Barclays Sophomore Springboard Program


Hi everyone! It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I'm excited to get back into updating my blog! Last week, I was invited to fly to New York to attend Barclays Sophomore Springboard program and was in New York for 5 days. I'll be writing a separate post about my trip , but wanted to focus this post on my experience at Barclays.  

For those of you who don't know, Barclays is a British banking and financial company. They have multiple programs for undergrads like the Freshman Foundation & Sophomore Springboard program, which help you get an inside look of Barclays and prepare you for a future at Barclays. I actually didn't know much about Barclays and just stumbled upon a post on LinkedIn and decided to apply. This was a two-day event where I got to network with current employees, learn about the different divisions/roles, attend workshops, and meet a ton of incredible women from across the nation (including my new friend Emily, pictured above!)

Day 1 - On the first day, we got an introduction about Barclays, had a round table discussion with 2016 grads who just started working there, and a networking session on the rooftop of Supernova at Novotel (the view of Times Square was absolutely gorgeous!)

Day 2 - Pillars of Wallstreet workshop (learned the fundamentals of investment banking), got into teams and presented a case study, got to tour Barclays, got into teams to do the Barclays Challenge (a series of brain teasers), and ended the day with a personal branding workshop. 

Everyone at Barclays was very welcoming and it was a great experience! Though, if I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure if I can see myself in the banking industry, at least not the tech side. When we applied, we had the chance to choose what division we were interested in and as an Informatics major, I chose tech. After hearing about the projects they worked on, I realized that they are first and foremost, a banking company and design/creativity isn't a focus. I realized that I love tech because I love finding creative ways to solve problems and I feel like I wouldn't be able to do that at Barclays. Though, I did learn a lot about risk management and I'm definitely going to reach out to my mentor (they set every attendee up with a mentor to help answer questions and help you prepare for an interview if you decide to explore a career at Barclays) to learn more to see if that would be a fit since I enjoy analyzing things. Overall, this program was a great learning experience. I feel like I learned more about what I'm looking for in a career. 

What I would take away from this experience is to explore your options while you're in college and apply to as many internships, tours, and workshops that companies or your school hosts. College is the time to try new things and discover where your passions lie and what you want for your future. 

I hope this was helpful for those interested in Barclays and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

xo Kerstin