Colleen Duffy

What’s it like to start your career at Barclaycard Payments? Colleen’s story…

With the end of a very unique year now just days away, we’ve been reflecting on everything we’ve been through in 2020 – and particularly what that has meant for our young talent.

Every year, we welcome some of the very best up-and-coming stars via our internships and graduate scheme – supporting them on their journey to professional success, whatever path they choose – and we’re proud of how our new starters have handled everything this year has thrown at them.

The current health crisis hasn’t held back graduates like Colleen Duffy in kick-starting their careers. Here, we speak to Colleen about her experiences as a new starter and what it’s like joining an organisation like Barclaycard Payments while working remotely…

“So far, I’ve only worked from home”, Colleen says. Having started her placement within the Product team, Colleen describes herself as a ‘people person’ and says that remote working has made her approach things differently. “I find engaging with colleagues helpful when settling into a new job and learning the tricks of the trade. However, working from home has made this a little more difficult and led me to become more creative with how I communicate and keep in touch with my team and the business. As a result, I now use an array of audio and video technologies to support my learning, and to get everything done that I need to for my role.”

We asked Colleen what skills she had unexpectedly managed to hone during lockdown. “I would say that this experience has improved my ability to quickly understand what’s required, and to take the initiative in the virtual workplace as I don’t have colleagues in my immediate physical environment for help and support. However, I also value this opportunity to develop these skills as I believe that they will be transferable in this ever-changing and challenging world we live in.”

While Colleen has only managed her role with Barclays on a remote-working basis so far, we wondered how the demands of the current climate might have had a direct impact. “My current role is in Product, and from a more general and positive perspective we’ve been able to use the current climate to push forward on all things digital.” From Colleen’s experience, the impact of these exceptional times has of course filtered down to her customers too. “Consumers’ payment habits have transformed as a result of the pandemic and, in line with that demand, this is something that we can use as a catalyst to drive forward our innovative and technology-based payment solutions.”

As the year comes to a close, we remain hopeful for the year ahead and the opportunities it may bring; and, it’s good to know that our next wave of graduates will have this year’s cohort as mentors to show them the way. We asked Colleen what advice she’d give to new graduates joining Barclaycard Payments during the pandemic. “My advice to new graduates would be to reach out and make their presence known in their new team; this helped me to get involved in a multitude of projects with a diverse range of colleagues. I was able to learn from their experiences and varied skillsets.”

When it comes to the development of professional relationships within a virtual environment, Colleen also shared her advice on maintaining transparency, especially from afar. “What I’d also say to new graduates is that it’s important to build and nurture an open and communicative relationship with their line manager. Simply dedicate an hour or so a week to focus on your progress and actions for the week ahead, and take a moment to voice any concerns. This will encourage productivity and ensure you always feel supported and in control of your new role in this new virtual environment.”

Want to know more about life at Barclays? Visit our Opportunities page where you can hear further testimonials like Colleen’s, while browsing the latest roles – from internships to post-graduate level.