Shape Your Career in Private Equity

Take the concepts learned in class and apply them in practice.

While mastering the fundamentals in class is essential to understanding private equity, it’s the application of those learnings that will lead you to greater success in the industry. That’s why we created Private Equity Lab, a valuable hands-on course designed to apply what you know in an experiential setting while continuing to learn in the process.

Information for Students

Course Description:
Private Equity 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. During that time, you will be exposed to the day-to-day working life of the fund, and will assist with deal selection, due diligence and/or investment efforts. Enrollment in the course is by application only.
Apply for Private Equity Lab

Faculty Advisor:
Professor David Stowell

Course Requirements:
  • Meeting with Professor Stowell. Each student will meet with Professor Stowell during the quarter to provide progress updates on the assigned project and feedback regarding the process.
  • Required readings must be completed during the quarter.
  • Students are expected to work two days each week with the private equity fund. This work combined with other course requirements translates to 150-200 hours during the quarter.
  • A project summary of the work completed for the fund must be submitted at the end of the quarter.
  • Students will meet in class only twice during the quarter, on the first and last Wednesdays in the morning.
Grading:
The course grade is based on feedback from the private equity 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 private equity experience but would like to pursue a career in the field. Students with previous private equity experience are also welcome to apply.

Prerequisites:
Students must have completed the following:
  • Accounting for Decision Making (ACCT-430 or ACCT-431); or
  • Finance II (FINC-431 or FINC-430); or
  • Accelerated Corporate Finance (FINC-440)
We strongly recommend that students have completed the core requirements prior to applying to the program. We further recommend taking the following classes before, concurrently or after the lab:
  • Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital (FINC-445)
  • 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 who are sponsored by local firms will work at the firms' offices. Students sponsored by firms outside of the Chicago area will work remotely. Often firms based outside of Chicago will arrange for their students to be flown out to meet the fund managers and present their final products.

Application Instructions and Materials:
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 Private Equity 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 private equity firms often have investment committee meetings on Mondays, which should be attended, if possible.

PLEASE NOTE: (1) STUDENTS CANNOT APPLY TO BOTH THE VENTURE LAB AND PRIVATE EQUITY LAB DURING THE SAME QUARTER, AND (2) THIS COURSE MAY NOT BE DROPPED DURING THE QUARTER.

Information for Sponsors

Course Description:
This course offers Kellogg students an experiential learning opportunity in private equity by working at a private equity fund in the Chicago area. The host firm determines the project(s) that students will focus on and students commit to between 150 and 200 hours during the 10-week quarter. There is no compensation paid to students and no expectation of a full-time position after the program is completed. Private equity 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, Evening & Weekend students and 1Y students. Students enrolled must have completed substantial financial/accounting prerequisites. 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.

Sponsoring Firm Commitment:
The firm is encouraged to supply the student with guidance in their respective responsibilities/tasks and give continual, constructive feedback throughout the 10-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 two months 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 projects immediately.

Featured Private Equity Lab Sponsors & Past Participants

Firms have the option to participate during each quarter of the academic year.

We’ve had many firms partner with us for Private Equity Lab over the years. Previous participants have included 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.

View full list of past partners and participants
Those interested in becoming a Private Equity Lab sponsor should contact Professor David Stowell for more information.

Coming from a finance background, the [PE lab] experience provided me a chance to keep my pulse on the market and learn a new industry, which helped me land a PE job post-graduation.

Steve Resnik '20

Interested in learning more? Get in touch.