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Career diaries from an Investment Banking Associate - week 5


Same routine as every Monday but I start with client calls or pitches depending on what I am working on. Most mornings I spend reading through the news on the industries that my deals are in. I also check on what's left of the pitch-book that we are presenting to the client on Wednesday. I tee up the work with my analysts and ask them for a few touch-ups from Saturday's work.

I grab some lunch with my MD around 12:30 and discuss updates for the big meeting. He suggests another review of the model and calculations to be triple sure of our position. I pick this up with my analyst post lunch. Numbers are fine, but the pitch-book is still missing some context. So most of the afternoon and evening is spent in updates and finessing the pitch-book. I get dinner at 9 PM and leave work at 11 PM, after having sent my work to the MD.


I wake up to a good job email from the boss. I need to get the pitch-book to the Publishing team since we are cutting close on time. I send this to them and then start for work at 8. I reach as usual by 9-9:15 AM. Today is the day of continuous prep for tomorrow. I answer a few emails from the client in the morning and the spend almost all day with my MD prepping for tomorrow's pitch. We'll call it an early night today since have a 7 AM flight to Frankfurt.


The big pitch day! I rush to the airport for a 7 AM flight and get to the client's office with my MD by around lunch. We discuss tons of nuances with the client CFO that could mess up the DD process later. Tech seems to be another area where we might struggle - tech integration after a M&A seems to take up a lot of time because the CEO is quite tech oriented - interesting! We don't get much else done and head back home for the evening.


We are a bit relaxed after the madness of the pitch is over. I get in the clients comments and suggestions. Get lunch with one of my mentors today- he's been around the block for a few years, and can show me the tricks and trades of business and promotions. He also has an incredible eye for interesting start-ups which is where I eventually want to get to. My MD receives a call from the client - the deal still needs time to be decided upon. I am instructed to look out for more businesses to put on top of the funnel. I call it an early day and leave at 7 PM.


Usual day of getting to work at 9 but I've set up a few meetings for today. I had anticipated a slower week - so meetings with potential leads and people in the industry helps. I spend most day in meetings. The analysts are left to work with the MD and get some financial model nuances right. I swing back at office around 7 and get drinks with the other associates and directors. I find it incredibly useful to get team drinks because it helps with the networking and getting onto the good side of your managers. However, it's pretty bad for having any sort of personal life!


After 4 months, this is the first Saturday I have off. I go for a run and am meeting a bunch of friends from uni later for brunch and board games. I am also doing this course on negotiation skills which is something I use everyday, and will progressively use more going forward. But one thing that blew my mind was how rarely we think of every conversation as a negotiation. Of course I paid a ton of money for the course but I already had a win from it today at the grocery store - so not complaining!! ;)

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