Natalie Ojevah

I came from a very adverse upbringing.

I attended a school called Blackheath Bluecoats School, in south east London, the former school of Stephen Lawerence which at the time was heavily involved in gang violence and has since closed down.

Previous to this, I had being made her mum’s primary carer at the age of 12 who had battled with mental health, I was not a stranger to working hard and dealing with high pressured situations.

Unfortunately, my family under went a bereavement of their youngest son, my little brother Christopher, who was aged 5 (10 years my junior) had passed away from meningitis and it completely turned my life upside down, all whist I was in the middle of my first set of GCSE’S and in turn achieved 5 A-C’s.

However, I did struggle in 6th form; I lost my drive and without a support system at school, I was conscious that It may have to possibly re-sit my first year of sixth form again. Then, I had the opportunity to apply to become Barclays first 2000 apprentices in the bank in 2012.

I’ve excelled since starting my career with Barclays at 17; I’d passed my foundation apprenticeship within 12 months and then progressed onto the degree based apprenticeship with Anglia Ruskin – the first Barclays apprentice to do so. In the 7 years at Barclays, I’ve worked in 7 different roles throughout the bank and I’m now at an Assistant Vice President position as an LawTech Ecosystem Manager by the age of 25.

As a graduate foundation and higher apprentice with a passion for supporting the BAME community through outreach work, I’d joined the Barclays Black Professional Leadership team in 2020 and I’m also leading the BAME activity for Barclays Ventures.

Since starting my career at Barclays, I’ve obtained and developed a wide range of skills:

– Public speaking
– Organising events
– Interpersonal skills
– Leading high performing teams
– Conducting and delivering training courses
– Regional business planning
– Business development
– Relationship management
– Ecosystem management
– Developing community projects

I was a winner of the internally Platinum award for Retail Banking in 2016 (Top 10% of colleague performance) at Barclays for my continued work and support for the apprentices within the South East London community, alongside this I also won the Best Higher Apprentice for London in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2016. As of the beginning of April 2017, I’d completed my degree-based Apprenticeship with Barclays and had secured a permanent role as a Small Business Manager (Small business under 400k t/o) in Kent.

In February 2018, I won the Platinum award again for Business Banking 2017, (2nd year awarded) at Barclays. In March 2018, I achieved an internal promotion to become a Business Relationship Manager where I managed and supported the growth of a portfolio of Business clients who t/o 400k to 1.5mil in Croydon.

I’ve since moved departments and received another promotion as an Assistant Vice President in Barclays Ventures Eagle Labs in June 2019. I’m now a LawTech Ecosystem Manager, where I support entrepreneurs who have developed platforms to disrupt the legal industry through access to content, partners, events and the wider Ecosystem.

I’m also leading the BAME community of young people, entrepreneurs and colleagues in Barclays Ventures, to create a more diverse and inclusive culture for all.