My name is Sarah Forsyth. I am an associate director in the business and corporate markets sales team at National Australia Bank.
I studied a double degree in law/ commerce, majoring in corporate finance at the University of Adelaide. I graduated from my commerce degree in 2012, and from law in 2013.
After graduating from university, I accepted a graduate role with National Australia Bank in Sydney. The NAB Grad Program involves rotations within different areas of the bank. During one of these rotations I became passionate about a career in markets – and so, after completing the program, I accepted a role as a foreign exchange associate and now work in interest rate sales.
I work within NAB Global Markets, which specialises in providing interest rate and foreign currency risk management solutions to clients across a broad range of industries.
I work closely with my clients to help them mitigate foreign exchange and interest rate risks that arise from international and commercial debt transactions. Currency risk is created when entities transact internationally and are exposed to fluctuations in foreign currency. To protect themselves from adverse currency movements, entities can enter into derivative transactions as a means of risk management or ‘hedging’.
Absolutely. People with a finance, commerce, science, technology, engineering or maths background could also pursue a similar marketsbased role. For those with purely a legal background, I would recommend obtaining some exposure or experience related to financial products and markets to determine if this is the path you want to take your career.
I love the buzz of working in global financial markets, and the trading floor is a stimulating and dynamic place to work. It’s exhilarating when you successfully convert a large FX transaction, or when you close a large interest rate hedge – and it’s this thrill which drives me.
The job itself can be high pressure, and it’s important to balance this in healthy ways – such as through exercise. Also, obtaining a role in financial markets can be competitive. It’ll really help if you have obtained relevant industry experience. This may mean putting your hand up to volunteer, or thinking differently about how you can hone your skills in order to have the best chance of success.