I joined the Equity Derivatives Group at Barclays Capital for six months in 2011. The application process started with a series of short-answer questions relating to previous experiences, followed by a round of online testing before a group assessment and final face-to-face interview.
The role of a trading assistant is to help the traders perform their jobs as efficiently as possible, primarily by performing the many tasks that they don’t necessarily get the time to do themselves. These include entering trades into the computer system, performing reconciliations, registering corporate actions and also managing settlement queries.
The role provides a great deal of exposure to a large number of different people, all of whom have different perspectives and working styles. Arguably the greatest challenge lies in learning about priorities. That’s not just about learning which tasks are ‘very urgent’ and which are just ‘urgent’ - it’s also about balancing demands from a variety of people and working in a way which keeps everyone happy.
The placement has been superb for developing my product knowledge. I have learned an incredible amount about how the derivatives that I handle actually function and how the bank functions. My tips would be to be keen and work hard. Barclays Capital goes a long way to ensuring that these attributes are recognised, and they will serve you well in life, too.
Barclays Capital is a respected company, and I am delighted to have had the experience of working here.