After joining Bright Network back in 2009 and studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Bath, Hugh now works in the Private Banking division at Barclays. We took a trip to their head office in Canary Wharf to find out what one of our original members had achieved in the banking sector during the last four years.
What drew you to Private Banking?
I have always loved client interaction. When I was a teenager, I used to work on a camping site taking bookings and organising people’s stay. Meeting lots of people gave me a buzz and from that point I knew it was something I wanted for my future career. With my strong mathematical and analytical skills, I was drawn to the banking sector. I realised Private Banking would allow me to combine both skillsets, whereas Investment Banking is much more transactional and deal focused.
How did you get into Banking?
During my time at university, I completed a year-long placement at Morgan Stanley. It was an incredible learning experience and I highly recommend current students do something similar. All top students come out with a 1st or a 2:1, whereas a full year placement gives you stand out experience and knowledge. A year gave me the opportunity to build connections and work out which roles in the industry suited me.
After the placement, I secured a 10-week summer internship at Barclays and managed to fit it in before heading back for my final year of university. I was fortunate enough to get the graduate offer on the back of the internship, which made it easier to focus on university in my final year.
Was the graduate scheme hugely different from the internship?
The graduate scheme was largely at extension of the work you complete on the internship. It gives you the opportunity to progress and get more involved in projects. However, as a graduate, it’s so important to show initiative and carve out your own career path. Only by networking and learning what is possible can you make the right connections and work out exactly where your skills would be put to best use.
What’s it like working in Canary Wharf?
It’s actually quite like a university campus. I often pop to the shops at lunch and bump into people I went to university with or who I’ve met on internships. Luckily, the Barclays head office is here and it’s very much an international office. I work with private clients from across the world, so I do travel around quite a bit – it’s sometimes nice to get out of Canary Wharf.
What are your plans for the future?
I look at the short term more than planning far into the future. If I’m enjoying what I’m doing and learning from the people around me, the long-term goals will take care of themselves. I’m really happy with my current position and I put 100% effort into everything I’m doing – people respond well to that.
Thanks so much to Hugh for all his insight and advice. If you have any questions about getting into Banking or the sector itself, Hugh is happy to help. You can connect with him on LinkedIn just here.