A spontaneous ‘yes’ led Hannah Jones to relocate from New York to Sydney. Now, three years later and back in New York, she has a unique role, which involves consulting with senior leaders on future strategy.
Saying yes to opportunities can make a career, according to Hannah Jones, who has spent six years with Macquarie Capital in both New York and Sydney. Embracing change has also seen her role grow from intern to Vice President and from having an external client-facing focus to internal strategy working with senior management.
Hannah first encountered Macquarie Group when she attended an on-campus careers event while studying for her BA in Economics in New York and decided to apply for a summer internship in 2015.
“I gravitated towards studying economics because of its many applications and the ability to tell a story with numbers,” Hannah says.
“Finance appealed to me, and I immediately liked the culture I saw at Macquarie. The flat structure gave me the feeling I'd be a valued employee, and my opinions would be heard - both within Macquarie and when working on a deal.”
Hannah says that the internship proved to be a great experience. She was placed in the Software and Services team and received a thorough introduction to how financial services plays a role in a thriving global economy. “You get to work with a variety of companies in Software and Services, which provides valuable exposure to many industry groups, from healthcare to fintech,” she says.
After graduating in 2016, Hannah joined Macquarie as an Analyst in Macquarie Capital, a group that combines specialist expertise, innovative advice and flexible capital solutions to help its clients and partners make opportunities a reality.
“My time was spent on deals and transactions, putting together pitches, models, data and meeting with clients,” she explains.
Hannah wasn’t even a year into her role when a candid response to her manager’s suggestion, during a workplace holiday celebration, led to her decision to spend two years in Australia.
“He asked a group of us if we’d ever like to spend time in another of Macquarie’s offices across the globe. I mentioned that I’d like to go to Sydney, and he emailed the Australian Group Head on my behalf right then and there to see what was possible.
“Less than 24 hours later I had an email from HR in my inbox, kickstarting my journey to Australia.”
Hannah says her manager was very encouraging of her taking the opportunity and also supportive of her return to the New York team once her two-year secondment was complete. The real adventure was that, on arriving in Sydney in mid-2017, she knew no one.
“It was an unforgettable learning experience and very exciting to have the chance to live abroad and go outside of my comfort zone,” Hannah says.
“People were very welcoming and went out of their way to help me settle into a new country. Career-wise it was seamless because I was still working on Software and Services deals,” she says.
I was supported along the way and could see the steep learning curve pay off in the work I did, the clients I supported and the incredible people I was interacting with who had strong careers."
Hannah says a highlight of her time in Sydney was working on KKR’s acquisition of accounting software provider MYOB.
“I gained a different perspective working in a new region on different types of transactions and enjoyed seeing them make the front-page news.”
Hannah’s promotion to Associate in mid-2019 coincided with her move home to New York. She was invited to take on a short-term project working with Macquarie Capital’s global strategy team on a board paper for the Macquarie Group Board. This opened the door to a different type of career within Macquarie Capital.
“Once the project ended, I was offered the chance to join the team full-time in a strategy and operations country coverage role, instead of returning to Software and Services,” she says.
“I became an Associate on a team of Director-level colleagues. We work on the strategy for Macquarie Capital and focus on delivering strong results for our people and clients. This means ensuring our people understand the strategy and are empowered to drive that strategy forward for the benefit of our clients. I work directly with the head of Macquarie Capital alongside a talented global team supporting and advising our business leaders.”
While it may seem daunting to work with such senior leaders, Hannah says she feels incredibly supported and lucky to learn from her colleagues.
Hannah’s role gives her a broad perspective over Macquarie Capital’s business activity and ability to translate business opportunities into impactful outcomes. The team’s work is varied and includes working with group heads and other stakeholders to look at pipeline work, business finances or the next sector or opportunity Macquarie Capital may want to explore. The team also has input into investor presentations, internal communications, risk and decisions that impact our people and culture, and works with marketing and transaction teams to promote Macquarie Capital’s achievements.
“My role has opened my eyes to what it takes to run a large company,” she says. “And the breadth of work I do - from finance to communications - means my day is never boring.”
Hannah says that having been an Analyst on a transaction team gives her an inside view into the work she does, while her experience in Sydney provides useful insights for building a strategy that works globally.
“My role is highly visible and provides exposure to very senior people at Macquarie Capital and Macquarie Group. This has not only pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it’s also taught me to be open, entrepreneurial, innovative and ‘big picture’ in my approach,” she explains.
Hannah shares that she not only has a seat at the table, but she also has a voice. “I’m expected to share my ideas, to speak up, and then drive those ideas forward through our strategy.”
Seeing the impact of the strategy the team executes is what motivates Hannah. “It’s rewarding to see how my day-to-day work can lead to strong outcomes for my colleagues and our clients, such as building a strategy that might see us expanding into new geographies, sectors and products, or implementing new processes and systems to drive efficiency and insights.”
Hannah says that, while she’s often been thrown into the deep end in her six-year career, she’s also received significant support and advice from strong mentors. This means she has always felt comfortable asking questions as she embraced each new opportunity.
Always raise your hand to take on a new project, go to a client meeting or even, move across the world. It might be a steep learning curve, but these new situations are ways to grow your network and career as well as your personal experience."
She enjoys sitting on the ‘other side’ of Macquarie Capital in her strategic role, telling the Macquarie Capital story to stakeholders within and outside of Macquarie, from staff to clients and investors.
“Studying economics made me see the story behind the numbers,” Hannah says. “My role in Software and Services was also about seeing the company stories beyond the numbers.”
“Now I’m looking internally at Macquarie’s story, and I love helping to use the numbers to solve problems and shape Macquarie Capital’s future story and strategy.”