Nicole Verheek '16


barclaysMajor: International Business
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Describe your current job role:

I currently work at Barclays Bank with their Finance, Tax and Treasury Internal Audit team at their Times Square office in New York City. Essentially, we make sure Barclays is following the regulations from the Financial Regulators.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

After graduating from PBA in the May of 2016, I was accepted into the Mountbatten Exchange program, and three months later I moved to London for a year-long work placement at Barclays Bank in their Chief Controls Office while also working on my Masters of Arts in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Global Business. Working at Barclays in London provided me with great experience about the corporate world and provided me with a broad understanding of the financial sector that aids in my work today.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

It is not about finding the ‘perfect’ job, it’s about being open="open" to where the Lord is leading and watching Him open="open" the doors and walking through them; giving it your best no matter what the job is because it’s not about us, it’s about Him and He can use you anywhere.

"It is not about finding the 'perfect' job, it's about being open="open" to where the Lord is leading..."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

Through my business classes I learned about all the opportunities the business world had to offer and all the different routes available to take. Through the honors course I learned how to think critically and not simply take things as they are but try to understand how they got to be what they are today and even challenge that if necessary. Through my Christian community I formed a strong faith foundation to stand on as I go out into the world and try to show Jesus to those around me.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

That we all have to start somewhere and not to feel intimidated or inferior because of age or work experience. There will always be a learning curve for any job, and there is always a grace period to learn it. It is also okay not to have all the boxes ticked for a job’s qualifications – apply anyway. Ask any question you have – never ever sit on a question, just ask it. Work hard, go above and beyond, and become indispensable.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

When I first arrived in London, I was completely new to the corporate world and thought, I should have a mentor. So I went to a networking event at Barclays and heard an impressive lady speaking about her love for mentorship. So I emailed her and asked if she would mentor me. A day or two later her assistant emailed me back saying she was busy, but here is another person I could meet with. I thought it was interesting that she had an assistant email me back so I did some research. I discovered that I had emailed the Head of Internal Audit of all of Barclays Bank. I told my boss and he did one of those “You did what!?” I shrugged and said sorry, I didn’t know who she was. Anyways, the name her assistant gave me ended up being the UK Regional Head of Barclays Internal Audit, so I reached out to him and we set up a meeting. He was my mentor while I was over in London. Meeting with him was insightful and the reason I have my job today!

Spotlight posted in November 2017. For current updates from Nicole, visit her LinkedIn page.