are presented with a great opportunity to meet the front office staff working at Barclays.

Yanfei - Markets Insight Game

I participated in a network event at my campus and a Barclays recruiter introduced the Barclays Stockfuse Markets Insights Game to me.

I realised this was an excellent opportunity to put my knowledge into practice.

It was an intense and exciting month. Through the Barclays Market Insight Game, I have in gained experience proposing trade ideas, executing trade strategy and managing downside risk. During the game, I had to keep abreast of key economic data and political issues affecting the market by reading the FT and Bloomberg. It was vital to research the market and the companies before making investment decisions. I always asked myself what made the company stand out, investigated its key values, business model and how it differed from competitors. The market always teases your emotions to do the wrong thing and so I have also learnt to always follow my risk management strategy throughout this trading game. There is no requirement to have a finance background to join this trading game; (for example, I have an engineering background) and it is really easy to start playing the Market Insight Game through Stockfuse. In addition, I am also impressed by the “Feed” function in Stockfuse. It allows me to review my previous trading records and share my trade ideas in a small post.

James - Markets Insight Game

I was attracted to the Barclays Stockfuse Market Insight game as an innovative way to put into practice my theories about share pricing and valuation whilst learning more about how the market reacts to developments in real time. When I first began, I found myself trading equities of companies I already knew however, as the game progressed, I began to develop a criteria through which I made my stock picks. By looking at companies I felt represented good value, often under-priced shares driven down by market consensus rather than the underlying factors I felt were important.

Stockfuse presented a great way to deploy my ideas.

I could go for short term gains by investing in stocks with upcoming earnings reports or likely M&A activity whilst also maintaining a portfolio of longer term investments. There were stocks which I felt would increase as the companies retreated from the negative news stories or as new management reforms came into play.  

The biggest lesson learnt through the Market Insight game is certainly the importance of market consensus in driving a stock’s price. Sometimes a well-capitalised firm with strong EBITDA multiples in a growing industry can find its price driven down by a piece of bad news or Macro factors beyond its control. The other area I have learnt much about is the practice of short selling: whilst possible to make a huge gain, it is also easy to suffer major losses on a short position. Stocks I decided to short had to be carefully monitored and I had to stick to my initial stop-loss even when the temptation to “wait and see” was present.  

Overall, I feel that the environment Stockfuse creates, whereby you are involved in the markets in real time yet able to test investment theories comfortably (knowing the environment in which you are doing so is risk-free) is an unparalleled opportunity. I encourage anyone with an interest to get involved!