We recently caught up with Jacob about how they secured a graduate role with Macquarie, the application process and their top tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in their footsteps.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background
I am currently a Masters student studying Economics at Amsterdam University, having previously done my undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Warwick. I am due to start a graduate role in Credit Risk at Macquarie Group this summer.
2. How has Bright Network helped you in your career so far?
Bright Network has been really helpful to find organisations and roles across the finance sector that I would definitely have missed otherwise. The career advice section is also great at providing the specific information that graduate applicants should know.
3. What inspired you to apply for this role/this company?
The programme at Macquarie suited exactly what I was looking for. I am able to join and start working with a specific department immediately, which sounded much more exciting than a long graduate training scheme. Macquarie also has an extremely positive reputation as both a company to work for and in terms of social impact, which is important to me.
4. If you’ve started your role - What has been the single most important thing you learnt in the first week of your role? If not, what do you look forward to the most?
I am definitely most looking forward to meeting everyone with who I’ll be working. I think that one of the advantages of finding an organisation with a great culture is that you know your colleagues will be easy to get on with, whilst still being very driven.
5. What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?
Credit Risk gives me a chance to directly work with areas that I learned about through my degree, which can be a surprisingly difficult thing to find in a graduate role. I’ve also always preferred working with numbers so it’s great to be able to apply that while working in an important area of the economy.
6. What was the application process like? What was the hardest part? What did you enjoy the most?
The application process was extremely smooth and engaging. There were regular updates so I felt that my application was being genuinely considered at each stage as opposed to being automated, and the recruitment team stood out as especially friendly and approachable.
The hardest part was the video interview as it can be difficult to get your personality across. However, the questions were very fair and there was enough opportunity to demonstrate my enthusiasm.
The first in-person interview was the most enjoyable part. My interviewers were incredibly personable and it was a great opportunity to meet the team and talk about interesting topics in finance.
7. What is the company culture like?
From what I’ve experienced so far, Macquarie benefits a lot from its size - it’s small enough to be streamlined and much friendlier than I expected, but definitely large enough to meet lots of new people and access opportunities.
8. Do you feel university prepared you for what is expected of you in your role?
University contributed a lot, mostly through helping to drive my work ethic and by opening up opportunities. I viewed academics as the baseline of what I should be doing while at university because otherwise, it can be easy to neglect other interests or experiences such as summer work and volunteering, which I feel prepared me for working with others much better than group projects in my degree.
9. Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at Macquarie?
I think it is most important to be genuinely enthusiastic about your application because that’s the best way to keep motivated and to do well in the process. For example, you should read the Financial Times because you actually find it interesting and not solely for interview preparation. Also, don’t feel intimidated by your perception of other applicants. I didn’t do an internship at a large or well-known firm, but I could still demonstrate what I’d learned and why the experience that I did have would be beneficial.