Alec Boye is a second year MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. This Winter, he has worked alongside EIR Mitch Pulver.
University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Can you describe your background and how it led to your pursuit of an internship at NGP?
Prior to business school I was an Armor Officer in the US Army, which is essentially a leader of tank and reconnaissance units. Throughout my time in the military, I gained an appreciation for great leaders and how they can enable teams to thrive. As I transitioned to business school, I was unsure of where my new civilian career would take me, but ultimately ended up becoming highly interested in Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition because I felt that it was a great opportunity to leverage my leadership experience to transition to a leadership position at one of America’s many great small businesses. Once I decided on this path, I wanted to gain experience to see first-hand the daily life of an Entrepreneur in Residence so I could verify that this path was something I would be interested in!
Can you tell us a bit about the work you’ve done so far, and any interesting learnings?
I’ve been supporting Mitch Pulver, an EIR at NextGen, for the past few months, which has been a fantastic experience. The key takeaways I have from my experience thus far are the vast amount of work under the hood that goes into a search for acquisition, and the attention to detail that is required for all aspects of this process. Searchers must also remain highly organized as they have lots of activities occurring behind the scenes that they must manage. Additionally, I’ve gained a significant amount of industry knowledge in some of the markets that my assigned EIR has been analyzing, which has been particularly insightful.
What is your team dynamic like?
I would say our team dynamic is highly interactive, collaborative, and respectful. Ultimately, our goal as interns is to support the EIR wherever we can to lead him or her to achieving their desired endstate. Although we are limited due to our remote nature of being students, I’ve found we are still able to maintain a regular cadence to our tasks, meetings, and opportunities to learn. While we all have multiple priorities that we are juggling, we always work together to accomplish our tasks to ultimately support the EIR.
What you have you most enjoyed thus far?
I have most enjoyed the interactions I’ve had with my EIR throughout my time here at NGP. While I learn a great deal working on the tasks that he needs assistance with, I have gained a great amount of knowledge and insights through discussions with my EIR. Whether I’m asking general questions about ETA, gaining feedback on my work, or understanding how he thinks about deals and opportunities, I’ve found the touchpoints with the EIR to be highly insightful to understand his viewpoint. It’s been a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience into this highly complex process.
Any skills you’ve gained or unique takeaways? Pre-existing skills you’re building upon?
Throughout the internship I’ve continued to refine my understanding of how to quickly analyze businesses and deals. I’ve also gained an appreciation for the many intricacies that exist in this part of the market, and how I can apply them to my work at NGP, and beyond. Additionally, I’ve been able to continue to refine my ability to lead teams remotely as this was quite foreign to me as a former army officer. I very much enjoyed having the opportunity to manage a team and continue to build upon my project management skills.
What stands out to you about NGP’s process that you’ve gotten to see first-hand?
What stands out to me most about NGP’s process is the highly organized intern program that delivers value to their EIRs. I believe a great benefit that NGP’s entrepreneurs have is the robust internship program that allows for a great amount of support that they can leverage throughout their search. Oftentimes interns are being leveraged to support vital tasks that the entrepreneur needs to complete while being limited in their own capacity. I think this is crucial for the EIR’s success as it allows for greater flexibility and more effective time management.
What do you envision yourself doing in the future, and how is interning with NGP building upon that?
I envision myself pursuing entrepreneurship through acquisition following graduation, and my experience at NGP will absolutely position me for greater success. I much appreciated NGP’s focus on delivering a learning experience to its interns while we worked to support our assigned EIR. The skills, insights, and experiences that I gained while at NGP could not have been possible without pursuing this opportunity.