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In late 2018, Louis knew he wanted to explore finance, work in New York, and thought that it would be cool to work at a bank. He knew what he wanted, but he didn’t necessarily know where to find it. What he ended up doing, and now recommends to current job seekers, is find out everything he wanted out of a job – industry, location, position, etc. – and narrow down the search as much as possible.
As a lot of college students, early career professionals, and job seekers will find, it can be hard to figure out what kind of job you want. What made things easier for Louis was scanning the market, finding out what he did and didn’t like from job applications and filters, and shooting his shot from there. Eventually, he came across Barclays and their summer analyst internship.
While Louis had past job experience, his summer banking internship at Barclays in 2019 was his first major job in an office setting. Besides the fact that he was working in Manhattan, just a few blocks away from Time Square, and doing what he had always wanted to do, Louis didn’t really know what to expect during his summer at Barclays.
As it turned out, Barclays’ summer analyst internship was the perfect combination of exploration and support. Louis was able to explore new territory, learn new concepts, and make significant contributions to the business all at the same time.
"Corporate banking wasn't really a niche role for me because I came in not knowing much about what it consisted of. What I did know, however, was the pivotal role that Barclays played in the industry."
With corporate banking being such a growing space, it was a great opportunity for me to work with a lot of great people, be involved with a part of the business that was getting heavily invested in, and feel like I was contributing to something important.
Whether it was financial analysis and modeling or valuation and client due diligence, Louis’ time during Barclays’ summer internship program exposed him to the world of corporate banking and all the opportunities that existed within it. Something that made his time at Barclays even better, however, is the culture, environment, and people at Barclays.
The finance and banking industry is massive. That means that there is no shortage of places to work and grow your career. However, each of these institutions has something that sets them apart. For Barclays, it is the culture and people that make their company stand out so much.
"Going into work knowing that the people I was working with genuinely cared about me made things that much better."
Them taking an interest in me, my career goals, and professional aspirations helped me believe in myself as well.
For Louis, going to work meant he would be surrounded by people who don’t just care about performing their jobs, but uplifting and helping one another grow as well. In turn, this helped him appreciate his own role at the company and stay motivated to contribute to the company’s goals as well as his own.
While this people-forward mindset is certainly prioritized at Barclays, it goes a step further with employee resource groups. These employee-led organizations, whose aim is to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the organizations they serve, have proved to have enormous benefits for employees.
As is the case with the employee resource groups at Barclays, Louis has certainly gained a lot with his involvement in the Black Professionals ERG. Specifically, as it pertains to his interactions with people he didn’t normally get to interact with.
"It's been great for me because I've been able to connect with people who I don't work with on a day-to-day basis. There are people from different departments and business functions who I don't normally interact with so that's been really good and beneficial for me in terms of getting different perspectives from people and meeting different folks as well."
Additionally, Louis’ involvement in the Black Professionals Group has also allowed him to take on new roles and responsibilities. From leading panels and hosting discussions, Louis has been able to grow his skills in massive ways all while demonstrating his capabilities and competence in front of senior stakeholders. Once an intern but now an assistant vice president, Louis attributes part of his success to experiences like this.