Crystal Perez began her career as an intern in Macquarie’s Manila office in 2019. Now a Senior Associate in the Operations team for Commodity Markets and Finance, the supportive and encouraging culture at Macquarie has empowered both her professional and personal growth.
Crystal Perez was completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and needed to undertake an internship to finish her degree, when her classmates recommended she apply to Macquarie.
“I knew other students who had completed internships at Macquarie, and they only had positive things to say about the organisation,” Crystal says. “I was interested in applying because they said I’d learn many new things and that the internship would be structured and productive.”
Crystal had always hoped to pursue a career in financial services and in 2019, she accepted a five-week internship in Macquarie’s Manila office. She worked within the Corporate Operations Group’s Reconciliations team and believes it was a great introduction to life at Macquarie.
“I was the only intern, working alongside the team and senior leaders,” Crystal explains. “I quickly realised the people at Macquarie were generous and supportive and that they were keen to help me learn and develop.”
During the internship, Crystal was involved in helping the team streamline some of their processes. She had the opportunity to learn how to use Alteryx Designer to build automatic workflows in Excel for several reconciliations processes. She also worked on migrating reconciliation process desk instructions (or PDIs) to the team’s knowledge sharing portal.
Crystal was invited to extend her internship by a few weeks and she embraced the chance to undertake another Alteryx project, spending two months in total with the team.
Towards the end of her internship, one of the senior leaders asked Crystal if she would consider applying for a full-time role at Macquarie.
“I had not expected it,” Crystal explains. “But I was really excited because Macquarie is a very big organisation with a lot of opportunities. Plus, after completing the internship, I knew it was the first company I would want to apply to.”
Crystal joined the Commodity Markets and Finance team where her professional and personal growth have flourished.
“I’m so glad I was able to continue my journey at Macquarie as a permanent employee,” Crystal says. “I’ve been with Commodity Markets and Finance for almost two years now and I was recently promoted to Senior Associate.”
Crystal’s team processes brokerage fees and she says the cyclical nature of the workflow allows her to plan and prepare her monthly schedule in advance. At different times throughout the month she concentrates on specific tasks – such as collating invoices, reconciliation or investigating the validity of the trades and submitting payments.
It’s detailed work, checking that the amounts match fees and communicating with clients to provide explanations.
“We need patience in dealing with a large volume of work, alongside a focus in consigning and checking it’s all correct,” says Crystal.
“Each day has a different flow, and you really have to adjust and be flexible because unexpected issues and problems can arise.”
Crystal has also worked on improving several brokerage processes and increasing targets for submitting payments. She also recently obtained an Alteryx license.
“Learning Alteryx and working on it in my internship is one of the reasons I have progressed my career at Macquarie,” says Crystal. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the benefit I can bring my team by using it again to add value to our workflow, automate manual data processes and solve problems.”
Crystal says that while she enjoys her work, the number one attraction of Macquarie is the people.
“They’re easy to work with, approachable, and willing to teach and guide me,” she explains. “When you work with people who hold true to Macquarie values – leaders who empower people to succeed in different opportunities and colleagues who have a strong sense of accountability and uphold integrity – it's easy for everything else to follow.”
“Every day I connect with different people at varying levels in Macquarie, from the Payments team and my global onshore counterparts to traders across all regions. It feels great because I learn new things every day from my interactions with them.”
Crystal says Macquarie focuses on creating a career plan for all its employees, so that they can achieve their potential.
“Macquarie helped me realise my career possibilities and has made available opportunities for hastening my growth and a strong commitment to support my career development, which is really motivating.” Crystal says. “I feel really encouraged, and very comfortable here.”
“My team brings out the best in me through their genuine support and guidance,” Crystal says.
Over the past year, one of her biggest challenges has been maintaining the separation between work and personal life while working from home. Being adaptable at managing her time and tasks has been key to achieving a successful work-life balance.
Outside of her job, Crystal has enjoyed being part of a Foundation Working Group, which plans activities to help scholars of A Better Chance Foundation. Being a strong advocate for the importance of education, she joined this group because she loves teaching children and seeing them develop.
Crystal says that she is currently continuing her development and solidifying her skillset in the commodities business as one of her future goals is to pursue a mobility opportunity in an international setting.
“I've gained a lot of confidence at Macquarie and through Macquarie,” Crystal says. “I’ve learned a lot of things and built skills I’m proud of.”
“I now have goals and plans that I’m eager to achieve and I have also learned to make opportunities for myself rather than wait for them.”
“My Macquarie story is a life changing journey,” Crystal says. “I’ve grown from an eager intern into one of my team’s recognised subject matter experts and an aspiring leader.”
“There are endless opportunities here, and the management encourages you to be open about what you want to do and achieve, while supporting you to be your best and accomplish it.”
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