2 Months At Barclays, A 325 Year Old Bank – Akash Choudhury, SPJIMR
An MBA program is known for throwing together a curated assemblage of characters with diverse experiences, talents and stories with the hope that all of them would learn from the collective pool of resources that is at their disposal. There is a sense of belonging across all such programs based on learning through interaction that is prevalent in the fun we have during our 2 years on campus. However, ask any serious aspirant to measure the success of their investment and chances are you would receive an answer that has something to do with the organisations you join for your internship.
And so it was, that after a gruelling placement season, on a bright sunny day in August 2017, I found myself at the threshold of the wonderful glass edifice of the Barclays office at EON IT Park, Pune. The day went by in a flurry of presentations and documentation work and after the onboarding was complete, I met my assigned mentors and got to know that I was tasked on an internal consulting project involving business process re-engineering. However, I wouldn’t be talking much about the work that I did at Barclays but rather about various facets of the time spent at Barclays that actually impressed me.
If I had to focus on one aspect of my 56 days at Barclays it would be the importance that was given to each suggestion that I made. Seeing a Director listening keenly and actually supporting me through meetings with various stakeholders even though I had practically zero on-ground experience, was an eye-opener. I guess with the tag of MBA comes an added responsibility of knowing what one is doing, both on a granular level as well as from 30,000 ft up in the air and the importance given to our suggestions was a testimony of the same.
Second would be the amount of visibility that I received. My peers in other organisations were presenting to sector heads, sales managers, mentors, AVPs etc while my recommendations and mid-term reviews were actually synced into the ExCo meetings which were attended by the CEO and his board. This amount of visibility to an intern at the organisation was something that to me was unheard of.
Lastly, I would like to talk about my mentor who had a tremendous impact on how I have come to view corporate life. His easy-going nature and attention to the various issues that affected his team as well as the candour and camaraderie that he shared with us all were exemplary. Even though he had a very busy schedule he would always take out time to grab a quick cup of coffee at the local Starbucks and discuss the direction in which my project was moving. Right from valuable insights, to providing access to any resource to even suggesting how I spend my weekends at Pune, he was a wonderful mentor.
The funny thing about doing an MBA is that it surprises us when we least expect it. Even though I was very happy at finding so many reasons that made me enjoy my time at Barclays, I had no idea that very soon I would be getting a chance to discover many more reasons as I prepare to join them after graduating from SPJIMR having been offered an opportunity to work with such an amazing set of people at an amazing brand.
About the Author:
Akash Choudhury (PGDM 2016-18, Finance)