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I’ve come a long way in just four years.
Natacha was working as a trader for Barclays in London, when her manager told her about a great opportunity in Barclays Europe. He explained how the business was expanding, the bank wanted to allocate more resources to it and Natacha could step up to a new role. The prospect of greater responsibility, more client contact and bigger and better trading books to manage was very attractive to her:
So I thought, ‘why not?’ It’s always sad leaving a city but, looking back, every change has been for the best. And Paris has been the best thing that has happened in my career.
Natacha is originally from Spain, and France is the fifth country she has lived in. She says that although the job she does would be similar wherever she did it, her wellbeing is connected to her environment, and it’s important that her whole life is as positive and enjoyable as possible. Paris, for her, is the ideal place to live and work:
Here in Paris, we’re in the middle of the city and we can see the Arc de Triomphe. There’s so much life happening around us, with restaurants, clubs and shopping all nearby. We have more opportunity to enjoy both work and life, whilst still contributing to our professional growth.
And growth is a key word for Barclays Europe. Natacha is keen to point out the opportunities provided by a relatively new business that’s very much on an upward trajectory. She recognises the benefits of starting from scratch, doing things the way the team really wants to do them, and doing them right. She says that if they have the capacity, the mindset and the passion, the business will give the freedom and the resources they need. “I’m one of the people who can shape the way we do things,” she proudly comments.
For Natacha, this freedom to shape the future of Barclays Europe comes with great responsibility. But for her, having such an important input into the way the business operates at the early stages of her career, and being so valued, is one of the best things that has happened to her. Additionally, Natacha helps run the internship programme, which helps shape the teams of the future; she’s also proud to be part of a women’s diversity initiative, where her focus is on recruiting more women into the business.
We are building this business, and we want to create the right picture of what we represent. Barclays has an image that is very established and familiar, but here we get to develop our own identity. We want to recruit the right people for the business we want to be. And that is something that is very dear to me.
Natacha’s work in support of the talent agenda, coupled with the increased geographical spread of clients, means she does a lot of travelling in Europe. She says that a major advantage of being based in Paris is the way Barclays Europe is so much more accessible to European clients, who appreciate how we are assigning the resources to be close to them. She says that Barclays Pairs is “very much a gatekeeper between London and the rest of Europe. This gives quite a shine to what we are doing.”
Because Barclays Paris office is relatively small, it means richer connections can be made between colleagues and departments within the business. Natacha enjoys the feeling of collaboration, communication and mutual learning within the team with all the resources of a global organisation behind them. This, she says, means they can have a “much bigger impact.”
Natacha is obviously passionate about her role, the impact she is making in this growing business and the potential for the future. She has certainly come a long way in a relatively short time. So, how does she see her career progressing from here?
I don’t really make long-term plans. Right now, this is the most ‘at home’ I have ever felt. And that’s been facilitated by the changes brought about by the business and my life. I just want to make sure I am doing the best I can right now, and when I am ready the opportunities will be there. Too much planning stops you having experiences, and I am experiencing so many good things here and now.