From nursing, retail and charity work: Before Barclays career stories
“When one door closes, another opens”, as Alexander Graham Bell once said. This was the case for the colleagues featured in our next group of ‘Before Barclays’ career stories.
We caught up with Debra, Ravi and Colin who, in the past, have had quite varied and different career journeys before they choose to work at Barclays.
“Working in trauma and intensive care was very fast-paced, technically challenging and adrenaline-fuelled”
Debra works in the Barclaycard Payments team as a Payments Gateway Consultant.
Prior to this she spent six years in nursing. Debra shared: “At 18, I entered the West Suffolk school of nursing to undertake a registered nurse course and graduated three years later. I practised in intensive care, trauma care and coronary care.
“What I’ve taken from working in the NHS is the ability to stay calm under pressure and I developed my interpersonal skills. As a busy staff nurse it was necessary to have effective communication with people of all ages and all degrees of illness. This is also how it works at Barclays; to be efficient you need to work as part of a team, just like it was being part of the major emergency team.
“Working in trauma and intensive care was very fast-paced, technically challenging and adrenaline-fuelled. An event that sticks in my mind was supporting the aftermath of a disaster at Heathrow Airport in a very busy accident and emergency department.”
It was when Debra had her son that she came to a turning point in her career. Looking for a new challenge and a profession that could offer the stability of a 9 - 5 environment, she found her role with Barclays. In particular, Barclays was attractive as an employer with a strong commitment and focus on equality for women.
“Whilst I didn’t plan for a career in retail management, I still believe that my tenure within fashion retail has deepened my passion for leadership”
Ravi leads the small business client acquisition team at Barclaycard Payments.
Before joining Barclays, he worked for some of the UK’s biggest fashion retailers. He explains: “I took up various leadership roles across multiple retail stores. Hungry to learn more about leadership, I began my development journey, putting into practice what I’d learned and experienced through stretch opportunities.
“An interesting self-reflection is that whilst I did not plan for a career in retail management, I still believe my tenure within fashion retail has deepened my passion for leadership.
“Whilst working in that industry, I noticed that payment trends were growing and diversifying as consumer behaviours and technology developed over time. This is one of the reasons why I joined Barclays, a dynamic and innovative organisation that plays an integral societal role in how both consumers and commercial businesses transact.”
Ravi continues: “Fashion retail stores can get incredibly busy and a skill I still carry with me today is the ability to rationalise and simplify complex and busy situations.”
Throughout his career, Ravi has benefited from working with a number of diverse groups of people who all bought their own unique identities to the table. At Barclays he is part of Embrace, the global multicultural network, dedicated to helping Barclays be a truly inclusive workplace, where colleagues of all ethnicities, faiths, backgrounds and geographies can thrive.
“I’ve always had a passion for people – both customers and hiring new team members”
Colin is the Strategy and Planning Manager for product and servicing plans at Barclaycard Payments.
He’s a serial returner to Barclays, first joining in 2004, then again in 2021. Since graduating from university, Colin has undertaken a variety of careers in Marketing, Telecommunications, working for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and, in recent years, product design, and even renting out a holiday cottage.
Colin said: “Throughout my life, I’ve had not just one career but a variety, all with a common thread of a focus on the customer. I’ve always had a passion for people – both customers and hiring new team members.
“Some of my career highlights were raising funds for the RSPB, fulfilling a lifelong creative dream to design and market my own football card game for children in a tin; to running a holiday cottage in Northamptonshire, and building and developing a new digital team from scratch at Barclays.
“One common theme across the businesses I’ve worked for has been in taking face-to-face digital payments; little did I know that in later years I would be taking a new role at Barclays, this time supporting small businesses take payments.”
Thank you to Debra, Ravi and Colin for sharing their ‘Before Barclays’ career stories. We’ll be sharing some more inspiring accounts from more colleagues on a life outside the financial sector.