As our players take the opportunity to place more emphasis on their off-field development, we take a look back at our Career Insight Day with our partner Barclays.
In February, as part of the RPA Career Insights Programme, more than 20 past and present players were invited to Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf to gain a taster of what life could be like in the Financial sector.
The day was a chance to hear from Barclays employees working across a range of different business areas and highlight the transferable skills that professional sports people can bring to a business like Barclays.
We heard from players who are at different stages of their transition about what they thought and learned from the day.
What made you decide to participate in the event?
Alex Rieder - Former Wasps Player:
It’s an opportunity to learn about new roles. Barclays are a world-renowned company and sometimes I think you get the impression that it’s a tough place to crack and they only want the brightest minds or certain individuals, but actually it’s understanding that they want a diverse group of people. The skills you’ve learnt in rugby can provide an opportunity for you at a big company like this.
What transferable skills do Rugby Players encompass which could help them in the financial sector?
Suna Bull – Former Harlequins Players and Barclays Employee:
There are a huge amount of transferable skills. Where former athletes have an advantage is their ability to pick themselves off the ground, they are very resilient and that’s very important in a place like this. Having that confidence in yourself is massively important.
What a lot of the guys probably don’t appreciate is the breadth of opportunity that is out there for them. Within the bank you’ve got other sectors such as Digital, Marketing and HR. That helps the guys to understand that there is more to a bank than just banking.
What have you taken away from the insight day?
Stephen Myler – Current London Irish Player
Hearing from one of the speakers who discussed his experience of transition from the military to now working at Barclays has allayed some of those fears and worries a few of us have around how these transferrable skills, which we hear that we have as rugby players actually apply. I think his hands on experience and stories were quite comforting to some of us. Knowing that we are going to be out of our comfort zone but that’s ok.
It’s a really good chance for us to see a different side of the working world. We are in a bit of a sporting bubble so it’s nice to get out and see what’s available.
How useful has your RPA Development Manager been in highlighting these opportunities for you?
James Stokes – Current London Irish Player:
I sat down with Kim (London Irish RPA Development Manager) when I arrived at Irish and she was really helpful in analysing what I had done so far and what steps I needed to take in the future. She’s been fantastic in helping me plan for my transition after rugby.
Why should rugby players consider the Banking sector?
Andy White – Barclays
Some people will think ‘actually what do I bring to Banking?’ and unnecessarily de-select themselves. But what they need to understand is that they bring a tremendous skillset from playing rugby into the banking sector. They can think on their feet and they can work as a team. That’s the kind of calibre of individual the bank is looking for.
The main thing they should take away from today is – push themselves out of their comfort zone, network like crazy even if you’re just joining an academy, whether you’re still playing or already left the game, networking is key.
What the RPA is doing is amazing and is opening doors to the corporate environment and we are absolutely delighted to help them.
Why is it so important for players to utilize these opportunities?
Kim Johnson – RPA Senior Development manager and Career Insights lead:
The Career Insight days create a unique opportunity for players to gain experience and build knowledge in industries that interest them. We are fortunate to work with some fantastic partners, and it is invaluable to us, that companies such as Barclays, generously open their doors and share their extensive expertise and network with our players.
Through attending the Career Insight Day’s, players are moving one step closer to determining their post rugby career path, and we have been delighted with the engagement from both businesses and player’s in the insight days this season.’
From Careers in the Media, Sport, Military, Finance, Retail, Property and Aviation, our players have gained some outstanding insights already this season and a huge thank you goes out to all the businesses that have been involved.
We will continue to create these opportunities for players (whether online or in person) over the coming months, so if you would like an opportunity to be a part of the programme and support our players, please get in touch with Senior Development Manager, Kim Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the full video of the day here: