A year into her role as an Analyst in our Commodities and Global Markets (CGM) business, mathematics graduate Poppy Kessler tells us about her dynamic and rewarding journey at Macquarie.
“I applied for internships in financial services because I thought the sector might be interesting but, at that time, I wasn't sure. When I started looking into the idea a bit more, it was the breadth of what Macquarie had to offer that really appealed to me. And so, my journey kickstarted and doors opened when I joined Macquarie’s internship programme.”
A few weeks after returning to university at the end of her internship, Poppy Kessler was offered a graduate role at Macquarie. After completing her Masters in Mathematics at the University of Oxford in 2020, she joined Macquarie’s Global Capital Markets business and is part of our Central Risk division.
The Central Risk team acts as a support function to the trading floor, and Poppy enjoys the opportunity for the constant variety that this offers. She explains, “I feel lucky to have landed a role that has this level of contrast. Our day-to-day work supporting the trading desks is quite fast paced. It's mostly about problem-solving, and each day can present a new challenge. For example, if a trader can't see their risk accurately, or doesn't have the right market data, our task is to understand and work around their needs, spec out solutions and give the trader options to decide what will work best, then set that up. There’s also longer-term work where we conduct deep dives into risk and valuation problems, and work on ongoing projects with other front-office and support teams.”
As part of her graduate experience, Poppy was able to attend a number of graduate networking events, which ensured she was well connected with colleagues from a range of divisions and varying levels of seniority. This has helped Poppy thrive in her new role. She adds, “it is such a big organisation and it’s great that I’ve been able to connect with all of the grads from the other divisions.”
This work is supported by the Employee Network Groups (ENG). Poppy tells us that, “in my first few months I joined the Women in Technology ENG. Although I don't directly work in the Technology Division, through my coding, some of the work I do is similar, and the group has been very welcoming. It’s a good way to meet other people who have had a similar journey through the workplace.”
Poppy feels that the supportive culture and the collaborative team approach are part of what makes Macquarie a unique place to work. “People are so happy to share their knowledge here—it is a very non-competitive, collaborative place to work.”
In support of Macquarie’s recruitment efforts, Poppy’s team volunteered to support Macquarie’s Junior Associate Programme. The programme brings a diverse range of young people, from social mobility backgrounds, who are in their first year of university into the business. Successful candidates spend one or two days a week working at Macquarie - a longer-term opportunity than more traditional internships. Poppy explains her involvement, “the managers in my team did the interviews, and then I met with the candidates for a more informal ‘coffee chat’, explaining how I got into finance, illustrating what it is like to work at Macquarie and answering their questions.”
Poppy is looking forward to sharing her experience of the last 12 months with the new cohorts and graduates starting this August. “It’s good to think about what was useful when I was starting out and try and pass that on, so it might also be useful to them.”
She offers some important advice to the new graduates arriving in August - “learn as much as possible from your team and take every opportunity that comes your way—work with different people and get a sense of what they do. It’s an opportunity to be able to learn from others, but also think about what you can do to give back.”
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