What I learned at my Connect Corporate Finance internship
We were thrilled to welcome Rajdeep Gill for an 8 week summer internship, in the Freight & Logistics deal team. We asked him to review the key things he learned during his time with us in London.
1. Insight into consultancy, relationship management and networking
I enjoyed learning the industry of freight forwarding and logistics, gaining insight into complex and multidimensional sub-sectors, having had no prior experience in supply chain and the disruptions it faces globally. Early on, I noted the requirement to stay updated on industry press, highlighting key news and shipping rates, which enabled the team to discuss and comment where appropriate, with prospective clients.
I was able to attend and take notes during meetings with the deal team, I had exposure to client calls involving founders, CEOs, CFOs and managing directors from all over the world, this gave me an opportunity to learn about exit strategies, time horizons, sales revenue and profitability trends. Hearing owners talk about their companies and the passion they had for what they built was inspiring.
The team highlighted the importance of regularly ‘touching base’, six months can be a long time in business, especially Freight & Logistics, as a sector focused intermediary you must be attuned to your chosen market, having re-alignment, catch-up calls are key, Connect CF maintain a wealth of knowledge in owner aspirations and company performance, all by regular dialogue with industry executives, whether that be via a Teams call or face to face during meetings and industry events.
I acknowledged that patience is key in any advisory business, being consultative and offering long term valuable insight to prospective clients, can put you at the forefront of a prospects thoughts, when considering who to appoint.
2. The importance of asking questions
Since it was a new industry for me, it was quite daunting starting out, I knew I had to be inquisitive and ask meaningful questions to get up to speed efficiently.
As an introverted, but naturally curious person, I’m thankful that the team encouraged me to speak up and ask anything I was interested or uncertain of, Connects office dynamic quickly enabled me to grasp the terminology and nuances of the industry sectors and M&A services they offer.
The partners were able to explain technical questions regarding Excel projects I was tasked with, whilst also breaking down the Freight & Logistics industry and it’s sub-sectors, particularly how asset light freight forwarders operate, and how to identify them, versus an asset reliant business such as Distribution and Warehousing companies.
I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the Team, having the social and professional interaction creates a bond, I talked about many things, such as sport, literature, travelling and fitness and this all seemed to bring us closer. The fact Connect CF is a small team, it encourages collaboration on deals, I haven't experienced a small team before, but I enjoyed pulling in the same direction for the companies cause.
3. Understanding technical company analysis.
I quickly learned that a large part of an M&A analyst role, involves research and quantitative skills. When working a specific industry such as global freight & logistics, I needed to navigate large amounts of data, on businesses operating in the sector and their trading performances. By researching various data streams, I was tasked with modelling the UK privately owned freight forwarding market, a task that would enable Connect CF to identify viable acquisition targets, for clients seeking UK investments.
Breaking the UK regions down was quite an arduous task and tested my attention to detail. Collaboratively the team showed me what information could be found on Limited companies, explaining what details were relevant to Connect and their buy-side trade clients.
Initially I set deadlines for tasks, however at times - this proved to be ambitious. I realised it’s important to maintain the highest standard of work, as opposed to rushing for the sake of self-set deadlines. The team was supportive about the time required to do my tasks, providing I maintained accurate analysis. I learnt that sometimes you may not have the ability to complete tasks as quickly as others, but as long as you are advancing each project towards the desired outcome then this is a step in the right direction.
4. Confidence in your own intuition
Having developed formulas for the tasks at hand, my processes became more efficient. My time spent working with Connect, taught me very early on an essential attribute in any aspiring consultant or financial analyst, is the ability to solve problems and to have the confidence in your own approach, that you’re capable to solve issues that arise and to treat those as likely occurrences. It’s important to work through certain issues independently, rather than seek assistance instantly, especially in a smaller team where everybody is multitasking, which I saw first hand during my placement.
I come away from this internship, with an awareness for proactiveness, which should aid me in future employment and personal endeavours. This wasn’t just an internship, as cliché as it might sound, it was a holistic experience, on a professional and personal basis.
If you're reading this and also interested by an internship at Connect Corporate Finance, we're now considering applications for 2023, please review our careers page here;