Julia Bakhrakh: Rising to the challenge in a supportive culture

Julia Bakhrakh joined the graduate programme in January 2018, working as an Investment Banking Analyst in Macquarie Capital. From the start she's worked on high profile deals and says there is a culture of support, with more experienced staff willing to help grow internal talent.

 

Julia Bakhrakh works as an Investment Banking Analyst with Macquarie Capital's Advisory & Capital Solutions team. She completed a Bachelor of Science and Economics and joined the graduate programme in January 2018 after completing a summer internship with Macquarie in 2017.

Having already undertaken four internships with other banks, Julia is clear that what attracted her to the banking industry is the variety she's looking for in her career.

“I'm generally quite a curious person and I can't imagine myself doing the same thing every day," Julia says. “In banking you are always learning about different sectors and different products. Even within one sector you can progress and expand your knowledge."

“The work is challenging, and the learning curve is steep. But it is interesting," Julia says. “It also helps that at Macquarie you are surrounded by smart, ambitious people who are happy to support you - it's a very stimulating environment." 

Opportunities offered by a different culture

Julia first received a glimpse into life at Macquarie through an Insight Day she attended before applying for her eight-week internship.

“The work environment varies at different companies. Since working here as a graduate, I can say Macquarie has quite a flat hierarchy and is very entrepreneurial and inclusive," Julia says. “The culture feels different here."

Julia says another highlight has been Macquarie Capital's global conference and she was surprised by the opportunities available to graduates, right from day one.

“As grads, we're given a lot of opportunities to demonstrate our abilities. There are few guidelines in this job - no set of instructions for all situations you can end up in - so you need to be able to think on the spot," explains Julia.

“We are encouraged to ask questions, see the bigger picture, and be proactive," she says. “If you have a different perspective you're encouraged to say so."

Julia says that because each team is quite different, most of the training is done on the job. Her fellow grads come from many different backgrounds, and she says there is a culture of support, with more experienced staff willing to help grow internal talent.

“People are eager to give you a challenge and see how you manage to work it out. It teaches you how to deal with new situations and you become more adaptable."
 

Hands on experience with deals

Julia has had the opportunity to work on several significant deals. This included the sale of a large independent chartered insurance broker.

“I was an Analyst on the deal, working with an Associate, Vice President and Managing Director on the day-to-day management on everything from preparing and distributing the Information Memorandum, to meeting with potential buyers and managing the data. We were also working with our US team, which enabled us to stand out from other banks and differentiate ourselves."

“What was great is that I had the opportunity to step up and take responsibility," she says. “At this level, at this stage of my career, you wouldn't normally be involved in as many decisions and feel like you were part of the process. I think this autonomy drives people."

Julia describes her grad year as one of self-discovery and says she would like to give back to the supportive culture of her team.

“I hope that my learning curve will always be as steep and challenging as it is right now. I want to be able to learn things, to be able to support my team and one day to give it back to someone more junior."

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