MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Degree: Physics, Oxford University
Year of graduation: 2006
Occupation: Analyst in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley
What do you do in your job?
The mergers and acquisitions team that I work within advises clients on various strategic assignments. These range from acquisitions of other companies to restructuring certain divisions of their current companies, or divesting those divisions. As an analyst, my particular role is to support the senior people in my team who are dealing with the clients. I analyse the financial statement to find out the financial impact of the transaction – whether it’s acquisition, restructuring, or divestiture.
What was your motivation in applying?
Even though I have a physics background, I was more interested in the business world than in science. I thought the best way I could learn more about it would be to go to a company that advises businesses on how to perform better. I picked investment banking largely because the people I met seemed talented and interesting to work for. Morgan Stanley particularly appealed to me because of its strong brand, and because the people I met there seemed like my kind of people.
What did the application process involve?
I was taken on as a result of doing a summer internship at Morgan Stanley in my penultimate year of university. To get onto that, I had to fill in an application form and attach a CV and covering letter. I was then invited to three rounds of interviews. The first was in Oxford, with people at the same level as, or slightly higher than, I am now. The second involved more senior people and was held in London. And the final round was a whole day at an assessment centre, where I had to do a numeracy test and group exercises as well as more interviews.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The variety and unpredictability. You can come into the office in the morning and think you have an idea of what the day will bring, but it takes one phone call to throw your plans completely. Some people might not like that, but I thrive off it. I also like working for very talented people, and the fact that I learn so much every day.
Most challenging part of your job?
The long hours. Sometimes we have to work 16 hours a day for two or three weeks flat – which means getting a little less sleep than I was used to as a student. It also means that my social plans sometimes have to change
at short notice.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
Do your research. I went to all the careers fairs at my university, including about 10 to 12 presentations from banks. That gave me a good understanding of each organisation. Also, speak to as many people as you can, as that helps you get under the skin of an organisation.