Advice for incoming corp (M&A/PE) associate?

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Advice for incoming corp (M&A/PE) associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:17 pm

Starting in the general Corporate Group at a Vault firm soon, so this should mean mostly M&A and PE transactions work, maybe a little securities. Is there anything I should do to prepare? Any advice for the job itself? What will I even be doing? From what I've gathered, junior associates mostly do due diligence, simple drafting assignments/formatting of documents and turning over new drafts, etc., anything else? Should I do any substantive preparation, like brush up on M&A law? I can't afford (literally) to be bad at this job, any and all advice is appreciated!

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Re: Advice for incoming corp (M&A/PE) associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Starting in the general Corporate Group at a Vault firm soon, so this should mean mostly M&A and PE transactions work, maybe a little securities. Is there anything I should do to prepare? Any advice for the job itself? What will I even be doing? From what I've gathered, junior associates mostly do due diligence, simple drafting assignments/formatting of documents and turning over new drafts, etc., anything else? Should I do any substantive preparation, like brush up on M&A law? I can't afford (literally) to be bad at this job, any and all advice is appreciated!

There's going to be limited to no expectations that you have any sort of substantive or practical knowledge. Your value add is going to be willingness/eagerness to do what is asked of you, however big or small and to be able to learn stuff as it comes up.

If you have a lot of time or would just feel better doing SOMETHING, I'd suggest reading Barbarians at the Gate and/or familiarizing yourself with Dealbook or the business section of WSJ. Probably won't have anything on there you'll be working on immediately, but will give an idea of the current corporate market and what sorts of deals generally happen.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Advice for incoming corp (M&A/PE) associate?

Postby deepseapartners » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:49 am

It might be a good idea to get your affairs in order - automate bill and loan payments, get a budget set up now, make sure you're on good footing with your SO/partner (if applicable), set realistic expectations with any family/friends you see often about your forthcoming unavailability, etc. Everyone, on this forum and in the real world, says the worst part of being a junior corporate associate is the unpredictability of your working time, and you don't want to have to worry about stuff other than your job when you're on day 5 of billing 18 hours a day, because you won't see that deluge of work coming, and you can't do anything once it hits until its over.

masque du pantsu

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Re: Advice for incoming corp (M&A/PE) associate?

Postby masque du pantsu » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:51 pm

Remember that your job at this point is to make OUR jobs easier. For example, if I have to go in and make a change myself to 20 signature pages because you didn't remove the draft line, that's a big deal when we only have limited time to get something out the door, for example. When we're spending 20 hours a day on the phone with the other side, taking questions from the client, turning documents, all these little things add up, and if you pay attention, figure out what's important (ask if you don't know) and be responsive with what seems like brainless work, you will be a huge help to the team. Try to keep the "why" in mind and it will be more bearable. The litigators on here seem to think that we do work they would give to their secretaries, and to an extent that's true as a first year, but if you do your job right that will change very, very quickly.

I second the person who suggested reading Barbarians at the Gate; as a first year you'll do a lot of scut work but the big picture can be very exciting. Rather than to try to spend your time right now learning substance, far better to have a sense of what that big picture is and how exciting it can be. And it might sound silly but i think it actually helps: If you have a positive attitude (and try to understand the "why"), you will enjoy the interesting things more, the shitty things (read: diligence, signature pages), and the result will be you'll do a better job and get more substantive work sooner.



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