This financial services firm offers global opportunity in the heart of Philly - Technical.ly Philly

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Jul. 11, 2019 8:05 am

This financial services firm offers global opportunity in the heart of Philly

How Senior Technology Manager Shaw Levin combined his passions for tech and cultural exploration at Macquarie.

Shaw Levin at Macquarie's Center City office.

(Courtesy photo)

When your passion is exploring different cultures, there’s no better place to work than a company with locations all over the world.

Take global financial services firm Macquarie. With a presence in 30 markets, the Australia-based company is a dream for wanderlusts with tech chops, like Senior Technology Manager Shaw Levin.

“I had enjoyed my previous job, but I was craving more of a challenge, more responsibility. I wanted to own more of the process, as well as meet people with different perspectives,” said Levin. “After interviewing at Macquarie, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

“Well, I could have refused it. I just didn’t want to,” he added jokingly.

Ultimately, Levin accepted the offer to join Macquarie at its 2005 Market St. location in Philly where he was thrilled to find the workplace trifecta: a stellar location, great benefits and an interesting role involving work that would expose him to new cultures and business opportunities around the world.

“There’s so much opportunity for mobility,” he said. “We’ve had members of our staff transfer to London, Sydney, Mexico. Many people have transferred here to Philly, as well.”

In addition to mobility and opportunity, Levin was also excited by Macquarie’s overall open-mindedness. The company values and pursues new ideas, which can come from anyone across the organization, and works quickly to ascertain if they could work within its risk framework for the company and its clients.

We sat down with Levin to get more details on his work life at Macquarie.

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Tell us about your role as senior technology manager.

I lead a staff of 10, [including] full-timers, co-ops and contractors. I manage a number of priorities, such as helping to ensure our clients, internal teams and stakeholders get everything they need from the tech team, whether it’s building new systems, reviewing security, or researching new technology. With so much interest and demand for the tech team, I serve as the gatekeeper for my people and put effort into making sure they can focus on the tasks at hand.

Tech is always changing so I like to keep my team up to date on the latest trends through workshops, meetups, Code Camp and Technical.ly events. We want to keep everyone growing.

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If someone were to take a walk in your shoes for one day, what could they expect?

Typically, I come in between 8 and 9 a.m. I have a seven-month-old daughter, so I don’t get much sleep these days. Macquarie is very flexible and I’m able to make schedule changes as needed.

Due to the global nature of Macquarie, we’re often working around time zones and communications schedules. Everyone is respectful of everyone else’s time and will always ask what time is good for you. For instance, if I need to call in to Sydney, I prefer to schedule it for later in the night so that I can enjoy evenings with my family and put my daughter to bed.

For the most part of my day I’m ensuring everything related to tech is in a good place. I have a lot of monitors where I can check in with the team, evaluate roadblocks and keep my people moving forward successfully. Sometimes the day will call for meetings with stakeholders, other times it will involve reviewing and writing code.

What do you look for from job candidates?

I look for people who are curious and want to learn about modern technology. The people who are most successful here are interested in what we’re doing.

We’re a company that likes to get opinions from everybody, no matter their role or level. So be prepared to think of new ideas and speak up, rather than just accepting things the way they’ve always been done.

What is the tech interview process like?

First, we screen candidates over the phone. We see if there’s a fit between the candidate and the company and gauge their interest in the business. Then everyone — no matter what role they are applying for — takes an assessment that covers verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning as well as their preferred work style. For tech, we also have candidates complete a coding evaluation, which they can do at home.

After that, we invite candidates to come in and meet the Philly team, take a tour of the office, ask any questions and then do a video conference with the team in Australia.

What is the work style like at Macquarie?

We have an outcomes-based work style. As long as you get your work done — even if you need to flex your schedule to do so — that’s what we care about.  We look at flexibility holistically, it could be needing to leave work early for an appointment, working in another location, or having a regular day that you work from home. There are countless reasons why someone might need flexibility. The reason for working flexibly should be very much secondary to the impact you have when you are able to work flexibly.

How about the internal culture?

It’s very collaborative. The whole team is supportive and will always ask how they can work together and help each other out. When my wife and I had our baby, I took a few weeks of leave through the parental leave policy, and everyone stepped up to help me.

We engage in a lot of social activities together in the office. Some of our favorite activities have included ping pong and chess tournaments, bowling, axe throwing, and a particularly hilarious team Quizzo event where all of the questions were designed to test how well we knew each other.

We also do a lot of volunteering, such as working with Habitat for Humanity. It’s all team-driven. Everything we do is because someone has a passion or interest in the activity or cause. We have a social committee that meets once a month, takes everyone’s ideas into account and comes up with events. We are empowered to contribute.

Learn more about Macquarie and browse open jobs
Companies: Macquarie
People: Shaw Levin
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