Joining the Investment Banking team during COVID-19
My journey to joining Delta Partners has been one which involved several pivots in my personal life. From studying Economics and International Relations to working in the South African listed property sector for three years and finally joining the Corporate Finance team at Delta Partners’ Johannesburg office.
Interviews and Onboarding
My first interaction with Delta was during the interview process, where I gained a basic understanding of what was required of me and a brief view of who my future colleagues would be. Interviews were conducted in a manner that ensured that I, as the interviewee, felt sufficiently comfortable, as well as pressurized. I now realise that this was done to simulate the working conditions on a day to day basis at Delta.
Once I successfully joined the company, the onboarding process kicked off in spectacular fashion. I went to the office on a Friday afternoon to collect my laptop and meet my colleagues in person for the first time. They immediately made me feel welcome and part of the team but before I could get to know them better, I was off to Dubai for training.
Training in Dubai
I had travelled through Dubai a few times, but this was my first time entering the United Arab Emirates to attend new-entrants training at the head offices of Delta Partners in Dubai. New-entrants training pulled back the curtain on what management consulting and investment banking truly are.
The training sessions were deeply insightful and superbly delivered by colleagues based in the Dubai office. Each day seemed to fly past with plenty of exciting and new information learnt. Learning the Delta Partners way was probably the most impactful to me as I left the sessions understanding how we deliver value and impact to clients on projects. I never expected or envisioned that my first project would, however, start while I was at training in Dubai.
I returned from Dubai on the Friday night and on the Monday afternoon we were off to go work on a project based in eSwatini, a country I had never even thought of going to. Being placed straight onto a project was a blessing because it allowed me to pick up the pace and intensity of the team. During that week, I was able to learn more about my Corporate Finance team members. They guided me and offered their help to me daily to ensure that I grasped the standards of the work required.
Four months down the line, I have interacted with and worked with several of the team members of the Corporate Finance team across the Dubai, Singapore and Johannesburg offices. Every project team I have been part of has been nothing short of amazing. There is a genuine willingness to help each other, while ensuring that the quality delivered to the client is impeccable.
During the past three months, the world as we have known it has been rocked by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which has changed the way we operate. Working from home has become the new normal across the world and the focus on telecommunications, media and technology by Delta Partners has ensured that we are able to continue to assist clients during these trying times.
The team has been active in ensuring that social connection remains in the Johannesburg office with quiz nights, book club, film club, exercise sessions and more being initiated on a weekly basis. It is definitely not the same as being in the office kitchen or taking a walk to the surrounding Sandton restaurants, but it allows for continued team interaction. I also try to stay in touch with my Johannesburg Corporate Finance team members on a daily basis to ensure everyone’s physical and mental health is all in order.
Despite the Coronavirus causing a current change in the way the world works, I have continued to gain experience and learn new things while locked down. The trainings conducted on a weekly basis, as well as short sessions between myself and senior members of project teams continue to add significant value to me personally. I enjoy learning and the ability to add value to projects I am currently working on and look forward to more in the future.
The lockdown in South African is slightly more intense than in other countries around the world, so guessing when things will go back to normal would be more like gambling. Being able to exercise outside of our homes between 6AM and 9AM is a welcome relief and assists with ensuring that the day gets off to a fresh start. I do, however, look forward to getting back into the office when it is safe to do so and helping clients understand how to operate within the new status quo of the global economy.
Corporate Finance Analyst
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