I interned at the Consolidation and Reporting team within Barclays Finance. The main responsibility of the team is to prepare Barclays Group and Barclays Bank’s Result Announcements, Interim Reports and Annual Reports.
In the summer, I helped to communicate issues regarding audit transition, statutory filings, and accounting adjustments. I also helped to cast the H1 Result Announcement, making sure all the numbers are correct. Apart from these, I created FINREP validation tables in Excel to help identify blocking and unblocking breaks as well.
The highlight of my internship is the people. Everyone is so considerate and supportive. On my first day, the graduate in my team took me for coffee, walked me through what the team does, and gave me a lot of tips. I felt more confident and understand what to expect in the following weeks. Whenever I have questions, everyone in the team is very patient. During the busiest periods, our team will start the morning phone call with an interesting quiz, and everyone takes turn to buy snacks to support other’s hard work. On my last day, my team gave me a customised notebook with my initials on it, and I was literally crying in the office. They were so busy but they still devoted their time to me, I felt love and care in the team.
One of the challenges is the fact that Barclays really gives interns a lot of responsibilities. In my first week, I was asked to call a director in the Prague branch to confirm some information. I was very nervous, as I had no experience at all previously, and I was scared if my language was not professional enough. I wrote down what I would like to ask, and then took a deep breath. In the end I got all the information I needed, and I am very proud of this!
I have learnt so much from this 9-week experience. I have understood how reports are prepared in the practice and the differences from what I have learnt at the university. I have also improved my excel skills by using different functions such as pivot tables, macros and a variety of formulae. Moreover, I have enhanced a lot of soft skills such as networking skills. I talked to several directors in different teams, better understand what other teams do in their daily work and how the bank operates as a whole.
One advice I will give is to be proactive from the beginning. I was relatively quiet in the first few weeks, because I knew nothing at all, and was scared if I would disturb others if I asked too many questions. But actually everyone understands that, and they are actually more than happy to talk to you!
Another advice is to be confident and enjoy. Every day there are new things to learn, and it is really exciting to work in a diverse and inclusive company like Barclays. I genuinely feel so lucky to be part of Barclays. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will definitely get the most out of it!