Q&A with Sarah Tscherner, Investment Analyst in Frankfurt, Germany

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

“Slate encourages cross-team collaboration, so I’ve gotten to work across different business areas, and my skill set has been diversified and strengthened during my time here.”

How do you typically start your day?
One of the first things I do when I wake up is check my emails to make sure nothing urgent came in overnight. We’re a global team so I often have emails from my colleagues in the United States and Canada waiting for me in the morning. I try to do yoga or go for a run in the morning to put me in the right headspace for the day. Then I get ready for work, followed by my typical breakfast of oatmeal with fruit.

The office is only 10 minutes from my home, so I like to walk. I prefer getting in earlier, especially on Mondays when there’s more to catch up on. Most of the team trickles in just before 9 a.m., but every day at Slate is different. Some days we’ll have back-to-back meetings in the office, other days we might be on property tours or attending industry events in a completely different country. We’re in close contact with our advisors and industry partners, and every day brings new insights and opportunities.

What are the first work tasks you tackle in the morning?
I’m a coffee-lover, and we have an amazing coffee machine at the Frankfurt office, so I have to start every day with my favorite brew. Next, I go through my emails to address anything pressing. I always make a plan for my day in the morning – basically a task list that keeps me organized as new projects and deadlines come up.

Who do you collaborate with most closely?
I work on the investments and acquisitions team, and we get to collaborate with a diverse mix of people internally and externally, depending on where we are in the acquisition and management process. Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to work on a number of strategic acquisitions across Germany, Norway, Austria and Slovakia. I’ve also closely collaborated with our global teams and departments at Slate, and with our best-in class external advisors throughout our acquisition and due diligence process.

The great thing about Slate is that many of us – even global colleagues – have met in person and know each other well. I never hesitate to pick up the phone and call any of my team members in Europe, Canada or the United States if I need input or guidance. Everyone is happy to help when you need something.

What are some of the skills you need to be successful in your role?
Having an analytical mindset is really critical for my role, along with the ability to work under tight deadlines. Sometimes I may be asked to complete an urgent task in a few minutes, half an hour or an hour, so time management is another important skill.

In general, Slate encourages cross-team collaboration, so I’ve gotten to work across different business areas, and my skill set has been diversified and strengthened during my time here.

What’s your lunchtime routine?
My coworkers and I usually go down to the cafeteria in our office building to get lunch. They have great food with different options every day. My personal favourite is Thursday, when they serve traditional German schnitzel, but they also have amazing fries.

We usually take our food back up to the office and eat together around the meeting room table and chat. There are also some great restaurants nearby when we need to organize a business lunch.

What is the team dynamic in Frankfurt?
It’s a very casual and friendly atmosphere, which is great because we’re together for most of the day. When you spend this much time together, it’s important to work with people you like. We’re a young team, so we’re all at a similar stage in life. I’m good friends with my coworkers outside of the office – we do lunches and dinners and often hang out in our free time. We all share a similar sense of humor and find time to have fun and decompress – especially if we’re working longer days on a big deal. We recently bought eight Nerf toys, so if you come into the office, you might find random foam darts around the place.

How do you end your day?
When I leave the office varies day by day – it really depends on what my team is working on at any given time. One of the things I like most about working at Slate is that junior team members are given a lot of responsibility and autonomy. This motivates me to take pride in my work, which sometimes means staying at office later because I want to deliver the best possible product I can.

If I am working later, I usually have dinner at the office with my colleagues. My walk home is a nice way to unwind, and if I have time, I might go to the gym. When I’m at home I like to read. Recently, I’ve been enjoying fiction and comedy- it helps me relax before I fall asleep.

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