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Applying her background in software engineering, Kate Lewis is helping use the power of data to enable the Macquarie trading team to make data-backed decisions. Now she’s empowering the next generation of graduates to do the same.
While at Cambridge University, Kate Lewis studied maths and computer science with a focus on software engineering. “I did some maths my first year which was more theoretical in nature. I decided I quite like the practical aspects of software engineering and computer science.”
At the start of her second year, she began to pursue internships that would allow her to build on these skills. During her search she attended Macquarie’s Technology Insight Day where she heard from technology leaders, participated in design sessions and networked with various employees.
“I really enjoyed being in the office. It has a nice atmosphere. From recent graduates to senior leaders, the people I met were all so willing to speak with me. When I was offered the internship, I knew I would accept.”
Kate joined the Corporate Operations Group supporting the Commodities and Global Markets business where she provides access to big data for the Macquarie quantitative and business analysts. “I write the code that will load the data automatically into the system for the business to use.”
Her team build custom APIs to empower the business to create their own tables and work with the data directly. Kate and team host data analytics and machine learning tools providing a place for the business to gain insight from the data to make quick and informed trading decisions.
“We work across the entire Commodities and Global Markets business which means each day I am working on an entirely different project and technology. With so much going on, I can dip into projects I’m interested in and want to try,” shares Kate.
On Kate’s team are product owners who monitor a project from end to end, developers who write the code, and business analysts who help refine the requirements from the business.
In my role as a developer, I get to iterate with the business to create design solutions that are going to provide the best outcome. I get immediate feedback if the solution is going to provide a time or cost saving. It’s rewarding to see the positive results of my work."
“Everyone I work with from the market to quantitative analysts are all really lovely. They are very appreciative of our work and it’s a friendly environment.”
Providing innovative solutions so that the Macquarie trading teams can make data-driven decisions is a top priority for Kate and the team. “We are focused on providing the best experience for our customers.”
To ensure that her customers have the training they need, Kate and her team host monthly lunch-and-learn sessions for global users.
“We’ll have a user share how they are using the platform so that we can all learn from each other and expand the capabilities of the platform together. It’s a unique opportunity to regularly hear from your customer base.”
Within six months of joining the Graduate Programme, Kate made her first presentation at one of these sessions, highlighting a new feature to the group.
The team works in an agile environment, working in two-week sprints. “We have a stand up every single day where you share what you are currently working on. This helps me get immediate support on my projects and I get to know my team better by understanding what they are working on and the skills they possess.” Working through the tasks and setting priorities allow the team to achieve together.
As well as this immediate feedback, Kate also feels supported for long term success at Macquarie, recently participating in a new training initiative across the Corporate Operations Group providing certifications in cloud, data and agile ways of working.
“I completed a cloud certification through the programme and am now an AWS certified cloud practitioner. I was given extra time to work on this as continuing to learn and upskill is something very much encouraged.”
To support new graduates in their first year, Macquarie assigns a buddy to provide guidance and additional support.
“My buddy was a graduate the prior year. It was really helpful and she introduced me to other members of the team so I could get a broad understanding of the group and the projects they were working on.”
Now, Kate is excited to be the buddy for one of the new graduates coming in this year.
She has built a solid foundation of knowledge and personal networks through the Graduate Programme by engaging with graduates across other departments.
“Once a month, we meet and hear from the graduates in a particular group about what they do. It’s an opportunity to see what Macquarie does more broadly and expand my network beyond my group.”
One of four chairs, Kate was selected to co-lead the Graduate Volunteer Network in EMEA. Each year the graduate class works closely with the Macquarie Group Foundation to organise fundraising events for a charity of their choosing.
I could immediately see the change our fundraising efforts were making and how this spirit of philanthropy permeates across the Macquarie culture."
Throughout the year they led innovative fundraising campaigns such as organising a pancake flipping competition or a Christmas Jumper Day.
“Everyone from graduates to senior leaders are really involved and engaged. It shows the company-wide commitment to support local communities.”