Shamveel: Barclays Graduate Scheme

In 2020, Shamveel graduated from The University of Manchester with a MEng Software Engineering with Industrial Experience. He is now on the Barclays Graduate Scheme as a Graduate Developer.

Did you always know you wanted to work in this sector?

To be honest, no, but I always had a keen interest in joining the FinTech (Financial-Technology) industry. The industry outlook appears very different from the traditional tech sector. But at a big bank like Barclays, there are so many different areas that a bank is involved in within tech which aren't clearly visible from the outside. I have been pleasantly surprised to see the level of tech involvement and the direction the bank is aiming towards. I got to find about the graduate scheme from one of the University's careers fairs and through the Barclay's website.

What is the structure of the scheme?

The graduate scheme is 24 month programme with a 12-month split. So, after the first year, the graduates will have an opportunity to rotate to a different team to explore a different area of the bank.

Before the start of the scheme, there is a questionnaire sent out to all graduates, asking for their tech preferences. Then, they are placed within a team that closely matches their interests. The location for the rotations is usually fixed for the entirety of the scheme. But, after the scheme ends, the graduates are free to move to any location/city of their choice.

What does a normal day look like in your current role / placement?

As my graduate scheme started during the Covid-19 pandemic, my role was entirely remote. A typical day would involve a morning scrum call and a few meetings with team members to go over the assigned tasks. There is also daily allocated time to do core development work and personal learning with online courses. Sometimes we are required to attend wider business webinars and mandatory training.

Because of the remote nature of our work, Barclays has actively focused on employee wellbeing and finding the right work-life balance for their staff. There are weekly running sessions for mental wellbeing like meditation hour, Thank You Thursdays, virtual coffee clubs, etc.

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time with Barclays, and I'm looking forward to getting back to the offices.

Would you recommend this graduate scheme for current students / recent graduates?

I would recommend this graduate scheme to any recent graduate who is interested in the world of FinTech, even if they don’t have a finance/business degree. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the bank’s operations and tech at your own pace. And, due to its global presence and size, there is ample networking opportunities, mobility options (moving around the teams or locations), and various tech stacks.

What was the application and assessment process like?

The application to Barclays is similar to applications for other big banks. Once you fill out the application on the website, you are asked to complete a situational judgement test and a psychometric test. Once you pass those stages, you are invited to attend an assessment centre. The assessment centre may involve multiple interviews with the hiring manager along with case study sessions.

Do you have any advice for final year students going through the recruitment process?

My advice to the final year students would be to apply as early as possible, as the recruitment process finishes quite early. For the interviews, I would advise students to learn about the bank, its areas of operations and its competitors. Barclays has certain values they try to uphold in their every action, so it's best to familiarise with them too. Most of the information about the bank can be found on the company website.

What are your plans for the future?

The current plan is to complete the next 12 months of the graduate scheme and then transition towards a more front-office role. Although it’s difficult to say whether I see myself staying in the FinTech sector after a couple of years, I hope that the connections I have made and the experiences I have acquired will help me find more future opportunities.