What is a first year programme and what to expect if you do one

Barclays Capital's Head of Campus Recruitment gives you inside information on what firms are looking for, what to expect, and why you should consider applying
Investment banking

How much am I expected to know about banking if I'm a first year applying for the Spring Week?

The Spring Week is an incredible opportunity to gain an early insight into a career in the financial world. We expect students to demonstrate a general awareness and a genuine interest in the industry when applying for a position, and this will be tested at the selection stage.

What qualities are you looking for in applicants?

A real passion and hunger to learn about the investment banking industry is paramount for a successful spring internship, as the learning curve is steep. Problem solving and strong analytical skills are also a must - along with excellent communication skills. Being a strong team player who can work in diverse groups and respect others' opinions whilst having ideas of their own is another important attribute.

How can I best prepare myself for the Spring Week?

Read the Financial Times, or another good quality newspaper, so you are up to date with current economic events, and make sure you are aware of any recent news concerning our company. If you are made an offer to join our Spring Week, be sure to engage in our new joiners' site, where more information will be posted about the Spring Week - including timetables and what to wear!

What will I do during Spring Week?

The week is very intensive and consists of general activities to introduce you to the world of investment banking. Expect jargon-busting sessions, work shadowing, trading games, case studies and presentations from a variety of business areas. There will also be an opportunity to network with senior members of the bank.

How can I demonstrate my interest in banking while I'm on the programme?

I would advise you to maximise the variety of different activities and experiences you get involved in. This means not waiting to be allocated tasks, demonstrating a high level of motivation and networking with lots of people from the organisation. Lastly, ask intelligent questions - that way you make it clear that you're thinking about the work.

Are students being constantly assessed during Spring Week?

There isn't any formal assessment during Spring Week - the aim of the programme is just as much for the student to find out about us and decide whether they want to go into banking as it is for us to find out about them. However, our advice would be to treat it as an extended interview. Remember that you'll be working in a professional environment, so make sure you're always on time and dressed appropriately.

Have lots of your interns and graduates already done a spring week programme?

All of our Spring Week participants will be fast-tracked to an assessment centre for a summer internship the following year. We even run a session on how to survive this on the Spring Week! Many of our Spring Week participants have gone on to complete a summer internship, and then join our full time programme.

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