Business school graduates are no strangers to the banking world, but in the past it was investment banking that was the mainstay of MBA recruiting.
However, for the first time, this year the global retail and commercial banking arm of Barclays Bank in London has thrown its hat into the ring.
In September, a pioneering cohort of 26 new MBA recruits joined Barclays GRCB on a three-year programme that will see the newcomers work in three global locations, potentially for three different divisions of the business and even in three different roles – strategy, marketing and finance, for example.
As well as an MBA from a leading business school, Barclays makes it clear that it only wants candidates who can speak at least two languages.
Barclays says it is aiming to generate 50 per cent of its retail and commercial banking profits from outside the UK by next year. So the aim of the Global Leaders Programme, says Lucy Tarrant, MBA manager at Barclays GRCB, is to recruit a different type of person into the financial company.
“Barclays has an ambitious growth profile,” Ms Tarrant says. “This is a programme we desperately need.”
The bank is hoping to run a summer internship for around 20 first-year MBA students next year and recruit 30 full-time employees during September 2008. Eventually it could recruit as many as 50 MBA graduates each year.
Ms Tarrant says that although the retail and commercial banking arms of Barclays have a well-established graduate-trainee programme in place, MBA students will give a “quicker return on investment”.
At the end of their three-year global rotation, the MBA graduates are all expected to take up positions as senior global managers, she says.