The private equity and venture capital lab is an experiential program intended for students who want to learn more about what it is like to work in private equity or venture capital industries. The program is comprised of (a) an internship and (b) an academic course. Internships are hosted by private equity firms, angel groups, venture capital firms, mezzanine lenders, growth equity firms, buyout firms and many other variations. The academic course is designed to equip students with timely practical tools and impart experience from industry veterans with the goal to accelerate the apprenticeship process of those aspiring to work in the private equity and venture capital industries. The course is split into two sections, offered in both winter and spring quarter, one that emphasizes private equity and the other venture capital.
Internship assignments can range widely from evaluating new investment opportunities to working on specific projects for portfolio companies. The students are expected to work 15-20 hours per week for their host firm during their internship. The class also includes assigned work in addition to the time commitment to the internship. Students are discouraged from registering for more than three courses during their internship quarter as a result of this workload. While the course is scheduled for the spring quarter, the internships will sometimes begin in the fall quarter, winter quarter and/or continue beyond the spring quarter.
The course is a mix of case discussions, guest speakers, investment committee meetings, simulated board of director negotiations, workshops and lectures. Course material is designed to be topical and immediately useful to the student’s internship. Preparation for classes will involve group work and case preparation in addition to individual exercises. The class also employs self-directed videos and exercises which permits students of varying experience to adjust their learning in preparation for more in-depth class debate.
Grades are based on host firm evaluations, classroom participation, individual assignments, case write-ups and a final project. The course cannot be taken pass/fail and may not be audited.
Students will be selected for the course through a competitive screening/interviewing process, which begins by submitting a resume and a questionnaire in a process conducted by the Polsky Center. The host firms themselves choose which students to take on as interns. All students who secure an internship through the program are required to take the class due to federal laws relating to unpaid internships.
More information on the selection process can be found on the Private Equity Lab website.