Students win valuable work experience at Barclays

DSC_1381STUDENTS won the opportunity of work experience with an international bank after impressing judges with their idea for a new app.

Barclays invited the team from Priestley College into its Knutsford HQ Radbroke Hall during the February half term to work 9-to-5 and experience meetings, conference calls and telepresence.

“Our work experience programme is about showing young people what life in a technology organisation is all about, what it’s like to work at Barclays and why we enjoy coming to work every day,” said Amy Mahan, who works in Operations and Technology at Barclays.

“Our aim is that this is not a work shadowing placement, but will rather emulate a real job experience.”

As well as the work experience, four of Priestley’s students took part in a skills day gaining experience in CV writing, interview practice and business skills.

They secured the opportunity after winning the Barclays Tech Innovation Challenge where they pitched their idea for an app to support charities alongside teams from other North West schools and colleges.

Their winning idea, called HelpOut, would help people find local charities in need of volunteers. It would also let subscribers know about special events supporting the organisations and provide maps of where to find them.

The team won High Street vouchers and the work experience while a second group of students – also studying Priestley College’s Extended Diploma ICT course – were rewarded for the quality of their pitch with vouchers.

During their pitches the students faced tough interrogation by the Barclays panel as well as questions from their rival teams.

“We had to put forward our business case including costings for the development of the app,” said Megan Penlington-Taylor, formerly of Hope Academy.

“It was a great experience because if we go after a career in business we will probably have to make more pitches like this and be under similar pressure.”

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