As a Master of Finance student, my decision to pursue an internship in Private Equity was based on my profound personal interest in investing in non-listed companies and the importance of this alternative asset class in a time with historically low interest rates.
Harald Quandt Industriebeteiligungen (HQIB) is a long-term investment holding company with the aim of acquiring and sustainably developing small and medium-sized companies in German-speaking countries (DACH). HQIB is an investment initiative of the Harald Quandt family and a small number of selected (industrial) families and partners. I have always been fascinated by working for high-net-worth individuals and wealthy families. Therefore, HQIB was the perfect choice for me to combine the Multi Family Office aspect and Private Equity.
In Private Equity there is no or very little public information of the potential acquisition targets as non-listed firms simply do not have the same level of obligation to publish their financials and other information than stock-listed firms. Thus, analyzing a private firm can be more complex in comparison to a stock-listed company. Having a sense for the market and its future potential, quickly understanding business models and a company’s USPs in a competitive landscape as well as its financials are crucial. You need to connect the dots between approaching market chances and the opportunity to buy a well-positioned company. The decision-making process does not only require in-depth quantitative analysis like a corporate’s financials and market outlook, but also many qualitative aspects like assessing a management’s ability and strategy to lead its company to further growth. Therefore, the Private Equity team needs to cover a broad range of skills.
During my internship I was able to improve my hard- and soft skills as well as getting a good sense of the aspects mentioned above. I can say I had a quite steep learning curve because the team takes the time to explain complex topics to their interns.
Studying at a prestigious university is a huge advantage, as many companies in the financial industry are targeting students from specific business schools. Courses from my master studies like Financial Statement Analysis and Corporate Finance gave me the technical knowledge to perform well in my interviews and in the job. I made useful connections between my theoretical / academic know-how and the practical usage of it.
Time runs fast and the three months are done, even though I remember my first day like it was yesterday. I have learned a lot during my internship, both gaining theoretical knowledge and practical insights. I am happy to continue as a working student, however in a different team and firm at the Harald Quandt Group. Due to my internship, I was able to network in the HQ group and when I saw the vacancy I applied directly. I would say the internship acted like a springboard for another job opportunity. Overall, I am convinced that networking and applying at the right time can significantly improve a student’s chances to get a job offer.
Choosing Corporate Finance as my elective for the third semester is definitely the right decision to gain more technical knowledge in Private Equity related topics and might help me on my new job as well.
Last but not least for all my fellow students, I can definitely recommend an internship at HQIB. The firm is always looking for talented and highly motivated business students, especially with a finance background.