Q&A: Maya Bailey-Braendgaard, Origination Analyst, Greensill London (UK)

Maya Bailey-Braendgaard, Origination Analyst, Greensill, London (UK)

Maya joined Greensill in January 2020 after graduating from Newnham College, Cambridge University with a degree in Economics. She works as an analyst for the Origination team in Greensill’s London office. The Origination team is responsible for maintaining and developing client and partner relationships.

Maya’s role is to support the Origination team in developing working capital finance solutions for clients across a range of industry sectors. Her research and analysis is central to the team’s work in helping structure innovative solutions that address clients’ financing challenges.

Born in the US and raised in Dorset, UK, Maya speaks English with some French and Danish. Prior to joining Greensill, she taught herself to code. She was involved in both drama and sports at university and is a member of Greensill Sports and Social Society.

In this Q&A Maya describes her experience as a recent graduate recruit to Greensill:

What drew you to joining Greensill?

So many people in my year at university were focused on going into finance but my impression was that it seemed a dull option, sitting in an office all day thinking about numbers. I started to think differently after I did an internship in New York with a company involved in software engineering in the blockchain space. I started thinking about finance in a left field way and became interested in opportunities to work for a fintech. After graduating, I came across Greensill. I read the white papers on the website and could see it was a company doing cool stuff – I thought I’d like to be part of that.  I joined initially on a three-month internship and then was given a permanent position. 

What skills and knowledge are most relevant in your role?

Having studied Economics helps in that you approach a model with a bunch of assumptions and apply reason to arrive at a logical conclusion. Greensill is a lot about problem solving. You develop an approach to weighing up issues and facts and taking a cool look at what is needed to address a problem. Coding skills can sometimes be useful too.

What opportunities do you have to advance?

If you want to go somewhere in the company you just have to take the initiative and do it. You can keep your eye out and work on projects with other teams or in different areas you might be interested in. You also get a lot of opportunities to discuss your career with your line manager.  The next step for me would be becoming an associate.

What kind of support do graduate recruits get?

In Origination they find you a buddy when you start so you have someone to go to with questions. We also have training sessions on products, capital markets, distribution and soft skills. The graduate recruitment programme is becoming more structured and now they get a mentor as well as a buddy.  On a personal level, I’ve had fellow women of colour in the company reach out to me to say they are there if I ever need support and I’m really grateful for this.

What’s the vibe like?

It’s a very professional environment. It’s not super-hip like some tech companies but it’s quite casual in some ways too and the hierarchy is quite flat. People are passionate about what they’re working on.

How has Covid affected work life?

I’m pretty much 100% working at home just now but I could book into the office a day or two if I felt I needed to.

In some ways working from home creates an extra hurdle for learning and socialising but all the teams I’m in have made the effort to have regular catch-ups and we have all the equipment we need at home. The London Sports and Social Society runs events fairly regularly – we’ve had virtual bingo and they sent us all a gin tasting kit for a virtual tasting session. I think we’re doing cheese tasting this week.

In hindsight, what would surprise you most about the job you’re doing now?

If I knew when I was a student what I’d be doing now, I’d have been surprised to be in Origination because it’s a really outward-facing role. I didn’t think I’d have the confidence to pitch to businesses but Greensill has helped me grow into it.

What is your advice to students considering career opportunities at Greensill?

It’s an excellent place to learn and grow as a new graduate. It’s an environment where you’re encouraged to engage with people across the company, they’re keen to include you and they really welcome your ideas. It’s a fintech where you can have fun learning.

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