All the sales and trading summer interns have two rotations, pre-assigned by HR. It could be one trading one sales, or two trading/sales. You spend about 4 weeks in each desk. Honestly it's very team oriented when it comes to the style. Some teams have very structured ways so they know what tasks they have for interns. Other desks don't really care and it's really up to you to ask questions and show some incentive. I experienced both. One team was very structured, and the other was just ok..... Barclays IT system is very inefficient. On a day-to-day basis, I spend the first two weeks getting software approval and didn't really do much. Also for each rotation you will do trading idea presentation, so you need to spend lots of time first of all understanding the product of your team, and then prepare for trading ideas.
Working in a real sales and trading desk is really cool. You learn a lot. Honestly I feel like what I have learned at school is almost nothing when it comes to the real world. You definitely need coding skills if you wanna do trading. For sales, not that much, but may need to type faster......? You get my point. When doing your rotation, you get lots of product specific knowledge. You see the market comments throughout the day. Most of the time if you just look at news, data, or chat. You don't know what's happening. But when you actually work there, you see comments from trader, flow from sales, and you start to understand what's really going on. Also you learn a lot more practical stuff compared to what you learn at school
Honestly, Barclays IT system is not that efficient. Software approval can take weeks. Also it is really up to the team dynamic. Some teams give you a lot to do, some are just ok. Summer internship during covid was very short. It was 10 weeks in the past. This year, it was only 8 weeks. So they don't really give you much. Also everything was online, it was much harder to communicate. As you can imagine, sales and traders are always busy. Even if you work in the office, they won't even have time for you. Not to mention doing everything online. So overall, they won't give you a lot to do. But you have a lot to catch up with in terms of the product specific knowledge. So overall it can be very busy.
It's really up to the team. Sales and traders are very busy. Overall people are very nice. I think the nice aspect also comes from the senior management. In order to make sure interns have a good time and good image on the bank, they are very nice. But you can see the difference right away. When you are still doing your internship, they try their best to reply to your message or email. But after the internship, it takes weeks to get a reply. I would say you get the max support during the internship. So make sure you do well and make the most out of it. Once it's done, they don't really care any more.
I have done internship in other places and I can say Barclays is on the nice side. People are friendly and nice, but can be a bit boring. It is not as exciting, aggressive, or fast pace as American banks. Overall it feels a bit slow even though it's a sales and trading role. Maybe it's coz the people are not aggressive enough. Guess that's just the culture. European banks overall are quite nice. That's also why they have smaller revenues compared to American banks. It's up to you what you want to achieve. Business is not as robust. But still a big bank with strong revenue.
Overall experience was good but i think it's all result driven. Barclays gives way more so called on hold offers than the actual hiring headcounts. Basically it's a good deal for Barclays coz it keeps the candidates on hook. But it's not fair for candidates as you never get an update. So to explain the whole process in simple way, on the last day of your internship, there are three results, Hired, on hold, or rejected. Hired means the desk you want to work for has headcount, so congrats, you are done. On-hold means you performed well but the desks you want to go don't have headcounts. Barclays internship is not very nice because throughout the process you don't know which desk has headcounts. So you might spend the whole summer working and networking and end up finding all the desks you talk to don't have headcounts. The system is very bizzare. Plus at the beginning it's the HR that decides you desks you do rotations with, so very likely you end up with desks you don't like, and the desks you like doesn't have a chance to know you well. Overall the system is not efficient and whether you can stay at Barclays has something to do with luck.
It is hard, coz you don't know if you will get hired in the end. Sometimes it's very up to your own luck. So try to speak to as many desks as you can. Also perform well in your own rotations. But does that mean any promise of headcount? NO, absolutely no. So don't put all the eggs in one basket. Some people get very unlucky and the two rotations they had don't have headcounts at all. So you also need to network. You might also be good at one specific asset class but HR won't assign you to the right desk. Rate of success is really 50% fixed at the beginning of the internship. So good luck!
Internship (1-4 Months)
Central London and City