What’s it like to start your career at Barclaycard Payments?
As we approach the end of the year and with many under lockdown across the UK, it gives us time to take stock and focus on the opportunities ahead.
With the challenges faced by new graduates – as well as those still studying – inspiring, empowering, and elevating the leaders of tomorrow remains a priority for us here at Barclaycard Payments. But how are we doing – and why should graduates consider us when it comes to kick-starting their careers?
Here we catch up with our colleague Hannah Broome to discuss her journey since joining the Barclaycard Payments Graduate Scheme in 2018. Read Hannah’s story…
“I first joined Barclays as a summer intern two years ago. I fell into the programme almost by accident – it wasn’t the easiest to find these opportunities at my university. I had just come out of a year in the automotive industry and wanted to get more experience in financial services. Once I was in, I was completely hooked. I loved the pace of the business, the colleagues I worked with were brilliant, and I found the payments product set really interesting - competition from FinTechs means the area is constantly evolving.”
Hannah, now Bid Manager for the International Commercial team, originally joined us through the graduate programme, a scheme designed to offer support, training, and opportunities to new recruits across the business – from cards and payments to cyber and security.
Having remained flexible, agile and open-minded, even in the face of a global pandemic, Hannah reflects on the positive experiences that have contributed to how she manages her role today, and how the ability to adapt to changing priorities has been a key part of her personal development:
“I’m usually based in Canary Wharf but am now working from home. I joined the Barclaycard Payments Graduate Scheme in 2018 and moved around Commercial Strategy for Small Business Payments, Social Media Marketing, Product Management for our Corporate Card, and finally Data Solutions. The huge benefit of a rotational graduate scheme is the sheer number of projects I was able to get involved in across the business, sometimes even moving roles mid-project, only to end up looking at it from a whole new angle.
“The most rewarding part is the huge network I’ve built organically across the four teams I worked in, as well as with all of the other graduates. I rolled off of the programme in March 2020 into a proposal management role, and now I manage the content that we submit in new business proposals to large corporates.”
Reflecting on the current spotlight on mental health and wellbeing, and the need for good mentors to help new starters gear towards positive opportunities for the future, Hannah highlights how having the right people around her at work has contributed to her personal growth:
“I still talk to my first line manager on a regular basis – she’s become an invaluable mentor to me. We have a similar work style so she’s great at knowing when to encourage me and when I should think about slowing down, based on her own experiences. I’ve also had incredible support from Win London, the Gender Network at Barclays. I went to a brilliant informal event as part of my internship and have been involved ever since, and was delighted to become a Co-Chair this year.
“Having access to incredible resources as well as support from colleagues across the bank wanting to see everyone succeed has given me opportunities to develop skills that weren’t necessarily part of my day job, like running an event for 200 university students on gender and intersectionality in Financial Services, and learning how to code!”
On upskilling within the workplace, it’s fair to say that Hannah hit the ground running with learning and development at the heart of her everyday objectives:
“The graduate scheme taught me to adapt really quickly. When you only have six months to deliver some great work and make an impression, you learn to get cracking really quickly when joining a new role. It takes away that fear factor of worrying that you’re bothering your colleagues, when you’re just keen to get stuck in from day one.”
Multi-skills training and the importance of listening/learning from others also plays a huge part in the evolution of our graduates, with Hannah’s experience echoing this sentiment:
“Barclaycard Payments graduates were given the option to study for an Agile Project Management qualification, the practices of which have been very useful in every role I’ve had since. I’ve also worked on my communication skills – tailoring my style based on who I’m speaking to, in order to get the best possible outcome. This has been really useful when I’ve had client-facing opportunities, being able to articulate complex financial products in the simplest terms is a real asset in my role.”
Hannah may have been with Barclays for over two years, but her journey is just beginning. From changing perspectives to honing new and existing skills, our graduates continue to advance and excel in new and exciting ways – transforming in their roles against an ever-changing backdrop.
“Outside of work, I’ve noticed I’m constantly evaluating my decisions as a consumer, based on what I know of the payments industry. Whenever I notice a retailer offering a ‘point of sale’ experience that’s a little bit different, I think about how I can apply it to my day job. How can we make the checkout experience, no matter when or where it happens, as seamless as possible for the consumer?
“I’ve also learned to ask questions and advocate for myself. I came into the graduate scheme with an attitude of ‘I’ll figure it out’, which meant I didn’t always ask the questions I wanted to. Working on so many different projects over 18 months often means you have to get up to speed really quickly, so you need all the information available to hand. You also need to speak up if there are skills you can bring to a piece of work, which can be intimidating when you’re so new. Now I ask all the questions, put my hand up for opportunities to do something new, and am clear about what strengths I can bring to the table.”
Want to know more about life at Barclays? Visit our Opportunities page where you can hear further testimonials like Hannah’s, while browsing the latest roles – from internships to post-graduate level.