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Winifred Bullock, 18, is a Cryptography Analyst at Barclays, working at Radbroke Hall in Cheshire. She lives in Congleton, Cheshire with her parents, sister and a farmyard full of animals. She talks to us about joining Barclays as an apprentice, the joy of teamwork – and buying a flock of sheep with her first pay packet.

My alarm goes off… at 7am every morning. I wake my little sister up and help get her ready for school. I’ll make us both a packed lunch, check my dad has fed the dog, drop my sister off and head to work. I live nearby so it doesn’t take long to drive in.

My working day starts with a team meeting to plan for the day ahead. I’ll then communicate with different areas of the business to ensure everything is running smoothly. I’ll usually have lunch around 12pm, eating at one of the communal areas on campus. In the afternoon we’ll have more meetings, to progress the deployment of cryptography for different services.

My job involves…meeting with project teams, understanding their requirements and timelines and liaising with our suppliers, all in order to deploy cryptography – using security algorithms and cryptographic keys that ensure that private data is kept secure. I form part of the team that manages the deployment of cryptography for services in the business. The bank’s services require a high level of security, so it is important to respond to any issues immediately. Once we identify a problem I’ll liaise with the cryptography experts and work with the team to address it.

The thing I love most about my job… is my team. We are a close-knit bunch and make each other laugh a lot. The laughter brings us all together and helps relieve the stress from the different projects. We’re also lucky to have such a beautiful campus here at Radbroke; it’s nice and open with lots of places to go for a walk.

The most difficult part of my job… is managing everyone’s expectations. We have a lot of different projects, which are all high priority and all have very similar timelines. I think communication is important. If we all work together and share our difficulties, we can devise an effective schedule.

I started working for Barclays… when I was 16, four weeks after completing my GCSEs. I came to an open evening here at Radbroke and met with a bunch of different companies, such as Aldi and Bentley, who were advertising apprenticeships.

Barclays seemed like the most interesting scheme, and was definitely the one that appealed most to me. I was encouraged by the fact they offered apprentices an opportunity to obtain a degree, something I am currently working towards. As I started my studies early, I’m on track to get my qualification a year before my friends from school.

After applying I was invited for an assessment day, where we completed a number of tasks, so Barclays could gauge our strengths and weaknesses. The following week I was accepted onto the scheme. 

I’m a member of Young Farmers, which has given me a lot of transferable skills. I’m part of their debating team, so often make speeches to a large number of people. I feel like these skills enhance my work at Barclays.

My most interesting day… was when I met Barclays CEO Jes Staley. Myself and a colleague travelled down to London and had lunch with Jes and around 50 other apprentices. Jes shared his experiences with us and told us how important he thought the apprenticeship scheme was.

After work I’m usually quite busy. I am currently learning the piano, so I practice that every night. My family lives on a farm so I’m always helping out with the animals. We’ve got lots of sheep, calves, chickens and even a mischievous goat! I enjoy working on the farm as it’s quite peaceful. It’s a nice break, a great place to gather your thoughts.

I’m a member of Young Farmers, which has given me a lot of transferable skills. I’m part of their debating team, so often make speeches to a large number of people. I feel like these skills enhance my work at Barclays.

My Working Day: Andy PiperMy Working Day: Andy Piper My Working Day: Matt ValentineMy Working Day: Matt Valentine My Working Day: Alice JonesMy Working Day: Alice Jones Find out more about a career with Barclays Find out more about a career with Barclays
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