A day in the life of a split department trainee

Thomas Papke’s trainee day in the life shows the variety and quality of work split between Corporate Finance and Incentives.

08 August 2022

This article was written by Thomas Papke

As most training contract seats are in one particular department it is quite unusual to be split between two different departments (although they do sit within the same wider team). This blog post illustrates a day in the life of a trainee split between Corporate Finance and Incentives, some of the work you might expect to be tasked with as a trainee and some suggestions on how to deal with being a split department trainee.

7:30: It is currently the UK’s record heatwave (July 2022) and with the sun shining I get up early to head to the gym prior to starting the working day. I am very lucky to live a 5-minute walk from the office so I am able to wake up at a reasonable time and still exercise before work.

8:45: Walk to the office and log in to my computer, check my emails and respond to anything that might have come in overnight. I will also take this time to make a rough to-do list for the day ahead and try to mentally block out time in the day to complete my tasks. I will usually prioritise what I do in a day by the urgency of the task.

9:30: Join the Incentives team weekly call. This is usually held via Teams as there are members of the team based in both the Bristol and Edinburgh office and on this occasion there was also someone in the London Office. In this meeting everyone in the team is asked to give their ‘MITTs’ (Most Important Three Things) for the week. These are non-negotiable tasks that you have to complete during the week and often include a non-work related task. I decided that I would have one Corporate Finance task, one Incentives task and one non-work task for this week. This is also a great opportunity to let the team know what you expect your capacity to be like for the week as well as your expected split for the week. Each week is different and communicating to both teams is important to ensure that you are completing all of your work but also that you are not being flooded with work from both departments.

10:00 – 13:00: Attend a meeting with a colleague in the Corporate Finance team to discuss work we completed last week and agree on next steps. I am tasked with drafting a number of corporate ancillary documents that we will be sending to the client for their review later in the week. As the discussion was fresh in my head I decided to start drafting the documents straight away as there were a number of complexities that I wanted to make sure I captured in the documents.

13:00-14:00: Attend a lunch and learn session entitled ‘Male Mental Fitness’. This was a really interesting talk and was attended by over 300 people at the firm. The firm often runs full firm lunch and learn sessions on a variety of different topics and they are all very well attended.

14:30: Receive a Team’s call from a colleague in the Incentives team to review a set of plan rules and option agreement that I assisted with drafting last week. This is a long term incentives plan for a subsidiary of a key client so it is great to feel involved and know that you are contributing in a meaningful way to work being sent to clients.

15:30-16:00: Join the wider Corporate team weekly call. This meeting is run by the head of the Corporate team and they run through a number of different topics ranging from any new or completed work, if there is any upcoming team training as well as general team updates.

16:00-18:00: After a quick trip down to Glassworks (the firm’s café) for a take-away coffee I started on a due diligence exercise of reviewing documents for a deal that was expected to close by the end of the month. I had a kick-off call with a Corporate Finance colleague earlier in the week and I had mentally blocked this time out in my day to make a start on the documents. I was able to get through them a bit quicker than I had expected which gave me the chance to start on the next phase of the transaction which was drafting a suite of ancillary documents that would be signed as part of completion of the deal.

18:30: I run through my to-do list to make sure I have ticked off everything I had wanted to complete for the day. I send off a few final emails before logging off and meeting some of the other trainees for a drink in the sun!

Key contact

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Penny Bowring Resourcing Specialist

Legal Resourcing

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