Capital Markets Lawyer
I practice in the areas of corporate finance and financial services with a focus on venture capital and private equity investments as well as traditional domestic and cross-border/Atlantic lending and private M&A. I advise both domestic and international institutional lenders as well as private debt lenders, venture capital and private equity firms. I also act for borrowers, including start-ups, early stage technology corporations and traditional brick and mortar business.
Briefly describe your career journey so far
I began my legal career with my current firm, Aird & Berlis LLP. During law school I was accepted into a summer program with the firm after which I articled here and eventually became an associate here. However, this was not as straightforward as it seems. Initially, I was not hired as an associate, however after a significant degree of work, creativity and luck I was able to obtain this position – I would be happy to tell any of you more about this.
How do you define success?
I define success as happiness. Happiness should apply to our work as well as our life. We should be happy with what we learn, happy to identify what we do not know and how to learn it and happy with those around us. An unhappy life is one without success as our greatest metric in life is how we feel each and every day, not how we are perceived or how well our CV looks.
What did you envision your job or career to be when you started university? How has that vision evolved?
When I was in law school, I thought that I would be an international trade litigator (I even have litigation robes). However, as I met more people that I enjoyed working with and work that I enjoyed doing, I found myself practicing corporate finance law. What helped shape by career most thus far has been the people I have worked with – good people and good mentorship will take you to the right job.
What are the strategies you use to remain resilient during challenging situations?
Always ensure that you remember that you are not your job. We all have lives outside of work and we all have goals that go beyond raises and bonuses. In order to stay focused during challenging times, I remember my holistic goals and set out a list of to-dos to help put my work challenges into perspective and keep myself organized.
What career building advice would you offer your fellow alumni?
Never give up – we often think that a job offer turn down or a lack of replies to our e-mails are the end, however it is resilience and confidence to explore new ways of success that will ultimately get you to where you want to be.
Aaron Bains is an Online Career Mentor at alumni UBC. He is available to connect with UBC alumni and students seeking career support and guidance. Visit his profile on the UBC Hub of Ten Thousand Coffees to connect with him.