A Sample Day in the Life of a Summer Finance Intern in Asia

6 am: Wake up — have to beat the morning traffic so grab a quick breakfast and take a quick shower before heading out into the sweltering morning sun. I have my undershirt and long-sleeves formal attire in my bag to keep them from getting too sweaty

7–8 am: Travel to the office — my phone plan has data so I catch-up on the latest US evening news on the Wall Street Journal and CNN apps

8–9 am: Elevator is broken today, so have to walk up ~8 flights stairs to get to the office. Enter the office, quickly change into my formal clothes, and find receive comments from the managing director on a pitch to a family business interested in raising some debt. Most of the corrections are centered on slides that focus on the firm’s experience dealing with family businesses wanting to raise capital. Edits will need to be quick since the meeting with the business’ founder and CFO is this afternoon

9–10 am: Complete the edits and check email for any new assignments from the managers and senior associate. The senior associate is asking for some quick market research on Islamic finance for a conference that a partner is going to later in the week. I look at comparable microfinance schemes in Indonesia and prepare a brief primer

10–12:30 am: Continue on a small project that I had been working on for the past month. The project is on ASEAN integration and mapping out how regulation might change the competitive landscape in certain industries in ASEAN countries, leading to potential M&A and divestiture deals. The firm is aggressively exploring possible ways to expand their M&A practice through cross-border deals

12:30–1:30 pm: Grab lunch with some associates (along with some stragglers from other advisory departments) at a mall food court

1:30–2:30 pm: Log into Bloomberg to check the company information of a few comparables for a client debt deal. It is very difficult to find good comparables in Asia. The team ends up relying on the client’s prior debt issuance to price the indicative spreads

2:30–4:30 pm: Accompany the family business team to meet with the founder and CFO. The founder is impressed with the firm’s track record with other family businesses and asks us whether we can help find some potential investors. He also presents to us the business plan and draft use of proceeds document, which is very unfocused and needs a lot of work (and proper formatting). He and the CFO promise to revise the documents before any investor meetings can be made

4:30–5:30 pm: A sleeping food & beverage M&A deal just went live and a new 3-statement operating model must be made given the recent SEC filings of the selling company. The deal is set to (re)launch by the end of the week. I check-out the recent SEC filings and start filling in details and numbers. I am told to wait for a few revised numbers to be given by the client

5:30–7 pm: Someone in the office had some noodles delivered to our area since it was his birthday. We greet the celebrant and eat for a bit while chatting about a recent TV show. I work on the 3-statement model a bit more and update metrics and multiples for the public comparables

7 pm: I pack my laptop and change into civilian clothes. Elevator is working again but is very cramped with a lot of people on their way home — I take my chance and dive into the crowd. The elevator descends and I exit the building with the hope that it won’t suddenly rain

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