Financial Services Careers: Meet Afam, an Apprentice with Barclays

Afam Sadiku, 24, decided to leave sixth form college at 17 in order to join Barclays UK as an apprentice.

Six years later, he’s now completing a higher apprenticeship, working towards a degree – BA (Hons) – in management and leadership and leads a team to build numbers of ‘Premier’ banking clients.


“I wouldn’t change the route I’ve taken over the last six years - everything has come for me at the right time.”

I wouldn’t change the route I’ve taken over the last six years - everything has come for me at the right time. When I was studying business, I started selling clothing and baseball caps, I was keen to put theory into practice. Barclays seemed the right opportunity at the right time - I wanted to broaden my horizons and experience real business.

You can imagine how it feels at 17 to get your first pay cheque, and six years on I’m on a fully funded degree. When you’re young, you hear that credit cards are bad – but at Barclays I learned what you can do if you manage them properly. School doesn’t teach you about the important things such as tax, mortgages or pensions. In the financial sector, you definitely learn skills that apply not just to customers but to your own life. An economics graduate here described studying theoretical scenarios. The beauty of my programme is that every course is based on real issues – my dissertation (due April 2019) will contain investigations which I’ll present back to the company.

I’ve learned to prioritise and focus on the future – I’m looking at where I might be in 20 years, how I might support a family.

I’ve been lucky to win a number of awards, including a global Barclays award for performance. That means a lot to me – what I like about working here is that everyone has a story about how they got where they are, and individuals are recognised. I do believe there are great opportunities for progression in financial services – there are even possibilities of doing a master’s level programme here.

Read this sponsored report ‘Careers in Financial Services.’ in partnership with NOCN

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Click the image to read online