We asked our 2023 Summer Analyst class why they chose an undergrad internship in private equity, and specifically, with LLR.

A finance internship can be a launching pad for a meaningful career, providing growth, networking, and valuable learning. For those pursuing a career in finance, choosing between an internship in investment banking (IB) or private equity (PE) can be difficult. It’s common for students to think they need investment banking experience if they ultimately want to pursue a career in PE. We asked our 2023 Summer Analyst class about why they chose an undergrad internship in private equity, and specifically, with LLR.

At LLR, talent is encouraged and fostered at the internship-level. With LLR’s apprenticeship model, interns forge connections not only with peers but with senior colleagues through comprehensive training, coaching, and mentoring. Let’s hear from our 2023 class about their experiences:

In PE, you get the opportunity to deeply understand a company’s strengths, challenges and long-term objectives.

Drawing the distinction: IB vs PE

At the root of the decision between an IB or PE summer internship lies understanding the difference between the two. The interns recount how they understood the differences and clarify why they chose a summer internship in PE.

On one hand, IB focuses on navigating the transactional side of finance, while on the other, PE revolves around a long-term investment and relationship with the company. Adam, an intern on LLR’s Software Team, was drawn towards private equity because he felt it was “more project-based, where you’re working with an investment for 5-10 years at a time. You form relationships with these businesses, and you fully understand how they work.” In private equity, you get the opportunity to deeply understand a company’s strengths, challenges, and long-term objectives, to better comprehend the details surrounding the deal itself.

If you’re faced with deciding between an IB or PE internship, consider whether you thrive in a transactional work environment with short-term objectives or would value being part of the long-term vision and interaction with management teams.

These early conversations provided insight into LLR’s commitment to a collaborative work culture.

Welcomed from the start: what recruiting was like with LLR

Beyond the IB vs PE distinction, it is important to get to know the firms you are interested in spending your summer with. When asked about their recruiting process with LLR, there were distinct parallels between the interns’ responses. They kept circling back to the remarkable outreach and guidance they received from LLR analysts to senior-level employees alike throughout the interview and offer process.

These early conversations with LLR created a positive candidate experience and provided insight into the company’s commitment to a collaborative work culture. Here, our interns offer some advice to applicants as they enter the recruiting process themselves:

Reach out & network: “I was initially drawn to apply to LLR from meeting the people that work here. I got to know and like a lot of people that I had met in the office, and that, for me, was a really good reason to apply” – Nikhil, Healthcare

Ask questions about the business: “Before applying, I focused on learning more about the firm in terms of the type of investments they do, the criteria they follow, their portfolio holdings. I found this super interesting, and it was something that helped me really gauge my interest” – Adam, Software

Get to know the people: “I got to really like the small firm culture at LLR and I think that gave me a lot more personalized knowledge and help during the whole recruitment process. I would receive calls and emails from LLR employees following up or congratulating me. It felt like I was already part of the team.” – John, Industrial Tech

LLR’s 2023 intern class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)

Gaining the ability to break down companies, understand certain growth drivers, process information quickly. These skills can be applicable to pretty much any role, and even any industry.

Value of an LLR internship

As the recruiting process inches to a close, you must distinguish between intern programs themselves. To make your life easy, we outline here what differentiates LLR’s internship program from the rest, and let our interns speak on its benefits.

What does a 10-week internship at LLR entail?

Hands-on experience.

LLR interns gain firsthand exposure to the investment process from start to finish, actively participating in various stages of ongoing and prospective deals. Throughout the summer, interns:

  • Engage in the beginning stages of investment theses and building investment philosophies.
  • Sit in and work on potential deals.
  • Help create scorecards and final slide decks for evaluation of potential portfolio companies.
Speaker series.

Interns hear from senior leaders on a wide variety of topics, including: LLR’s apprenticeship model, LLR’s evolution over the years, discussions with LLR’s founders, as well as why Philadelphia can be a great place to begin and grow your career.

Mentorship opportunities.

Aside from their manager, interns are partnered with a colleague outside of their own team for guidance and help transitioning to the firm and Philadelphia.

Fun, locally-based activities.

LLR hosts events throughout the summer to help interns feel integrated within their cohort, the firm, and the city of Philadelphia itself. Events include: Dinners at local restaurants, a firmwide Phillies games, local museum visits, and a city-wide scavenger hunt.

Hear it from them: What our interns learned

Widely applicable skills: “Gaining the ability to break down companies, understand certain growth drivers, process information quickly. These skills can be applicable to pretty much any role, and even any industry” – Adam, Software

Breadth of exposure: “There are a variety of projects we work on at the intern level. We are involved in anything from conducting analyses to sitting on calls with potential or realized portfolio companies. From a learning standpoint, you are taking in a lot in the span of 10 short weeks.” – John, Industrial Tech

Integration at all levels: “I felt very integrated. It almost felt like we’re an analyst on the team, rather than an intern that people just pass work off on. Just having time with the senior employees, even in the day-to-day work streams, is something you definitely don’t get at a lot of other places” – Nikhil, Healthcare

Here’s the bottom line.

The decision of where to intern can be intimidating for students seeking careers in finance. When this choice lies between an IB or Pe internship, understanding the differences between the two is crucial.

At LLR, an internship in PE stands out. From comprehensive training, mentorship, to networking opportunities with colleagues at all levels, LLR interns gain widely applicable skills, valuable exposure, and a sense of integration within the firm. As you seek out internships that align with your long-term vision and career aspirations, remember to reach out, ask questions, and get to know the firm’s culture during the recruiting process.

For more information on LLR and our recruiting process, please refer to other resources featured on our website or contact me at sjellinek@llrpartners.com.