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Macquarie Sports Scholarships help athletes gain work experience in the corporate arena

Elite sport is great preparation for corporate life, but many young athletes are busy with training and study so don’t have the time to do the usual work experience. Macquarie Sports Scholarships provide recipients with paid work experience within Macquarie, as well as networks and resources to help student-athletes transition smoothly into the workplace.

As of 2024, over 80 athletes have been awarded scholarships and several have gone on to join Macquarie full-time.

Making waves in customer solutions

Codie Klein, a surfer since the age of 12, always knew she wanted a career that would take her out of a wetsuit and into a corporate role. She joined Macquarie’s Corporate and Asset Finance division in 2018, after graduating from university the previous year and completing the Macquarie Sports Scholarship program. In February, she will join the 2019 Graduate Program.

Codie was ranked 35th in the world in the Women’s Qualifying Series in 2015 while she was finishing an Accounting and Finance degree at Bond University.

“I was so busy travelling for tournaments that I couldn’t fit an internship into my schedule,” she says.

I had to split the Macquarie Sports internship into two. I wouldn’t have had that flexibility with other internships.”

Codie, the first surfer to come through the Macquarie Sports Scholarship program, still surfs every day and competes occasionally.

“It’s exciting to see that Macquarie Sports has started partnering with Surfing Australia and a number of charities, offering clinics to children,” she says.

She loves sharing her passion for the sport and seeing children in the surf clinics relish the sense of freedom.

From the rugby field to tackling real estate investments

Benn Melrose was torn between rugby and a career in finance when he played for Australia in the 2012 Junior World Championships.

After completing his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney, Benn committed to a corporate career, doing the Summer Internship Program at Macquarie Capital, then returning for the 2016 Graduate Program.

“The Sports Scholarship was a fantastic opportunity to introduce me to Macquarie and I immediately identified with the culture of the organisation,” he says.

“My studies and interests lent themselves to the work we do within Macquarie Capital and I was very excited to join the Real Estate Investments team, where I currently work as an analyst.”

As part of the scholarship program, Benn travelled twice to Tiwi College on Melville Island, north of Darwin, where Macquarie Sports hosts sporting clinics to help inspire local youth.

“It was a special experience,” Benn says. “The Macquarie Group Foundation has made an incredible impact on a very remote indigenous community, and to be able to play a small role in that was very humbling.”

Benn has been involved in several camps and clinics across a number of sports - not just rugby but also football and netball. “It’s rewarding to be able to provide sporting opportunities to kids who otherwise might not get the chance,” he says.

On par for a career in asset finance

Jessica Widarma began playing golf at the age of 14. She went on to join the Elite Athlete Program at the University of New South Wales, where she completed her Bachelor of Economics and the Macquarie Sports Scholarship internship in 2017. She joined Macquarie’s Graduate Program in the Corporate and Asset Finance division in 2018.

“I always saw myself in a corporate career, even from a young age while I was playing golf competitively,” Jessica says.

As she travelled the world competing in tournaments, Jessica had no time to do a traditional internship. She thought the Macquarie Sports Scholarship might be a stepping stone to a corporate career and applied after hearing “really positive things about the organisation”.

Jessica plays every Sunday and recently competed in the 2018 World University Golf Championships held in the Philippines.

“Sport brings people together, no matter what their background. The Macquarie Sports Scholarship has provided me with a fantastic opportunity.”

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