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Meet Imogen

While some view university as the best route to the world of work, this hasn’t been the case for her. In the past three years of her technology apprenticeship at Barclays, she’s not only found a balance between practical and technical training, but she’s been able to earn while she learns.

I enjoy and flourish in the networking opportunities that the apprenticeship offers.

Thinking differently about apprenticeships.

Despite having no prior experience, her fascination for technology drove her to seek an alternative route into this dynamic industry. Our apprenticeships at Radbroke were the perfect fit for her; as a leading UK technology campus, it facilitated plenty of opportunities to connect with talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines. From networking events to social groups, sports, games and activities like Chess and Go Karting, Imogen felt free to be her authentic self. As she says, “we even have a beekeeping group which aligns with Barclays sustainability goals.

My line manager is happy for me to take time out for the working day if my needs at university are greater.

When the apprenticeship began, she was anxious about the workload.  But she soon discovered an environment that enabled flexibility and balance. On Monday through Thursday, she had practical training. On Fridays, she had theoretical and technical training at Manchester Metropolitan University as part of her degree in IT consultancy. Each step of the way, she was supported by her team and tutors who encouraged her to adjust her schedule when university deadlines and exams approached. This flexibility helped her achieve better work-life balance, and accelerate her career development.

I've never shied away from speaking up, and my colleagues empower me to do so.

A truly equitable workplace.

Even as an apprentice, she was never treated differently. Regardless of role or rank, gender or sexuality, background or nationality, everyone was empowered to share ideas and insights; to collaborate and take on responsibilities; to step up and speak out in order to improve our organisation. This gave her the confidence to contribute to discussions; from identifying areas of improvement, to pin-pointing problems and developing solutions, and standing in for senior members when they’ve been unavailable, she has become an invaluable member of the team. As she says, “two years ago, that would be something I would not have the confidence to do.”

A bright future.

Now Imogen is in her third year of her higher technology apprenticeship, and she’s feeling more optimistic than ever about her future; not only does she have the continued support of her colleagues, but she’s become increasingly impressed by Barclays’ commitment to improving representation. From inspiring more young women to pursue STEM careers, to hiring and promoting more female leaders, she has confidence that her potential will take her far in this exciting industry.