Olivia Dean is enjoying the autonomy and varied work provided on our Graduate Programme. She reflects on her experience as an Analyst rotating across our Business Services division, and the sense of fulfilment she has gained from opportunities to give back at Macquarie.
Olivia Dean says taking on a fast-paced career in financial services always felt like a natural path, given her background and interests. Her love of mathematics had led her to complete a degree in economics and finance, graduating from the University of Southampton in 2021. While completing her studies, Olivia undertook an industrial placement at a global software solution provider, confirming her passion to become an Analyst.
“Having spent my entire life in the UK, Macquarie came to the fore throughout the application process and clearly stood out as an organisation with Australian heritage,” Olivia says.
“The recruitment process was streamlined, relaxed and friendly, with great communication throughout. This made me really want to work here,” Olivia says. “It was also evident that values like respect were shown on both sides of the employer/employee relationship during the interview process”.
Once she began her role as an Analyst in the Business Services division, Olivia found that everyone within the firm embraced and exhibited the culture – well beyond its public face.
“There really is an emphasis on creating a work/life balance and wellbeing here,” Olivia says. “This is genuinely reflected in the care my managers show through wanting to know about me, asking how I’m coping and checking on my workload in regular catch-ups.”
“You can reach out to anyone if you have a question and there are always social events on,” Olivia says. “Macquarie also goes the extra mile with diversity, equity and inclusion, and these values are reflected in people’s work - it’s an important part of working here.”
Olivia was accepted into a graduate programme within the Corporate Operations Group. The programme provides her with a number of different rotations into various areas of the group’s Business Services division. The team is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and ongoing management of Macquarie's workplaces, business resilience and sourcing market data.
“I knew I didn’t want to be in a ‘front office’ role, but I didn’t have clarity over what I wanted to do,” she explains. “Because of this, the unique opportunity to rotate through different teams really appealed to me.”
Olivia says that her first two rotations in the Corporate Real Estate team provided good foundational knowledge of Macquarie’s processes and company structure.
She spent time in the Projects and Transactions team, which manages Macquarie’s offices, lease renewals, property searches and internal projects. She was also placed in the Facilities Management team, which focuses on creating a workplace experience that reinforces the Macquarie culture and connects people.
“A highlight of this rotation was having the opportunity to manage a small internal project in our London office,” Olivia says. “I really enjoyed being able to meet changing business requirements and manage both internal and external stakeholders.”
She is currently working in Market Data - a global team comprising of people based in the UK, United States, ANZ and Asia. “The work I’m currently doing in Market Data is completely different,” Olivia says. “I feel like I've started a brand new job.”
“Market Data is part of Group Procurement which means I’m working with Macquarie’s data suppliers, managing relationships and negotiating contacts with industry-leading market and information service providers,” she explains.
An average day sees Olivia speaking with vendors, negotiating costs on renewals, and executing contracts. She also carries out varied tasks, such as helping put together reporting for senior leaders.
“I’m learning every day. I’m being exposed to strategic deals, and there is a risk management side to it too,” she says.
Olivia will undertake additional rotations within the Group Procurement team- working with and managing Macquarie’s suppliers, before moving on to the Business Resilience team - managing organisational resilience and partnering with the business and suppliers to sustain operations during times of disruption.
Olivia stepped up to Co-Chair the Graduate Volunteer Network (GVN), which is run by Graduates and works closely with the Macquarie Group Foundation.
“I love my day job but, being involved in extra activities through the GVN gives me a different sense of fulfillment, motivation and engagement,” she says.
“We've partnered with the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, which has been amazing,” Olivia explains. “As well as volunteering for them and running English conversation classes online, we also organise fundraising events to support their services and raise awareness, such as holding ‘lunch and learn’ sessions at Macquarie.”
Olivia says that becoming involved in the volunteer network and some of the many Employee Network Groups at Macquarie is another way to meet like-minded people, and to learn about the broader company.
She joined Balance, one of Macquarie’s Employee Network Groups, which aims to increase awareness and conversations around our commitment to gender equity.
“Being a young female in the financial services industry, it was something I was passionate about, so I reached out and joined the committee,” Olivia says. “I haven’t faced any challenges personally, which reflects Macquarie’s positive and inclusive culture, but there’s always more to do in terms of helping women progress throughout their careers.”
Olivia acknowledges the challenge of gaining the skills to do her job while adjusting to full-time work. However, she believes that being able to try different types of work, meet a variety of people and experience multiple teams is one of the Graduate Programme’s real benefits.
“The various teams I get to work in, means that the roles are so different and diverse,” Olivia explains. “I’ve enjoyed everything so far.”
“Macquarie is good at employing curious people from a variety of backgrounds. I had no background in business services before I joined but it hasn’t been a disadvantage,” she says. “You just need the mindset of wanting to learn and be willing to put your hand up.”
“My team has been super supportive, and there’s an emphasis on promoting informal and formal training,” Olivia concludes. “I was given the opportunity to attend an industry accredited introductory procurement course ahead of my next rotation to give me a head start.”
“The great thing about Macquarie’s Graduate Programme are the opportunities to learn, gain industry experience and be supported in your career development.”
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