What’s it like to start your career at Barclaycard Payments? Jamie's story...
As we come to the end of one of our most unusual years ever, we’ve been catching up with colleagues from graduate programmes across the business to find out how they’ve been getting on.
Students and graduates face uncertainty right now – and it’s important to highlight opportunities where we can – after all, 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 Jamie Stevenson to discuss his journey since joining the graduate scheme at our Northampton campus last August. Read Jamie’s story…
“I entered the graduate programme in August 2019 at the Northampton campus. Since joining Barclays, I’ve grown into my first role as a Solutions Architect. I actually had the option to rotate after my first year, which would mean I would move to a different team in the bank and in a different role. However, as I enjoyed my time so much this last year, I chose to stay.”
We discovered Jamie through the Barclays 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.
Armed with an open-minded and enthusiastic approach to his future career, Jamie has been able to apply his natural skills to finding an area he can thrive in. He reflects on why he first set his sights on the graduate programme, and how support from his colleagues has helped him on his way:
“I knew I wanted to work in technology, but I was never 100 per cent sure on which industry I should go for. I chose to join Barclays because not only does it provide a lot of opportunities to work in technology, but there are so many different functions of the bank that I knew the business would give me the experience I needed to find my passion and launch my career. My Barclays colleagues have been fantastic and made me feel very welcome. I received a lot of support with setting up my equipment and the software required for my role – it seems like such a small thing, but it was great to see that my colleagues were so keen to help me get settled in and comfortable with my surroundings. I was also given guidance in finding a mentor for myself. Colleagues in my immediate team helped me with so much that I needed to get started in the role, from how to produce the right documentation, walking me through knowledge transfer sessions, to helping me understand our technological landscape and our business functions and processes.”
Having been with us a little over a year, we were interested to hear about the key lessons Jamie has learned on his journey so far:
“I’ve learned that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to starting a job at an early stage of your career - especially when you’re joining as a graduate or an apprentice, you’re not expected to have all the knowledge straight away! The best thing you can do is have the willingness to learn and to ask questions. I’m really pleased with how my soft skills have developed over the last 12 months. Due to the nature of my role, I have gained a lot of confidence, speaking to new people and speaking at length about new subjects.”
A workman is only as good as his tools. “The graduate programme has provided training sessions on useful tools such as Microsoft Office and AWS” continues Jamie. “The sessions were set up for the graduates by location, which made for a great opportunity to get to know some of the other graduates working in the Northampton campus. They also set up events for us on other Barclays sites, before COVID-19 hit, where we got to do some team building exercises and training activities with grads from the other locations.”
These tools have proven particularly useful in light of the situation many of us find ourselves in this year:
“Barclays has been very supportive throughout the pandemic. All colleagues were able to request IT equipment to support their workstations at home. We’ve had regular wellbeing talks throughout the year where we have had guest speakers talk to us about how best to manage our mental health while apart. I am also much more confident using video conferencing tools and have phone calls with many of my colleagues on a daily basis. This really helps to break up the working day for me and having these catch ups reminds me that we’re all in this difficult situation together. Without the need to commute to the office I’m also able to get a couple hours back every day. As a result, my working days are more flexible and less stressful as I’m able to better manage my time.
“If I had to describe my experience at Barclays in one word, it would be ‘confidence’. Since joining, my confidence in myself and my abilities have grown, not only at work, but in my personal life too.”
Jamie’s advice to new graduates who may find themselves working remotely?
“Make sure you reach out to your line manager often and be transparent with them! Ultimately, they want you to be happy and feeling productive. It’s easy to feel shame when you don’t feel productive, but it happens to all of us. The more honest you are, the more likely you will get the support you need. I would also suggest to keep in touch with the other graduates. It’s great to talk to someone who is in a similar position to yourself and it can make the experience of being a new joiner so much easier.”
Want to know more about life at Barclays? Visit our Opportunities page where you can hear further testimonials like Jamie’s, while browsing the latest roles – from internships to post-graduate level.