Buyout Lab

Information for Students
Course Description:
Buyout Lab is an experiential learning course that allows Kellogg students the opportunity to be placed in a quarter-long internship with a local or national private equity firm. Participants will be exposed to the day-to-day working life of the fund, and will assist with their deal selection, due diligence and/or investment efforts. Enrollment in the course is by application only.

Faculty Advisor: Professor David Stowell
Course Requirements:
  • Meeting with Professor Stowell. Each participant will meet with Professor Stowell three times during the quarter to provide progress updates on their assigned project and feedback regarding the process. The first meeting will take place the first week of the quarter before starting work for the buyout fund. 
  • Required readings must be completed during the quarter. 
  • Students are expected to work one to two days each week with the private equity fund.  This work, combined with other course requirements translates to 100-150 hours during the quarter. 
  • Students are expected to attend a presentation on topics of relevance to the private equity market during the course of the quarter. Attendance at the presentation is mandatory. 
  • A project summary of the work completed for the fund must be submitted at the end of the quarter.
Grading: The course grade is based on feedback from the buyout fund, attendance at meetings, and the quality of the work submitted to Professor Stowell. 
Target students: This opportunity will be particularly beneficial to students who do not have extensive buyout experience but would like to pursue a career in the field. Students with previous buyout experience are also welcome to apply. 
  • Students must have completed the following:
                     Finance II or Accelerated Corporate Finance (FINC 431, FINC 440 or FINC 441).
  • Other recommended courses include:
                    Strategy and Organization (MGMT 452)
                    Hedge Funds and Private Equity (FINC 931)
                    Financial Decisions (FINC 442)
                    Corporate Restructuring (FINC 448)
                    Derivative Markets I (FINC 465)
                    Financial Strategy and Tax Planning (FINC 447)
                    Investment Banking (FINC 461). 
Selection Process: Registration is by application only. Professor Stowell, in consultation with the sponsoring firms, makes the final selections. 
Participating Firms: Most participating firms are in the Chicago area, but some are not. Students that are sponsored by local firms will work at the firm's office. Students sponsored by firms outside of the Chicago area will work remotely. Often firms based outside of Chicago will arrange for their student to be flown out to meet the fund managers and present their final product.

Application Instructions and Materials
The application period for Spring Quarter 2015 will close on February 2, 2015, 11:59 CST.

During this period, the online application can be found here. A list of participating sponsor firms for the current quarter is included with the electronic application. This list will be continuously updated, and students should check the list for updates. Once an application is submitted it cannot be modified. If you submit early, and a firm that you are interested in applying to is added to the list, you will need to submit a new application. All applications for this course will only be accepted via this online application.

Applicants will be notified whether they have been selected approximately one week prior to the start of the quarter. We recommend bidding for classes as if you will not be taking Buyout Lab, yet be prepared to drop a course if accepted to the program. Since the demands of this course are significant, it is recommended that class schedules be kept flexible since buyout firms often have investment committee meetings on Mondays, which should be attended, if possible.


Information for Sponsors
Course Description
: This course offers Kellogg students an experiential learning opportunity in private equity by working at a buyout fund in the Chicago area. The host firm determines the project(s) that students will focus on and students commit to between 100 and 150 hours during during the ten week quarter. There is no compensation paid to students and no expectation of a full-time position after the program is completed. Buyout firms select students by reviewing resumes online and then interviewing students (by phone or in person) during the weeks prior to the quarter start date.

Student Demographic: Consists of second-year 2Y students, second- or third-year JD/MBA students and 1Y students. Students enrolled must have completed substantial financial/accounting pre-requisites. Many of them want to enter the private equity industry after graduation.

Student Responsibilities: These will vary considerably based on sponsoring firm. Each student is required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Past experiences/responsibilities have included analytics ranging from LBO modeling to financial engineering, detailed industry/investment research and deal execution.

sponsorSponsoring Firm Commitment: The firm is encouraged to supply the student with guidance in their respective responsibilities/tasks and give continual, constructive feedback throughout the  ten week period. The student’s grade is based principally on feedback the firm gives to the Kellogg faculty advisor.

Advanced Planning: The sponsoring firm and student are strongly encouraged to make contact several weeks prior to the start of the quarter. This will allow for time to determine the nature of the student project prior to the beginning of the quarter.  The student can then be ready to start the project immediately and thus be able to produce a finished product in the ten week time frame.

Reeve Waud ’89, Managing Partner, Waud Capital Partners, LLC, with Skip and Lynn Heizer.

Participating Firms: Firms have the option to participate or not during each quarter during the academic year. Previous participants include: Madison Dearborn Partners, Sterling Partners, Waud Capital, McNally Capital, LaSalle Capital, Code Hennessey & Simmons, Prism Capital, Geneva Glen Capital, Frontenac Co, Shore Capital Partners, Granite Creek Partners, Smith Whiley & Co and 2x Consumer Products.  See the detailed lists of past student and firm participants:

Academic Year Quarter
2014-2015 Fall Winter
2013-2014 Fall Winter Spring
2012-2013 Fall Winter Spring
2011-2012 Fall Winter Spring
2010-2011 Fall Winter Spring
2009-2010 Fall Winter Spring
2008-2009 Fall Winter Spring

Those interested in becoming a Buyout Lab sponsor should contact Professor David Stowell for more information.