Meet an Investment Intern

Meet an Investment Intern

Alma Mater: Harvard

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

What led you to Private Equity?

I was really involved in the entrepreneurial scene throughout college. I spent a large portion of my undergrad career working on an education start-up for Harvard Innovation Lab and Professor Paul Bottino's Startup Rad class. I also executed leadership and entrepreneurship conferences in Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai with the Youth Lead the Change group, a student-run organization that organizes leadership development programs across the globe. Additionally, I was the President of the Entrepreneurship Forum and hosted fireside chats with veteran investors and entrepreneurs for the undergraduate community.

Between my on-campus involvement and summer internships at other private equity firms, I knew that I would be happy sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities post-graduation. The best part about Private Equity is that it forces me to be nimble and flexible in quickly discerning a wide array of opportunities - whether it be quickly learning about a new industry by talking to industry veterans/CEOs or putting on my investor hat to formulate intelligent theses after an extensive due diligence process. The hustle doesn't stop and that really gets me going.

What made you decide to intern with SGE?

I worked as an intern at SGE during the summer of 2018. Throughout the recruitment process, I could see that SGE focuses on mentoring and teaching interns to become full-fledged growth equity investors. From the daily tasks I would be assigned, to the meetings I would have the opportunity to participate in, I knew that if I interned with SGE, I would finish the summer having been exposed to the full life cycle of investing - and it was true! I was actively involved with the entire diligence cycle of investment opportunities and was able to see a term sheet successfully executed for one of the deals I worked on. The team loaded up my plate with as much as they thought I could handle, and I was ready for a feast of knowledge and experience - just like everyone else here. Needless to mention, the team is ridiculously intelligent and very good at what they do, which obviously helped with the decision; there's a lot to learn from folks at SGE.

Walk us through a typical day in your life as an intern.

During my internship, I got in around 6 a.m. to utilize SIG's on-site gym and showers. I was typically at my desk by 8 a.m., and my morning usually started with sourcing for a few hours and connecting with CEOs via email. By the early afternoon, I'd be in a variety of meetings with team members syncing on deals or following up with companies that may have been sourced the previous week. I also sat in on phone calls with companies that SGE is interested in investing in. The team grabs dinner and I would close out the day by finishing up any last minute emails. My favorite part was the couple of hours that I'd get to work in Excel developing my technical skills through modeling. By the end of the summer, I didn't need to use my mouse and was even able to fix holes in models provided by external parties. It was really rewarding!

What have you liked best about working in Private Equity at SGE?

I am constantly challenged to improve myself in an environment that fosters communication and collaboration. No matter how difficult the puzzle looks, we always manage to put the pieces together thanks to our culture of sharing perspectives. For example, whenever we are looking at a new business opportunity, we will delegate responsibilities based on need and the skillsets of our team. We might start with a narrow piece of information and then look at how to expand on it. Our day-to-day consists of talking on the phone and recapping the conversations with one another to challenge previous assumptions and strategize on the best way forward. Every Monday, the team meets for a pipeline meeting where each person will give a brief snapshot of companies they are interested in; it gives everyone the opportunity to provide feedback and comments. It's cool how everyone is so helpful and down to Earth. People are focused on improving their craft, while helping others do the same so that we win as a team. We go hard in the paint as a synchronized unit.

The best part, however, is that our work has a tangible impact beyond a paycheck and good work culture. If you are someone who is willing to put in the hours and dedication it takes to be successful, then it's an unbelievable privilege to be able to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

If you were speaking with someone who was considering interning at SGE, what advice would you give them?

If you are interested in growth equity, you should join SGE because you will walk out knowing what it takes to be successful in this industry. The best way to learn is to put your head down, work hard, and get comfortable talking on the phone. You will make mistakes because no one gets started having the experience building models or speaking with upper management but the team will encourage trial and error. It's up to you to improve your skills based off the feedback that you receive, so be open-minded to change and embrace your strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, there is a lot of training! The entire internship is training and you can ask questions to anyone in the firm regardless of how long they've been there - don't be afraid to just ask!

In your opinion, what is the best perk we offer?

I am a big fan of the cafeteria, which always seems to have awesome snacks. The firm is considerate and appreciative of its employees as reflected by the fun events and amenities. I really enjoyed attending SIG Night at the Ballpark but have to say my favorite was getting surprised by a Beiler's Doughnut truck when I got into work early one morning. Seriously though, great food + free gym + cool people? You guess the other half of that equation.