We caught up with Kunal during his brilliant technology internship at Barclays to see how he's getting on and how he found his applications - here he shares his top tips!
Why did you choose Barclays?
I chose Barclays because they have always had a good brand image, and I wanted to be a part of it. Also they had a Spring Week program for first years and I really enjoyed that; I made many friends and it was an intense but fun week. The role they had available in tech was perfect for me due to my computer science background. I wanted to make myself stand out so I applied for it. At this point I did not know much about what I’d be doing. However, during the Spring week there was a lot of support and the company’s culture really suited me.
How did you prepare for your application?
I initially applied online, and this was followed by an online prerecorded video interview. This was a new thing and a first for me; I had never done a video interview before so I just stayed relaxed and answered everything honestly. I found the process very useful, as I was able to apply soft skills such as writing follow up emails and situational awareness. At the end of the Spring Week there was an interview and group presentation in order to be on the summer internship. This was helpful because it was a chance to hone my interview skills and discover and evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses. I loved the fact that the interviewers at Barclays were very friendly; it felt more like a conversation rather than the stereotyped intense interviews. The key was to practice your competencies.
Did you apply for many other internships?
I applied for many internships that I could do after my summer internship at Barclays finishes. I did this as completing the week at Barclays gave me the confidence to do better in interviews and applications. I was more practiced in the STAR (Situation/Task, Action, Result) method which I further practiced in more interviews. I think that at this point while you’re at university, it’s important to take any opportunity that’s available to you. Even if you don’t always come out successful, you still learn something from the experience.
How did Bright Network help you in your application process?
Bright Network helped me with their sheer knowledge and insights that they had available on their website. By this I mean application do’s and don’ts, timelines and info on companies that I could use in my application. Bright Network definitely is a very helpful resource and I find myself coming back again and again.
What are you three top tips for other Bright Network members?
- Sounds repetitive at this point, but network! You will meet a variety of people throughout the application process and at insight events. Building a good rapport with people you meet is key, as it sets the tone for the internship if you do get it, and building strong connections is key to being successful in the future.
- Be yourself. Being yourself builds into building your own personal brand and this helps you stand out not just as a candidate/applicant but as an individual. Think of an elevator pitch (how you’d introduce yourself within 30 seconds to a CEO).
- Don’t be put off. Even if you feel that someone else has a lot more experience than you with a handful of internships, don’t panic and believe that you deserve to be there as much as they do.