Arzoo Zmary is passionate about diversity. She joined Macquarie’s Asset Management in London in 2021 and reflects on the opportunities she’s had as a recent graduate to create impact and open up access for the next generation of talent.
A graduate in Chemical Engineering from the University College London, Arzoo Zmary joined Macquarie Asset Management as an Analyst in August 2021.
“In school, I was really interested in science and mathematics; Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) was my thing. I chose to study Chemical Engineering at university, and through my studies and various internships, I realised that, as much as I enjoyed studying physics and mathematics, I was interested in pursuing a role and career that enabled me to learn about a range of different businesses in various industries and understand the influence of macroeconomic events on these sectors. An investment role at an infrastructure investor catered to this nicely as my engineering background remains of relevance, and can be leveraged when looking at investment opportunities.”
Arzoo was accepted onto Macquarie Asset Management’s Summer Internship Programme, "which was great because Macquarie the number one infrastructure investment manager in the world and leading some of the largest transactions happening in the sector.
I also wanted to join an asset manager because there is the opportunity to have an impact on society. Infrastructure provides essential services to communities and is key to solving some of the world’s major challenges, such as biodiversity, pollution and climate change. I feel that Macquarie is helping to drive our transition from a fossil fuel-dependent world to something better, and that's what especially attracted me to Macquarie.”
Taking up the offer of a graduate role was an easy decision and twelve months on, Arzoo reflects on her career journey so far.
Arzoo became part of the Real Assets Team, joining with a specific focus on utility network infrastructure. When she joined, Macquarie Asset Management had just acquired Southern Water on behalf of investors – a company that provides essential services to 2.6 million water and 4.7 million in the UK. Her first role was within the Asset Management team, supported the delivery of Macquarie’s ambitious transformation plans for Southern Water. “As an Analyst in the team, my main task was to become familiar with the business—how it runs, how it creates value for stakeholders, how the organisation is structured as well as our rationale for investing in the business.
I have been able to learn aspects of the technical and commercial landscape on the job. There is a lot of information to get familiar with but there is a lot of support along the way.”
Arzoo continues to work closely with experienced colleagues, she values the opportunities this brings. “Typically, there are people on your team who have a wealth of experience and will have worked on similar transactions before—there is a lot of structured work with colleagues. Working in this industry, the speed at which you pick things up is fast as you are immersed in everything going on around you in the organisation.”
Arzoo lists a wide range of opportunities offered at Macquarie, from working with a range of colleagues outside her own team, being given a significant part to play in work specific to her Chemical Engineering degree and being given a voice on issues that are important to her. “Going into a large company as a junior, you don't assume you will have a voice. But, at Macquarie, that is the culture. There is the opportunity to take an initiative forward or pursue an idea if it is something I am passionate about.”
Arzoo is involved in recruiting efforts and has visited schools in low-socioeconomic areas to talk to young people about Macquarie—what it does and the type of jobs that are available. She also contributes to the ‘Buddy’ scheme. “I am a buddy for the intern that is with us right now—another woman like me, with a non-finance background, so I am helping her during her time here by providing tips and guidance. I enjoy the role of being a buddy, it’s great being able to support someone, having been in that position yourself.”
Arzoo continues to enjoy using her engineering skills and making a difference in her current role. She tells us about what drives her, and her future, at Macquarie: “I am really excited about the different transactions I will have the opportunity to work on—acquiring different businesses, getting experience working with different teams and understanding different sectors."
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