Colleen O'Connor graduate
Colleen O'Connor graduate

A year in the life of a graduate at Macquarie – Colleen O'Connor's story

A Bachelor of Electrical Engineering sparked Colleen O'Connor's interest in Technology. Since then, she's had the opportunity to work in a variety of teams across a number of Macquarie's technology projects, where she says no two days are ever the same. 

By Colleen O'Connor

I started at Macquarie as a summer intern in the technology team, working on enterprise architecture, and returned as a graduate in 2018. While studying my Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, I took courses on innovation and IT that sparked my interest in technology.

My graduate program includes rotations every six months across Macquarie's technology businesses. That means I have had the opportunity to work in different areas, including Technology Strategy, DevOps product teams, and as a scrum master (a facilitator for an agile technology team).

My work changes with every project. It could include drafting roadmaps and project visions, documenting new product features and processes, performing agile ceremonies, or managing product risks and issues. I've enjoyed the opportunity to work on such a variety of projects and to collaborate with so many great people.

Every year, Macquarie holds a technology conference, which brings more than 100 leading internal and external experts to our offices for five days of insights about emerging technologies and disruption. For this year's conference, I was in a team running a pilot using blockchain technology. It was a fascinating experience.

The Graduate Program has also allowed me to be involved in two other great initiatives - the Graduate Volunteer Network and the Graduate Development Program.

Thanks to the volunteer network, I took part in a sustainability initiative. One of our goals was to raise awareness of the difference we can all make to planet by making small changes to our daily lives. We ran a month-long challenge for employees in Sydney, Manila and New York, celebrating their use of KeepCups, compost constructions, solar panels and more. Another goal was reforestation. We designed and sold biodegradable seedling kits. Each kit contained one plant, and for each kit sold we also promised to plant two trees in Australian forests. With the support of Macquarie employees, we raised enough money to plant 2,000 new trees.

Through the Graduate Development Program, I've received training in business areas that are outside my day-to-day role. Every month we hear from engaging speakers, helping to improve our professional skills and the way we work. Additionally, as part of the program, “graduate champions" provide us with mentoring and support to help us achieve our career goals.

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