We recently spoke with Lolade, a second-year Law student at the London School of Economics. Lolade tells us about securing a spot on Macquarie Group’s BAME Coaching Programme, how the programme prepared her for her intern role and her tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in their footsteps. The programme aims to give candidates the best chance to secure an internship at Macquarie, but also the added confidence to succeed in any recruitment process. As part of the coaching, candidates are given tips and advice on how to succeed in the application process as well as access to a personal mentor from Macquarie.
What inspired you to apply for this opportunity?
Applying to Macquarie was mainly inspired by my interest in Green Finance. Studying Environmental Law made me very interested in the way institutions have been and will become involved in sustainable development and innovation. Macquarie, particularly through the Green Investment Group, are very much at the forefront of using private capital for green and sustainable innovation, and I really wanted to be a part of that from the outset of my professional career.
How has Bright Network helped you in your career so far?
Bright Network has connected me with a lot of opportunities, many of which I was previously unaware of. I’ve been able to attend a lot of events that gave me a really great perspective on career opportunities beyond Law. Bright Network also gave me the chance to connect with professionals that have helped me in a range of ways. It’s been a really invaluable place to understand what I want out of professional life.
What has been the single most important thing you’ve learnt on the programme?
My mentor really emphasised how important it is to have a willingness to learn everything about the process of investing in renewable energy: from relevant policy to financials, and even the construction and engineering considerations. As a law student, I’m mostly taught to explore the caveats of very specific problems, so opening my view to non-legal aspects of investing, I believe, has been an important part of becoming more knowledgeable and open-minded, both in terms of renewable energy investment and more generally.
What sessions did you take part in on this programme?
I participated in the careers panel offered on the programme, where I was given the opportunity to meet a selection of Macquarie’s professionals virtually. This unique opportunity gave me the chance to ask how the panel members navigated their careers, how they grew into Macquarie’s culture, as well as asking Macquarie’s recruitment team what to expect from the process.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re going to be working in?
I think it’s really exciting how much work there is to be done. Adapting the economy to be more climate-friendly is becoming an increasingly publicised issue and adapting energy systems will inevitably be a big part of that ambition. Working in a financial services organisation that is very active in that arena of investment, I believe, will therefore be very dynamic and busy, and come across a range of new innovations throughout the coming decade.
What was the application process like? What was the hardest part? What did you enjoy the most?
The application process is very comprehensive, with a lot of different steps to the process. The hardest part for me was the first video interview, as it was not something I was used to. I enjoyed the Superday the most, as it was the best opportunity to really decide whether Macquarie was right for me.
Have you had the opportunity to get involved in any virtual activities outside of study?
Yes, Macquarie have offered a lot of interesting ways to engage with them before the summer, such as with the Macquarie Podcast Series, a buddy system, and engaging with other interns. There are a range of things to get involved in both inside and outside Macquarie and as I now have more free time due to studying from home, I’ve been able to explore interests outside my degree.
How do you feel the programme prepared you for your intern role?
The programme gave me an insight into the type of support Macquarie offers, which was very encouraging throughout the application process. I feel I was most prepared through the Mentorship scheme, as a Macquarie professional gave me a lot of invaluable knowledge about the nature of specific work. I am very grateful for all the guidance I received from my mentor, as well as the Graduate Recruitment Team, who are extremely friendly and supportive.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar opportunity at Macquarie?
I believe applicants would benefit from practising their communication skills as much as they can. Infrastructure financing is often very complex, and it is important you can convey that you can digest this information into its key components. A good way I liked to practice is by reading about innovations on the World Economic Forum’s website, or Macquarie’s Green Investment Group reports. Having a clear understanding of what was financed, how, and who was involved, I believe, will help applicants go into the interview with confidence.