An Engaging Career in the Finance Industry (Technology)


I never expected I would start my career in the finance industry as I always wanted to become an Architect. While studying Architecture for my undergraduate degree, I realised it wasn’t what I enjoyed the most and I decided to expand both my academic and career options. Having picked up statistics and maths again at university, I discovered an interest in analytical and quantitative problem solving. However, after interning at a start-up, a consulting firm and a venture capital fund, I still couldn’t decide what I wanted to do in my career.

Almost as soon as I started my Master’s degree in Social Data Science, I took a different approach with my career search; I attended various events including the Macquarie Technology Insight Day. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with different people working at Macquarie and I knew that I’d enjoy working here.

I sent in my application and went through the recruitment process including completing a video interview and sitting the psychometric assessment. I was then invited to take part in the Macquarie Super Day, which consisted of four in-person interviews ranging from coding assessments to a CV walkthrough. I heard back from Macquarie soon afterwards and accepted a place on their Technology Graduate Programme.

Since August 2019, I’ve been working as an Analyst in the Data Services team within the Commodities and Global Markets (CGM) Technology division. Our team deals with any business requests related to data, such as scraping weather data for energy traders or ingesting millions of rows of daily trade data requested by the quant team. We get to use a range of cutting-edge technologies, which can be either in-house or open-source, and work with various teams across London, New York and Sydney.

My daily tasks are fairly consistent, which allows me to plan my life outside the office. One of the projects I have been involved in required regular contact with a team in Sydney, which meant the occasional early calls to meet the time difference. Otherwise, I come in around 9:00am. In the morning, I usually catch up on my emails with a bowl of cereal from the pantry or an omelette (our inhouse cafe is fantastic!) and try to plan my day before a team meeting. As our team works in an agile system, we have a quick stand-up meeting every morning to update on everyone’s progress and share any issues.

Whenever I reach out for help, there’s always someone in the team who is willing to look at my codes and give me some tips. It’s been a steep learning curve but equally a very enjoyable one, as I’m already exposed to so many exciting opportunities and responsibilities within the team.

I am also involved in the Graduate Volunteer Network, where a group of grads organise fundraising events for a chosen charity throughout the year.

There are always interesting events run by different staff communities such as the Valentine’s Day Raffle we organised and the Drag Queen Bingo Night hosted by the Macquarie Pride employee network group (LGBTI+ staff and allies). We will soon have a series of events run by Macquarie Balance (promoting gender equality) to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020. On top of this, there are company sports teams or music classes in the office which are available to employees.

Having gone through a whirlwind of education and internships, I’m glad to be where I am. I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply, even if you haven’t had any experience in financial services. You’ll learn a lot and be supported in a great environment.

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© Oxford Women in Business 2020

Created by Eva Smiley, Pembroke College

Currently managed by Leia Liew, Trinity College