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Patrick Cosgrave: Embracing the opportunities in Banking and Financial Services

As an Intern and Graduate, Patrick Cosgrave has worked in Macquarie’s Melbourne and Sydney offices in Banking and Financial Services. He says being open-minded to opportunities - especially the unplanned ones - is the key to making the most of working at Macquarie.

 

While studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Accounting in Melbourne, Patrick Cosgrave saw a flyer for a career info session at Macquarie. He decided to attend, and says he was quickly hooked by the idea of a career in banking.

“I was impressed by the calibre of speakers from all areas of the business on the panel, how they spoke about their roles and presented themselves,” says Patrick. “I could really feel their enthusiasm for their careers.”

Originally from Ballarat, Patrick successfully applied for the 2017 Summer Internship Program and spent 12 weeks getting a taste of life in Sydney, where he worked in Personal Banking. In 2019, Patrick then made the permanent move to Sydney as he joined Macquarie's Graduate Program.

 

From Intern to Senior Associate in three years

“I was thrown in the deep end, moving to Sydney to start my career,” Patrick says. “But it gave me independence and maturity and the chance to focus on my career goals.”

Joining Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services group as a Business Analyst in the Personal Banking COO team, he got to see from the top down how the Macquarie Personal Banking division was run, with a focus on Commercial Governance aligned to division finance and strategy.

“I was part of a small team supporting the Chief Operating Officer of Macquarie Personal Banking and I really enjoyed it,” says Patrick. “The work was diverse. As graduates we worked on a variety of projects related to governance, budgets, forecasts and more.”

With demand rising in other areas of the group, Patrick was offered a secondment as a Credit Analyst in mortgages, where he spent six months.

“I’d never expected to work in credit but I was glad I completed the secondment, as it made me realise that I really enjoyed something I had never considered in the past.” Patrick says.  

He then moved to Macquarie Business Banking, where he’s now a Senior Associate. This coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, and he opted to transfer back to Melbourne where Macquarie’s Business Banking has a big presence.

"I work in debt lending, undertaking credit assessments for small to medium sized businesses as well as commercial property clients," Patrick says. “It's been such a big learning curve, but it feels great.”

 

Different teams, different styles

Patrick says the various roles he’s experienced to date have shown him several different ways of working. With the Personal Banking COO team, he was involved in a large-scale budget and forecast project that involved a lot of meetings, planning and strategy. Meanwhile, his role in the home loans credit team was much more transaction focused. 

By contrast, his current role in Business Banking’s Credit Risk Analysis team mainly involves credit writing, which is highly analytical.

“I’ll set aside a few hours each morning for work in progress. I also spend time liaising with sales and Risk Management Group credit teams, so the phone is always ringing. I enjoy that interaction.”

 

It’s all about exposure and the people

Patrick finds he draws on his accounting studies more than he’d imagined and his finance knowledge helps him quickly master new concepts. But while his education has given him a strong grounding, he’s still had to learn most of what he needs to know at Macquarie. Graduate training sessions have helped him build his skills further and like everyone on the Macquarie Graduate program, he has the support of a buddy in his team.

Now that he has experienced so much of Macquarie, Patrick says the initial impressions he formed of Macquarie employees back at the university panel session turned out to be true. He describes working with his colleagues as one of the real highlights of his time so far.

“I love the culture here. It’s a fun environment and the teams and managers are supportive,” Patrick says.

“Macquarie is a very large organisation, so it’s been amazing to see how friendly and tightly linked the group of grads are,” he says. “We catch up regularly, both socially and professionally. It’s been very beneficial because we all have different roles and can help each other out.”

Patrick says he’s also gained a lot from being part of the Graduate Volunteer Network, helping to raise money for charity through the City to Surf race and bonding with other grads and colleagues from different divisions.

 

Embrace the unexpected

According to Patrick he’s been constantly reassessing what his grad year and future career may entail, based on the new discoveries he’s made along the way.

“My preconceptions have been completely changed by the rotations to different teams I’ve completed in my grad year,” says Patrick. “I may not have chosen all of them, but each has been beneficial and brought unexpected opportunities.”

Based on this experience, Patrick’s advice to other interns and grads is to keep an open mind, say ‘yes’ and accept the opportunities that come along, even the ones that aren’t planned.

“Credit seemed boring to me before I tried it, but it turned out I absolutely love it! Without the grad program I may not have picked it,” says Patrick. “Macquarie offers so many paths you can try and it’s great to have the opportunity to push yourself outside your comfort zone and experience things firsthand.”

 

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