Interview: Jay Sondhi, Rising Star of the Year finalist, Barclays

Tom Allen
clock • 2 min read

In his first year at the bank, Sondhi has already become one of the youngest-ever people to manage the delivery of an operating system at Barclays, and has built an onboarding portal for other new starters

IT is an ageless profession. In most industries, mature team members who know how everything works garner the most respect; in IT, fresh starters with innovative ideas and new skills are just as important.

Barclays crosses both sides of the divide: a centuries-old institution in the financial services industry, which is investing heavily into new technology. CEO Jes Staley refers to the firm as "a tech company with a balance sheet."

"I could not agree more," says Jay Sondhi, Graduate Technology Analyst at the bank. "[T]there is a wide variety of technology teams and roles; from security and engineering to data science, Barclays has it all…

"The customer base and innovation makes Barclays an exciting and demanding place to work, but ultimately, it is a rewarding place to be, since we can improve the experiences of millions of customers."

Shortlisted in three different categories at Computing's Rising Stars Awards, Sondhi says one of the best things about his work is the level of trust shown in him. At 22, he is one of the youngest individuals at Barclays to manage the delivery of an operating system. At the same time, he had to manage the demand management process for Engineering while dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

"I ensured that a substantial quantity of business-critical activities were triaged, impact-assessed and assigned to the correct stakeholders; and as a result, I received a commendation from key stakeholders.

"Achieving all this while only 11 months into my first graduate job is certainly my proudest achievement."

In the midst of all this work, Sondhi has found time to help other new starters, designing a portal to provide them with important onboarding information.

"Within my first few months at Barclays, I spotted an opportunity to strengthen the onboarding process. I saw this as an opportunity to support new joiners, both within our team and for wider teams to have access to the New Joiner portal that I had created and tailored for employees. Whilst piloting, the site has already been used by 50+ employees."

Computing's Rising Stars Awards are designed to recognise the achievements of new starters in the IT industry, no matter their age. Sondhi believes these events "provide a target that can motivate and inspire teams across the IT industry to go above and beyond."

"Ultimately, awards like these provide recognition to employers and employees for the exceptional work completed, setting a benchmark for other companies and employees in the industry."

The Rising Stars Awards take place in a virtual ceremony on the 19th November.

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