With a pure mathematics background, including a PhD, Jiali had always been interested in finance. Joining Barclays allowed her to find a practical application for the knowledge and skills she’d acquired during her studies, leading her down the path of quantitative finance.
Her career combined her enthusiasm for mathematics and programming, and she quickly developed thanks to support, encouragement, and guidance from her colleagues in the QA macro team.
“Working here provides me with a lot of valuable learning opportunities, as well as the opportunities to work with experienced experts.”
Studying mathematics and starting out
I did my high school in Helsinki in Finland and I did the IB program. After that, I came to the UK for college. I was studying mathematics for my undergrad, my masters and also my PhD in the area of number theory at the University of Cambridge.
After eight years of learning mathematics, I decided to try something different - something that I could apply my mathematical knowledge and skills to. So I turned to quantitative finance, which is a great option because it has a good mixture of mathematics and programming.
“I learned about the positive working environment that I'm experiencing right now and also I heard about the challenging, yet rewarding projects that they were working on. This left me with a great impression of Barclays.”
Changing careers, no regrets.
I came from a pure mathematics background and I did a Ph.D. before coming to work here at Barclays. Although I have always been interested in finance, I had almost zero financial background before coming here.
If you are someone who is thinking of changing your career path, I would say that it is very important to know exactly what you are really interested in, and what you are passionate about.
It’s definitely not easy to change a career path, but perhaps it's also not as scary as you think.
Starting a career at Barclays
If you are considering starting a career at Barclays, I would definitely encourage you to do so.
I would also encourage you to carefully read the online job description of the role that you are applying to.
It's very important to be confident and be yourself during every round of the recruitment process. There is really no need to be overly stressed. All the interviewers I met at the Assessment Centre were very friendly and we had very interesting discussions. When the questions are hard, I think it's definitely a good idea to share with them your thought process.
I think the recruitment process was very smooth and efficient. I applied for the graduate role online where I initially needed to submit the online application form as well as my CV.
I think I submitted my online application form at the end of September last year and I was already invited to attend the final round at the Assessment Centre at the start of November. Due to COVID, the Assessment Centre was held online and I was able to complete all of the interviews at home.
I was thrilled when I received the offer call shortly after the interviews, and I happily accepted the offer.
So far I've been really enjoying my journey at Barclays in the QA team, and I have not regretted my decision to change my career path at all.