Judith Payen | Barclaycard

judith payen

Born to Haitian parents and raised as a first-generation American in a largely Spanish-speaking city, it’s safe to say I’m no stranger to diversity. I often hear the maxim “people like people like themselves”, but I find I am most at ease amongst disparate characters, and often go out of my way to seek them out.

I moved from the USA to Scotland at the age of seventeen to pursue a business degree at the University of Edinburgh (only after convincing my mother with a cost-benefit analysis!). I’ve since gained experience in a variety of settings (including The Scottish Parliament) before ultimately moving into financial services at Barclays. I was selected to join their two-year Future Leaders Development Programme offering graduates accelerated development and insight into roles and operations across Barclays through four six-month rotations. I currently work for the Managing Director of Barclaycard Payment Solutions, a recognised payments industry leader and advocate for gender diversity, as her Operational Planning Manager.

Since joining Barclays, I’ve not only learned about how start-ups are eradicating long-established barriers to entry in financial services, but I’ve also seen the ways that these upstarts are creating solutions to address the needs of the under- and unbanked in other markets. I’m still blown away by the size of this demographic; the lack of slick, accessible products available to them; and their resultant financial instability. With this in mind, pursuing an MBA seemed like a natural next step for my career to best equip myself to address these issues, and I set my sights on Harvard Business School (HBS), inspired by the HBS commitment to educating leaders who create value for society. I am fortunate to have been extended an offer to join their Class of 2019, and will matriculate in August this year.

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