Shadi Enos Jahangir
Partner, Blank Rome LLP
Shadi Enos Jahangir is a Partner in Blank Rome LLP’s Los Angeles office and is a member of the firm’s Finance, Restructuring and Bankruptcy practice group. Shadi has more than a decade of experience counseling clients in the areas of commercial lending and corporate finance. She represents financial institutions, leading private equity sponsors, and corporate borrowers in middle-market debt financing and investment-grade credits.
Her extensive experience includes widely syndicated, club and single-lender representation in connection with cross-border financings, restructurings, acquisition financings, recapitalizations, traditional asset-based lending facilities, and debt financings for technology companies. She also represents clients in senior-secured, first-lien/second-lien, mezzanine, unitranche, and unsecured financing transactions.
Shadi serves on the Board of Directors for The Center in Hollywood, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness and isolation in Los Angeles. She has also served on the board of The Financial Lawyers Conference and as an editor of the Commercial Law Newsletter for the American Bar Association.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Be authentic. Be yourself. It can sometimes feel challenging to work in an industry that is historically male-dominated. Should you try to be “one of the guys”? Should you try to be ultrafeminine? Should you try to be the most confident in the room or be a quiet studier of the crowd? My advice – just be you. Spend time figuring out who you are and what makes you tick. Then, embrace it. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you will be more confident, and confidence is magnetizing. If you are a sports nut and love talking about last night’s game, that’s great. If you are not (and, by the way, I am not), you don’t need to try to learn the lingo and fake it. There are plenty of ways to meaningfully connect with people that don’t involve sports. Have enough confidence to realize that you can build meaningful relationships with colleagues and clients, even if you don’t fit a traditional stereotype.
What role has mentoring played in your career?
Mentoring has been instrumental in my professional development. I have been incredibly lucky to have had several people provide me meaningful and continued guidance throughout my career. In fact, to this day, I work alongside my amazing mentor who hired me out of law school, Tony Callobre. I have had the honor of working with Tony from my time as a summer clerk, through the ranks of an associate and now as a partner. From his guidance, I learned so much more than just the substantive area of finance law; I learned how to build and maintain a professional environment that is nurturing of others’ goals. I feel it is my duty to help others in the way I have been helped throughout my career. As the saying goes, the rising tide lifts all boats.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
It is a marathon not a sprint. I was so eager to learn and improve as a young associate that I often took on too much work. I was fortunate not to have burned out, but there were a few times when I was headed in that direction. I now realize that, while we all have to work hard and dedicate time to perfecting our craft, it is also important to take a long-term view.
What do you think work will look like in the post-pandemic world?
It certainly will be interesting to see what the working world looks like post-pandemic. Most of us are now very comfortable using Microsoft Teams, WebEx and other technology that allows us to stay connected while working remotely. Many of us have also enjoyed not commuting into the office. But, I think we all miss human interaction (in varying degrees) and there is no substitute for meeting clients in person. As such, I think companies will allow more flexibility to work remotely part time but there will be an emphasis on continued team building and collaboration.