I hear the alarm go off, get out of bed, turn my phone on, and make myself breakfast.
I pack lunch into my bag and get changed for the day ahead. I make an assessment the night before on whether I have any client facing meetings. If I do, I choose to wear something more professional, otherwise I opt for smart casual and flat shoes. I get ready to leave the house.
Walk to the train station and on the commute I scan AFR, Merger Market, Financial Times, and Quartz’s headline articles for anything of interest. I check my work inbox to see if there’s anything I need to prioritise and also check social media to see if I need to respond to unread messages from last night
I find a free desk and set myself up for the day. I check my emails again to see if new instructions and updates have come through and attend to any outstanding chat messages on Google Hangouts, replying promptly to my colleagues.
For my daily caffeine hit, I set a pot of tea on my table. I send a reminder to the group chat for my colleagues to update their weekly schedule and check which room the 10am meeting is set up in. Open my notebook to look at my to-do list for the day, top of the list is to upload some files to the virtual data room. I do this for the next half hour. After this, I send a message to the group chat reminding everyone that the weekly 10am meeting is going ahead and where the room is located. I then set up the display and upload the Google sheet for discussion.
The team gathers in the room and we go around the room to discuss updates on different projects and any business development, external and internal meetings for the following week. This takes about half an hour. The next half hour is dedicated to a case study on a previous deal and we discuss the learning points – areas that the project team has picked up during the deal cycle that could be improved or executed better.
I go back to my desk and continue uploading documents to the data room, making sure that I log every detail in a spreadsheet and tend to my emails.
I switch from working on the data room for a retail client, to reworking some PowerPoint slides for the next hour, as per instructions from my colleagues. The meetings are informal and either held at my desk or theirs – Sometimes they are through emails or a phone conversation. As I am going for a run today, I eat a small snack at my desk.
I alternate between going for a run and having a social lunch. In this case, I am going for a run today and have a lunch scheduled for tomorrow. I run about 4 km around Barangaroo Reserve and have a shower at the Fitness Hub.
I am back at my desk reading through emails and feedback from the work I submitted earlier today. I dive back into creating and reworking slides for another hour, before sending them off for review. I get a Google Hangouts message saying that we’re heading to the client – a small tech start-up – in 10 minutes. A Senior Consultant comes to my desks and asks me if I’m ready to go. As this client is located in the city and in reasonable walking distance, we make our way over.
We spend the next hour discussing updates and strategies for moving forward with our client.
Walking back to work, we start assigning tasks to each other.
Back at my desk I settle down, check my emails and voicemail, and attend to my unread chat messages. I draft a few emails, upload some documents to the data room and log my amendments in an excel file. I pick up the phone and my colleague is after a file that I have. I send the file off. I pick up a few more instructions and return to working on another PowerPoint proposal.
A few colleagues message to ask if I’m staying for dinner – I am. We put in an order for dinner together. We get to choose between having dinner delivered and going to a restaurant around the corner. Today we opt for delivery.
Dinner arrives, we set up in the kitchen, eat and have a quick catch up for 30 minutes, before heading back to our desks.
I continue working until 8.30-9pm, liaising with my colleagues. Sometimes I might review a valuation model in excel, answer some email enquiries or continue working on a PowerPoint deck for an upcoming presentation to private equity firms.
I check with my team to see if there’s much more to be done this evening and whether I can go home. Depending on the urgency, I might have to stay back until the task is executed. Other times, I can work from home. Judging from the workflow, it looks like I am ready to call it a night. Everyone agrees that it’s getting late and my Senior Consultant sends me home in a taxi. I check my social media messages while I’m on the way.
I get home, shower, pack my lunch and pick out my clothes for tomorrow. I then brush my teeth and slather on a layer of face cream, before lying in bed.
Phew! Time for bed. Rinse and repeat, a day in the life of a Graduate in Mergers and Acquisitions.