Name Martijn Poppelaars
Based in Amsterdam
Job title and business area Analyst IBD
Year joined Barclays 2012
Year attended the International Banking Cyclee        2011


For a student of Applied Physics at Delft University of Technology, Investment Banking might not be the most obvious career choice... It wasn’t until the end of my bachelor’s degree that my interest in Investment Banking was sparked, when I participated in the International Banking Cycle in 2011.

I can say that the International Banking Cycle was a very useful event for me to get to know more about banking. After the first week of workshops I received offers for internships from two investment banks, both in IBD. I had also been considering a role in Sales, but after doing an internship in IBD in Amsterdam in the summer of 2012, I discovered that IBD would be a good fit for me.

At the event in 2011, I had also participated in a Barclays workshop, which I enjoyed. Being really enthusiastic about the industry, the work I was doing during my internship and the fact that I remembered the Barclays IBD team as an energetic bunch, passionate about the job and besides that a group of really fun people, I decided to apply for a position within the Netherlands coverage team in Amsterdam. After a short internship, I received an offer to come back after my graduation.

I’ve been working full time in the team since May and have loved every day of it. The level of responsibility you get from day one is excellent. I worked on a live transaction from the first day on the job. On this project, I was part of a team that was responsible for advising our client on their choice of technical due diligence advisor and arranging communications and logistics between our client and their various advisors. After two months, I was going to my first client meeting with the CFO of the Northern European division of a large multinational, to discuss a potential M&A transaction. Sometimes you’ll definitely think “I really don’t know how best to approach this”, but you’ll learn very quickly with support from your colleagues and by asking questions at the right times.

In the Netherlands coverage team, we basically cover all sectors and all products, as long as there’s a Dutch connection somewhere. This means that no two days are the same: One day you could be researching a specific industry in the Netherlands for a Private Equity fund looking to gain a presence in this region, and the next day you could be trying to figure out whether a large Dutch corporate should raise equity or debt to finance an acquisition in Canada. It is this diversity that I really like about the job and why I enjoy every day of it.

I would advise you to really try to gauge the differences between the people in the teams at different banks. There are certainly a lot of similarities, but there are lots of subtle differences as well! The most important thing is that you find a team where you feel you really fit, since you'll be working with them a lot. Besides that, grab each opportunity to meet a lot of interesting individuals. When you join the team you like, be prepared to be taken on a very interesting journey, meeting even more interesting people, doing very diverse types of work, in a really interesting and developing industry!