Updating Results


  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

James Macdonald

I chose Global Distribution and Business management because it had a very broad variety of rotations.

Where did you grow up? Important stages of your life

I went to school in Sydney before attending the University of Sydney for my undergraduate studies. While at university I worked a number of different jobs including hosting kids’ birthday parties, gardening and as a tutor for the university.  

How did you get to your current job position? 

I started with AMP Capital in February 2018 on the Graduate program, so I have been in the role for about a year.

James McDonald AMP

How did you choose your specialisation? 

I chose Global Distribution and Business management because it had a very broad variety of rotations. You can work in strategy, marketing and sales or gain exposure to our strategic relationships in Japan and China all while gaining exposure to our investments. I liked the diverse range of options in the stream and the potential to have a more global focus than some of the other streams and programs offered by AMP and other financial service companies.   

James McDonald AMP

What was your interview process like? 

The interview process with AMP was very efficient. You apply online and do some online testing and a video interview before attending an assessment centre. In the assessment centre they look for how you work in teams, how you communicate and present and ask about your background and why you think you are a good fit for the role you chose. I found it a lot less intimidating than a lot of other assessment centres I attended. AMP also let you know your outcome within a day of the assessment centre which takes a lot of stress out the process.

What does your employer do?

AMP Capital are an investment manager. We manage money for large Australian superannuation and insurance providers such as AMP (our parent company) all the way down to individual mum and dad investors. We have capabilities across most asset classes with a particular strength in Property, Infrastructure and Fixed Income. Roles at AMP Capital include managing money for our investors, marketing our products to financial advisers and working on strategies to make our shopping centres appeal to customers.  

What are your areas of responsibility?

As a graduate at AMP Capital, you rotate through many different areas of the business. Most recently I’ve been working in our institutional distribution business, dealing day to day with the institutional sized investors in our funds and developing and executing strategies to match our clients and potential clients with investments that help them meet their goals. Next, I’ll be working in our Strategy and Planning team, helping our teams and leaders formulate the strategic direction of the business and ensuring we have the right resources in the right areas to make the strategy a success.  

James McDonald AMP

Can you describe a typical work day?

The typical work day varies based on what the priorities are for the team in a given week. Today for example I participated in a workshop on how we can strengthen the messaging we use for one of our capabilities and this afternoon I’m researching a new market segment to help build out a business case. Yesterday I met with some of our investors to talk them through their investment’s performance over the last quarter and arranged some time with prospective clients to talk them through our capabilities.

James McDonald AMP

What are the career prospects with your job? 

The career prospects are really up to you in the Global Distribution and Business Management stream because you get a great cross section view across the business and you can find out where your interest lies. Past graduates have gone on to join investment teams and to work in performance analytics and business transformation roles. I’m still not sure where my final destination will be, but the program gives me a great opportunity to work out what I enjoy and to pursue that!

Could someone with a different background do your job?

We have graduates across AMP and AMP Capital from a variety of backgrounds and there is no set degree required to succeed in global distribution and business management. It’s up to you and where your interest is.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d love to work in development economics, helping design public policies for developing economies.

What do you love the most about your job?

There’s a diversity of roles and lots of opportunities to extend yourself. As an example, I had the opportunity to participate in AMP Capital’s annual all staff event, co-hosting a segment in front of the whole company at the Sydney Opera House. I’ve also had the opportunity to interact with senior leaders across the business and value the high level of responsibility that you are given. There are also lots of learning opportunities to continue building new skills and improving on ones that you do have.

James McDonald AMP

What’s the biggest limitation of your job? 

In my experience, AMP and AMP Capital give a lot of responsibility to graduates to deliver on projects assigned to them. This can come with a lot of pressure, but the support networks in place ensure that you are not snowed under. I’ve never had to work weekends and work-life balance and flexibility is promoted across all teams I’ve encountered so you operate in an environment where responsibility of this kind enables you to grow. While stress can be high at times, AMP support graduates through a range of initiatives that make coming to work enjoyable and fulfilling.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? 

  • Don’t stress too much about what you will be doing when you finish university – take time to study subjects you enjoy and to learn as much as you can about the things that interest you.
  • When applying for graduate opportunities think about why you want to work for a company and why you chose the particular role you are applying for. If you get to the interview stage, they’ll likely see through your answer if you’re not sure about why you applied.
  • Talk to different people about what they do– there’s a lot of jobs and roles that I didn’t know existed and you can find out more by asking people. You can always message someone on LinkedIn to find out what their role involves to see if you might like it.