Advice 1: Making your presence known, especially as a junior, can be intimidating. If you struggle with this, find a way to speak up within the first few minutes of a meeting. Even if it’s small talk. This will prevent any mounting pressure to have your voice heard over the course of the meeting and make it easier to make further contributions.
Advice 2: Do not conflate efficiency with laziness. If cutting a corner saves time, without compromising the quality of the work or a first class service for the client – do it.
Advice 3: Brick walls are there to test how much you REALLY want something. Being upset about setbacks is not enough. If you’re chasing a specific job or promotion, think every day about the tangible steps you have made to improve your chances or achieve this goal.
Details of experience: M&A Vice President at a global investment banking boutique.
What the job is really like: M&A as a junior will challenge your ability to work long hours, attention to detail and maintain an unbridled energy and enthusiasm for the job. As you get more senior you start to get involved in tactical and strategic discussions but you should not shy away from learning about these as early on as possible.