• close

Private Equity Lab

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. 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 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.
  • Required classes:  students will meet in class only twice during the quartet, 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. 
  • Students must have completed the following:
                    Accounting for Decision Making (ACCT-430 or ACCT-438B) OR Turbo Accounting (ACCT-434) OR MMM Accounting for Decision Making (ACCT-440) AND Finance II (FINC-431 or FINC-441) 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
The online applications for Spring Quarter 2020 will open on Wed., Jan 15 at 6 pm and close on Tues.,Jan. 21 at 11:59 pm CST. The application can be found here beginning on Wed., Jan.15. The application is not available till that time.

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 buyout firms often have investment committee meetings on Mondays, which should be attended, if possible.


Matching Process
Students may apply to any subset of the available host firms.  Please apply only to firms for which you are interested in working.  Firms are sent all applications from students who indicate an interest in the firm.  Based on the application statements and resumes, firms choose finalist students.  Some firms may choose to interview students either in person or by telephone.  Based on the interviews, firms make their final selections.  Your application statement should address the firms to which you are applying (generically, not firm-by-firm).

The list of participating funds is continuously updated.  Please check back before submitting your application to ensure you have accessed the most recent list of host funds.  If additional funds are added after the deadline, you will be informed and given an opportunity to apply to them as well.  Please do not apply to funds that have requirements for their applicants unless you have the relevant experience.  

If you are matched to a firm, you may not turn down the offer.  APPLY ONLY TO FIRMS WHOSE OFFER YOU ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT.  If accepted, you will automatically be enrolled in the course.

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 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.

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 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.

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  
2019-2020 Fall Winter Spring
2018-2019 Fall Winter Spring
2017-2018 Fall Winter Spring
2016-2017 Fall Winter Spring
2015-2016 Fall Winter
2014-2015 Fall Winter Spring
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 Private Equity Lab sponsor should contact Professor David Stowell for more information.