When Monique Bishop was studying a Bachelor of Business and Law at UTS, she enjoyed the legal subjects most. So she assumed she'd use her qualifications to pursue a career in law. But after doing some work experience in the legal industry, she quickly realised it wasn't for her.
Instead, in 2017 she completed an internship at Macquarie in the Wealth Management team in the retail banking division, Banking and Financial Services.
“Because of my legal background I actually applied to work in Macquarie's Risk team," Monique explains. “But after speaking to the Graduate Recruitment team, they suggested I consider retail banking as they thought it would be a good fit for me."
“Once I did the interviews I realised they were right."
Monique found retail banking was a whole new world she knew little about.
“I didn't have a lot of financial services experience," she says. “But I loved the projects I worked on during the internship."
Within her internship, she was part of the team who were working on the early stages of transforming Macquarie's financial advice business into a private bank.
“It was a great project to be put on, and my manager was wonderful," Monique says.
“The supportive team and the people I was working with became my driving force for coming back as a Graduate."
From internship to grad program
Monique continued working part-time at Macquarie after the internship, before joining the Graduate Program in 2019.
“The team I joined was very small, so I received exposure to all different types of work and people across the business, including members of the Leadership Team," Monique explains. “It gave me a great overview of the business and provided a strong foundation for my first year."
Her current rotation sees her working in Wealth Product and Technology, where she's working on a project to build a prioritisation framework for the wealth tech team. Monique's role includes investigating ways to improve processes and the management around tech to improve the client experience.
“I was nervous because I had no tech experience at all," Monique says. “But the teams are always willing to help you. You might go in without any background in a particular area but you learn a lot."
A day in the life
On a regular day, Monique says her ongoing projects such as management reporting, and risk and governance reports are interspersed with meetings.
“Each day is different and you have a lot of autonomy around how your day will work," says Monique. “It's output-driven and Macquarie is genuinely supportive of flexible working."
Another thing Monique values about working at Macquarie is the opportunity to give back. Each week she spends a couple of hours at a Sydney school with Raise Foundation where she mentors at-risk or vulnerable kids.
“I started volunteering a month into the grad program," Monique says. “I've personally gained a lot and Macquarie genuinely sees the value in encouraging their employees to build skills from outside our day-to-day work."
“A lot of these kids don't have support networks outside of this mentoring program. We can open their minds to new possibilities they may not have thought would be a part of their future."
Monique has also enjoyed being a part of the Graduate Volunteer Network, helping to organise Macquarie's City to Surf team.
Monique says the training opportunities through the Graduate Development Program are inspiring.
“The learning and development has been a huge highlight," Monique says. “We have regular grad training with expert speakers and we help choose the topics."
She's also completing a four-month Sales 101 program that aims to build resilience and negotiation skills. Monique says that on-the-job training is also a large component of development at Macquarie, new opportunities come up quickly, so it is important to learn continuously along the way.
A team culture
Monique says that one benefit and challenge of the Graduate Program is that you're immersed in projects from the start.
“There is real ownership, acknowledgement and credit for the work you do - even as a Graduate," Monique says. “You're not on your own, you're part of a team and people support and help you."
“I'm loving the division I'm working in and as a global organisation there are so many opportunities. I can see myself here for a while – Macquarie supports us to shape our own career path, which could really take me anywhere!"