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Learn to think outside the box

I went to Quinnipiac University where I majored in Finance and earned both my undergraduate degree and MBA. It was during my time there that I decided I wanted to work within the investment banking industry, and I started reaching out to people within the industry in order to gain a perspective on different career paths and areas of investment banking that I might enjoy. That was when I discovered Risk, and particularly Credit Risk, and learned that my skills and naturally risk-averse mindset were a good fit, offering plenty of opportunities to grow and succeed.

Once I’d chosen where I wanted to be, it was time to find the right employer. I chose to work at Barclays because of the culture and the enthusiasm they showed for their interns. I interviewed with other competing firms, but Barclays’ interview process stood out to me – mainly because of the effort they put into the process and the connections I made with people here. I felt comfortable during the interview process, with ample opportunity to really showcase myself and the value I could add to the firm.

You've got to think outside the box, no what area of Risk you are in

What I enjoy most about working in Risk is that you’re really forced to use your critical thinking skills on a daily basis. You’ve got to think outside the box, no matter what area of Risk you’re in. Looking specifically at Credit Risk as an example, you can’t just look at typical and obvious risks for counterparties; you have to go even further and consider risks which might not be so obvious, but could have an impact on the bank. That’s the kind of analysis and thinking I truly enjoy, because every deal has its own unique set of risks and mitigates that need to be considered, and that keeps the job entertaining and enjoyable every day.

The best thing about my journey with Barclays so far has been getting the opportunity to work and network with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. As an intern, I could email colleagues ranging from juniors all the way to very senior individuals within the bank to set up networking chats. I still do this as a graduate and everyone I’ve reached out to has been more than eager to speak with me; even the very senior individuals.

My advice to graduates is that it’s alright to not know everything right away and it’s okay to ask questions. Everyone here wants you to succeed and everyone I’ve had the chance to work with is a team player. As time progresses and you gain more experience, you’ll definitely improve in all aspects but there are two things that will never change: you’ll never stop learning new things and you’ll always continue to ask questions – and that’s okay.