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Dan Driscoll: From training to be a U.S. Naval officer to a career in financial services

U.S. Navy Reservist Dan Driscoll pivoted to a career in financial services after an unexpected medical emergency altered his plans. Macquarie’s supportive and bottom-up culture, empowered Dan to use the skills gained during his military training, to successfully transition into a role as a loan analyst in Macquarie’s Corporate Operations Group.


In 2018, Dan Driscoll joined the U.S. Navy’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) program at College of the Holy Cross. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Dan grew up watching his father fly fighter jets for the U.S. Navy and knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, so applying for the NROTC program and scholarship was an easy decision.

“The NROTC seemed like the best of both worlds – I could have the ‘college experience’ while working toward a degree in Computer Science, while still training to become an officer in the U.S. Navy after completing the four-year NROTC program.”

As Dan neared the end of his NROTC training, an unexpected medical emergency altered his plans. He went into cardiac arrest during a routine morning workout. Despite being in good health now, the incident left residual nerve damage in his legs, which marked the end of his NROTC training and thwarted his plans to join the Navy after graduation.


Not in the flight plan

As Dan deliberated on what to do next, he turned to his father, recalling how he successfully transitioned to a career in law after serving in the U.S. Navy.

Dan thought he could do the same. “I knew the skills I gained during my time in the NROTC could take me somewhere. I just didn’t know where.”

Aidan Mulvoy, a good friend of Dan’s, was working at Macquarie during this time and recognized Dan’s potential. Aidan knew his military training and computer science degree would make him an asset to any team at Macquarie. Aidan shared the open opportunity with Dan through Macquarie’s employee referral policy.

While a career in financial services was far from Dan’s original plan, he eventually interviewed for the role. “Up to that point, I had never considered a career in financial services, and didn’t know much about the industry. All I knew was that my friend spoke highly of Macquarie, his team and the culture working here.”

While the connection between military training and a career in financial services might be hard to see at first glance, during the interview Dan highlighted how his dedication and collaborative skills gained from ROTC are transferable to a financial services career. The interview was a success and Dan joined Macquarie in 2022.


Operating in operations

Over a year later, Dan has settled into his role as a loan analyst in the Corporate Operations Group and is helping to drive Macquarie’s global operational effectiveness and support the businesses globally. The Corporate Operations Group at Macquarie offers a range of roles, including positions in human resources, technology and business services.

Dan works within Operations which provides trade support to individual business groups as well as group-wide operations services to Macquarie, including regulatory reporting and client lifecycle management. As a loan analyst, Dan specifically supports the Equity Derivatives and Trading team within Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets business. This means he closely works with one area of Macquarie and is building deep expertise. Since supporting the group, Dan has taken several FINRA exams to continue to build his knowledge. 

My role is exciting and demanding. There is a strong emphasis on getting the process right the first time. We spend time eliminating failure demand, continuously innovating and delivering sustainable value."

The emphasis on precision in Dan’s Macquarie role parallels the core principles Dan mastered during his NROTC training.


Breaking the chain of command

With no prior experience in financial services, Dan was initially apprehensive about this career change. However, he quickly understood that Macquarie’s bottom-up culture would empower him to use his experience in NROTC to uniquely contribute to his team’s strategy and objectives.

In training with the U.S. Navy Reserve, Dan acquired skills in personal accountability, discipline and timeliness – three skills that are key to Dan’s career as a loan analyst. Dan describes how Macquarie – much like the U.S. Navy – encourages colleagues to push each other to think beyond their maximum capabilities.

One of the special things about Macquarie is how even if you don’t have specific expertise coming in, as long as you demonstrate attention to detail and a willingness to learn, you will always be met with the support you need."

He also found early on that, at Macquarie, people are encouraged to ask questions, and colleagues push each other to grow both personally and professionally.

For Dan, Macquarie’s flat structure and bottom-up culture was unfamiliar, given his experience in the U.S. Navy, where tiered leadership and hierarchical ranks were normal. At Macquarie, everyone is encouraged to be bold, ask questions and engage with leaders, no matter the level. While this aspect of Macquarie culture was uncomfortable for Dan at first, he quickly adapted and embraced the culture of collaboration among colleagues at Macquarie.


Advice on carving your own unique career path

Dan’s story is inspiring and required confidence and resiliency. From uncertainty around a medical emergency to a thriving career in financial services – Dan’s journey highlights the importance of adaptability and embodying a positive attitude.

"My biggest piece of advice to anyone needing to unexpectedly change career paths is to not be afraid. Anything is possible if you have an open mind." Dan has seen firsthand that saying 'yes' to new opportunities is encouraged at Macquarie.

"As long as you are transparent and open to discussing strengths and weaknesses, Macquarie does a really good job at filling in those learning gaps and empowering people to create real value."


Veterans at Macquarie

Dan’s story is one of many. We value the skills Veterans can bring to Macquarie. Our Employee Network Group for Veterans, Veterans at Macquarie, strives to support veteran communities (of all nations), including both veterans looking for employment opportunities at Macquarie and veterans already working here through internal and external networking, mentoring, information forums and community activities. Veterans at Macquarie welcomes diverse perspectives and embraces our people’s unique experiences.

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