My name is Jamal Ghani and I study Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Glasgow. The Barclays Spring Week opportunity first caught my attention whilst I was applying to different companies. They were looking for technologists who had the creativity and innovation to help Barclays become the leading digital bank in the world. I was inspired by the fact that they were recruiting people with ideas, but not necessarily those with knowledge about the industry.
The interview process was different and interesting – my application consisted of an artificial intelligence video interview.
The shadowing offered a brilliant insight into the latest industry developments. Students came from diverse academic backgrounds, like history and economics, reinforcing the sense that Barclays were not looking for traditional candidates. The week started off with a few icebreaker games, so everyone could get to know the other students. I was given the opportunity to shadow a technologist working on voice biometrics. It was really interesting to learn about something that is a huge part of digital banking at the moment.
There were plenty of talks throughout the week, with employees giving their perspective on the industry and giving valuable information on digital banking. I was unaware of how big and booming the technology side of banking is becoming.
The social scene was fantastic – from restaurants to nightlife, there’s so much to do in Glasgow! Our evenings were mostly free, so we had plenty of opportunities to socialise with the other interns and find out what inspires them.
I learned a number of valuable lessons from my time at Barclays; the most important being that your degree background doesn’t matter. As long as you have a creative mind and are willing to work hard for your ideas, you will succeed at Barclays. I found this out on the very first day. I now feel inspired to ask as many questions as I can and really invest time in my future career.
I also learned a lot about myself during my week at Barclays. I found out that, although I may not offer as much as others in terms of technical expertise, I have a creative and open mind. c
The highlight of my experience was going to the Eagle Lab in Edinburgh. We were able to see new inventions, experience virtual reality and listen to inspiring talks about the coders and how they all came to Edinburgh. It was a truly fascinating, eye-opening experience that I wish to be able to repeat someday.
I am glad that I interviewed for an internship for summer 2019 and grateful to Barclays for giving me a shot despite my lack of technology experience. I believe that what I learned this Spring Week will prove invaluable in my internship as well as my future career.