Job Title: Leverage Finance Analyst
Company: Barclays International Bank
Industry Sector: Accounting, Banking and Finance
A Levels: Physics, Maths, Geography and Economics
Grades Achieved: AAAB
University: University of Bristol
Degree Course: Geology
Professional Accreditation: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
From my first day in year 7 through to my last in Upper Sixth I can draw upon happy memories of my time at Loughborough Grammar School. In the early years my time was spent completing daily prep assignments and trying to remember which sports kit I needed for the next day. As I progressed through the school this transitioned to becoming increasingly focused on specific academic subjects and sporting commitments. It was the narrowing of my pursuits in tandem with friends doing the same that helped instil the value of hard work, dedication and teamwork in order to succeed. As a sixth former the number of opportunities to hold leadership roles grew dramatically and I took full advantage of this, eventually becoming a senior prefect, a senior CCF cadet and captain of three 1st teams. Collectively these developed a fierce sense of teamwork, leadership and competitiveness that has aided me ever since. Something that perhaps I undervalued at the time was how teachers were so passionate about their subjects and the effect this had on my engagement in the classroom. It was this passion that helped seek out and grow a desire to learn and to ask questions both inside and outside the classroom. Once I started applying to universities I was fortunate enough to have two teachers spend extra time working through additional material and possible questions in preparation for interviews.
Since leaving School I have gained direction, balance and drive within my chosen career path whilst also having been fortunate enough to have had fantastic experiences outside of the world of work and education. University gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, develop new passions alongside the experience of running and growing a large organisation with a 5 figure yearly revenue. The constant balancing act between friends, studies, sports and eventually job hunting taught me a great deal.
Although I didn’t always get the balance right, the rigours of school life without doubt helped enable a smooth transition into this balancing act with homework and Saturday sports fixtures being replaced by tutorial assignments and weekend climbing trips across the country. After university, and before starting my career in earnest, I had the privilege of undertaking two cycling expeditions, one solo across Patagonia in South America and the second across the Rajasthan desert in India with my younger brother. Had I not built up the necessary self-confidence but also the required sense of adventure to embark on these whilst at school I probably wouldn’t even have considered undertaking such an adventure.
"It was the narrowing of my pursuits in tandem with friends doing the same that helped instil the value of hard work, dedication and teamwork in order to succeed."
Whilst I didn’t perhaps take the most traditional path into finance, I can trace my current occupation back to my first interest in business and macro economics which developed whilst studying economics at school, this was built upon at home and by my economics teachers with additional reading suggested regularly. Despite going on to study geology at university I always kept an eye on the financial markets and eventually this translated into completing two internships during my university summers. The first at KPMG and the second at Barclays. Whilst I enjoyed both, I found the work and opportunities at Barclays were better suited to my skills, so accepting a full time role on the Barclays Graduate Program was an easy decision.
Two and a half years down the line and I have picked up a huge amount of experience and developed as a young professional far more so than I thought possible. I believe this is attributed to two key elements. Firstly the rotational nature of the scheme has enabled me to work in 8 different teams across a number of locations allowing me to experience and watch different ways of managing and operating within a large global organisation. Secondly, having the confidence and conviction to both ask questions but also to put myself forward for new tasks and responsibilities. This ability without doubt stems from my time at Loughborough Grammar School and the opportunities that being there afforded me.
"University gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, develop new passions alongside the experience of running and growing a large organisation with a 5 figure yearly revenue."
Job Search Tips
Ask those around you for information and insights and do your research. You can never be too prepared for an interview. Try to speak to someone who works at the organisation in advance.
Current Needs of Employers in my field
Technical skills (maths/coding), a desire to work hard and succeed. The ability to convey complex information succinctly to senior stakeholders.
Things I wish I’d known in Sixth Form
Make the most of the time and opportunities that you have before and during university, it is unlikely that you will have. A broader education leads to a fuller life and a more rounded individual.
Describe LGS in three words
Friends, Opportunities and Empowerment