What is your background?
I grew up on the North Coast of NSW and moved to Brisbane to study a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Economics at the University of Queensland. Through attending recruitment events I learned that a job in IBD requires analytical skills as well as the ability to work in a team, so with this in mind I applied for an IBD summer internship with Morgan Stanley in my penultimate year. During the summer I worked in both the Melbourne and Sydney offices and at the conclusion of the internship accepted a position to return as a full time analyst upon graduation.
What's your job about?
Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division specialises in advising Australia’s largest clients on their corporate solutions, whether through transformative change such as via a merger or acquisition, or a financial re-capitalisation such as raising debt or equity capital.
IBD can be broadly split into working in an M&A / capital raising transaction team, or generating and presenting new ideas to clients. As an IBD analyst, my core role is to work through any analysis or “number crunching” associated with transactions and then build-out that analysis into presentations that illustrate the story or a particular aspect of a transaction. In reality, an analyst’s role is much broader than “running the numbers”. For example, throughout my most recent transaction I was involved in the project management, client interaction, research, financial modelling, economic analysis, bid materials preparation, liaison with advisers, logistics co-ordination and monitoring any media coverage. For that reason, no two days in banking are ever the same.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I am fortunate enough to be surrounded and encouraged by a team of intelligent people who are passionate about what they do. Morgan Stanley’s IBD is structured so that juniors operate as generalists and aren’t assigned to a single / specific sector – for this reason, the work is very diverse in nature in terms of both sectors and products, so juniors are afforded a great deal of diversity.
My role allows me to be continually challenged in many different aspects of my career. As I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say, the learning curve in banking is extremely steep as you transition from self-directed learning and an abundance of free time at university, to having deadlines, responsibilities and accountability. Although it may sound daunting, banking allows you to learn very quickly about time management, setting and meeting expectations, and managing relationships. This broad-based analyst experience coupled with the collegiate and lean team structure at Morgan Stanley encourages juniors to take on more responsibility early-on. As a result, I constantly feel challenged in both a technical and professional sense whilst also knowing that I am supported by a team who takes an active role in my development.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Of course! A finance background provides you with a strong foundation of the day-to-day technical tasks required of an analyst; however these financials skills are taught (or reinforced) through formal training in Hong Kong and on-the-job learning. I have found that although my university knowledge has been helpful, it has not been hugely applicable to all aspects of the job. Once you have the base financial knowledge, being proactive and having a good attitude is what will help you succeed in the long-run.
How do you motivate yourself to take action?
I am motivated by the collaborative nature of the team and the communal desire to exceed each client’s needs. In saying that, it is not difficult to motivate yourself in banking as the workload is constant and you are most likely pressured by tight deadlines. Each task is a learning opportunity and there’s no time to procrastinate. Jumping in is the best way to motivate yourself.
Are there any tips you can provide to students who are currently seeking an internship or graduate position and finding it difficult and/or stressful?