Often seen as the more glamorous side of the Investment Banking Industry, Mergers & Acquisitions is actually one of the most competitive sectors to break into.

A career in M&A is fast paced, competitive and demanding and requires considerable commitment. The hours can be extremely long and the workload very intense – advising clients at stressful and critical important periods in a company’s lifetime.

At Analyst level there is a lot of complex financial modelling and research required which requires high accuracy levels. The work can range from mundane fact-checking to complex leveraged buy-out analysis.

The career ladder from Analyst is a relatively straight up, starting at Analyst level, moving to Associate, then Vice President, Director and Managing Director. Within those roles the sector focus varies, giving exposure to (i.e. consumer, financials, oil and gas, media and telecommunications).

The higher one travels up the career path, the more you get to deal with clients on a face-to-face basis and deal less with the daily number crunching.

Given the high level of complex financial modelling required in this role, numerical and analytical skills are essential to success. Additional languages are also useful in dealing with overseas clients and attention to detail is crucial.

In addition, hard work, determination, an appetite to learn, good social skills and flexibility are the skills generally sought after by employers in the M&A sector.