Dear Miao...

Miao Zhang
Associate Director
Vermilion Partners

Dear Miao,


Working in M&A, you will experience a variety of challenges. You will find that overcoming these challenges will prove rewarding in itself, and you will learn and grow.


May the following advice assist you in conquering obstacles and lead you to a more enjoyable and fruitful career:


  • Be responsible. As a financial advisor, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your clients and be responsible for your clients and your projects. No matter whether you are pitching for a project or executing a transaction, it is critical that you understand your clients’ challenges and objectives, and are well-prepared in understanding every detail. Comprehensive preparation is the foundation for insightful discussions. By learning about your (prospective) clients and gaining insights into their industries and the markets, you will inevitably generate ideas that allow you to better serve your clients. Your devoted efforts will eventually contribute to the success of your deals.


  • Keep learning. One of the attractive elements of a career in M&A is that there is always something new to learn, from new policies and industry trends to different types of transactions. Three types of learning are worth mentioning:
    • First of all, you should closely follow the trends of the industries you cover. The knowledge accumulated may not be useful at the moment but will eventually help you in your career;
    • Secondly, you should learn from people with whom you work. Each person has his/her talents and advantages. Stay humble and learn from those around you, including how they handle matters in difficult situations and what makes them different from others;
    • Thirdly, you should reflect often. It is important to self-review each time you complete a project and to think about the aspects that you may improve. The lessons you have learned will, in aggregate, help you to pave a more successful future career path.


  • Be persistent. Where there is a will, there is a way. Persistence plays a key role in one’s career success. Through persistent learning, and by overcoming frustrations and obstacles, you may accumulate more valuable knowledge, skill sets, and experiences than others. Persistence is also a trait appreciated by clients and project teams. Clients and teammates who notice your persistence will be more likely continue to want to work with you.


In the end, engage in the career you love and enjoy the moment in this fast-paced and ever-changing world.



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