Monday, September 16, 2013

Interning at Barclays, winner of the Arts & Humanities Undergraduate of the Year award talks about her prize

I was glad to have had my interview at Barclays Canary Wharf Headquarters, because that meant I had got over the “Hogwarts factor” by the time my first day arrived. I met the other interns, and over the next few days we went through some brilliant training that covered presenting, networking, organisation and teambuilding.

I won’t spoil it for anyone thinking of applying this year, but I quickly realised that this is a brilliant well-run internship. We had a group project to work on as interns, which involved us meeting a really exciting client within a couple of days. We researched, had meetings and debated what to put in our final presentation to that client, before presenting to a panel of senior management from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, including the Chief Executive - Peter Horrell.

We also got involved with our teams from the first week, which has been great, as it really gives you an idea of what working here would be like. I am based in the International Bank, which means that we deal with clients in all different areas of the world, as well as international clients in the UK, who live in other countries.
The International Bank provides banking services, offers foreign exchange for those who need to change currency, and also offers ways in which clients can invest their money. It really depends on what the clients want – maybe to save for retirement, maybe some extra income from their savings, or sometimes something to pass on to their children or grandchildren.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in the business management side of things, which means that I’ve helped translate some of the overall business strategy into every day tangible change for my colleagues who deal directly with clients.

This week I’ve been coordinating a Mystery Shop, so I’ve been checking my colleagues’ email replies, and calling them up pretending to be a client (the “mysterious” element has been becoming less and less well kept). There’s a real campaign going at the moment to improve our clients’ satisfaction, so checking that we are always consistent in communication is one major way to do this – especially as a large proportion of the communication with international clients happens via email or the phone, rather than face to face.

It sounds straightforward, but I’m definitely learning a lot of problem solving skills with this project, and strategies to ensure people reply to your emails!

Don't let this opportunity pass you by. 

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