I’ve always wanted to work in a challenging and competitive environment. Doing exactly the same thing every day in an average nine-to-five job would be horrible. After my interviews at Macquarie, I realised that I would work with people who are not only very committed and ambitious, but also genuinely nice and great to be around. I was therefore very glad when I got the offer for my summer internship.
As an intern, your main duty is to make life for the rest of the team easier. I worked together with the analysts and associates on their presentations but also had regular contact with more senior people in the team. Over time I was given more responsibilities together with my own smaller projects. A lot of the work is doing company and industry research as well as preparing financial valuations of other companies.
The first step is to submit your CV and covering letter online, followed by a telephone interview. After that comes the psychometric assessment (verbal, numerical and logical reasoning tests) and if that is successful, a round of interviews takes place. Be prepared for interviews. No one expects applicants to know everything but it is important that they have a solid knowledge of finance and show the willingness and commitment to learn.
A very important thing I learnt is to be very detail-focused and work efficiently. In an industry where hours can be long, it is important not to waste time on work that is unnecessary and can be done at a different time but rather, to focus on getting urgent work done without mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes but it is better to spend 10-20% more time on something of importance to double check everything and get it as correct as possible.
Firstly, figure out what industry interests you and then figure out how to get work experience in the fields that you are considering. Second, get your application documents right. Third, be prepared for interviews; know what you’re talking about and show interest and commitment. Last but not least, don’t be afraid of the competition but also don’t be arrogant. If you’re nice and people like to have you around, your chances of getting a position will be much higher.