How do I start actually learning more on the job?

New analyst here. Work has been manageable, even if the hours and unpredictability are annoying, and I definitely feel like I'm doing useful work for our deal team. But I don't feel like I'm learning a ton? Most tasks are minor fixes, information gathering, and listening in on calls. Maybe I'm supposed to absorb a lot of business / investing knowledge through these, but I don't feel like I have really. Or at least it all feels very surface level. Maybe it's because I got staffed on a deal that was already in progress so I didn't learn all about it from the beginning.

Anyway, is it normal to feel this way? It HAS only been about a month, but I'd appreciate it if you guys had tips for how to learn more. 

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Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Sep 19, 2021 - 11:58pm

When you're on calls, are you taking notes and then googling things you don't understand? Then if the Google results don't yield a satisfactory answer, are you asking someone senior?

Are you doing the same with deal documents?

In order to learn, you MUST be proactive. Some people will take the time to train, others were thrown into the fire and so that's how they approach juniors.

While you're reviewing deal documents, think about an investment thesis, think about the dynamics of a business - what would you like as an investor, what would you hate? 

Review old pitches and presentations, practice modelling until you can do it with your feet while your eyes are closed. 

Ask a shitload of questions (just not the same one twice). 

Now that you're out of school, no one is going to give you a study guide or syllabus with learning objectives - you need to take control of your learning and career.

Hope that was helpful.

Sep 22, 2021 - 1:12am

I'll take a stab at this maybe another day, but in short

create filterable databases in Excel - of every example of the same Deliverable, Key topic, slide, etc. --of written info - to later dive in and analyze. Then "Comp out"--to summarize in a way to breaks it down vs. another example

Folder - create database of every example of a key legal doc - the same thing - comp out vs. the oher

Folder - any other materials/internal approvals, anything that is the same document or material. Then analyze many at once and deep dive, see differences, similarities. Then spread in excel or some other way that makes sense.

The way to efficiently learn is to perhaps

1) source the content upfront

2) synthesize / spread the content,

3) analyze the content,

4) Summarize the content 

What helps in sourcing the same content is the naming conventions being the same. Once you notice differences in the file names, you can make consistent across every one. 1 way I get around this without ruffling feathers, and to have the file name cover 1 of 2 ways it'll be named "Project Baseball Commitment Letter" vs. "Medline Commitment Letter" is name it both, with (Project Name) in brackets, deleting "project bc its redundant:

"Medline (Baseball) Commitment Letter"

then, do same convention for all similar docs - Fee letter, Engagement Letter, Credit Agreement - I'm just deleting 1 word and replacing.

"Medline (Baseball) Fee Letter" "Medline (Baseball) Engagement Letter" "Medline (Baseball) Credit Agreement". Also - makes naming the files so much faster, and is pretty mindless. Just a few thoughts - but high level thought is dive in to multiple examples to learn. Requires a bit of innovation/skillset in keyboard/Excel/Word/PPT, etc. perhaps to execute with confidence.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 22, 2021 - 5:13am

You're likely not receiving work because you're not ramped up enough yet in the smaller tasks that seniors trust you enough to make you the primary analyst on important items. Once you nail current tasks and do it 2x faster it will come. 

Don't worry about learning. When you have 2 models to do and work 100h weeks to do it, you will learn. 

In the meantime, enjoy procrastinating during calls with your camera off

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 26, 2021 - 6:16pm

Not really, I have 3 deals closing in the next 2 months. Had to turn down 2 deals recently because I have no capacity 

Sep 27, 2021 - 2:22pm

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