Katie Lee is an incoming first year MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This Summer, she has worked alongside EIR Brian Corbat.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Can you describe your background and how it led to your pursuit of an internship at NGP?
Prior to joining NGP, I served as an M&A transaction due diligence manager. I loved the fast-paced and stimulating nature of the M&A work, so I decided to pursue an opportunity to broaden my scope and engagement in the entire transaction life cycle, from sourcing investments to executing strategic exits. Through discussions with a fellow Booth student, I learned that the internship at NGP closely aligns with the opportunity I was looking for. I was thrilled at the prospect of not only gaining relevant experience, but also working with people-centric professionals who hold unique investment philosophy that honors the legacy of the business owners.
Can you tell us a bit about the work you’ve done so far, and any interesting learnings?
I have been building data-driven models to deliver insights on value creation and market expansion for an ongoing buyout deal in tandem with Brian Corbat (Entrepreneurs-In-Residence), Neil Pathak, and NGP’s other key team members. What I particularly find interesting is that even with the same set of data and analyses, there are thousands of ways to tell a different story. I’m excited to learn more about leveraging data to build a compelling story.
What is your team dynamic like?
Our team is incredibly diverse, both in terms of time zones and experience. With undergraduate interns as young as sophomores and an MBA intern with a JD degree, each team member brings distinctively unique backgrounds and perspectives to the table every day. Brian’s belief in empowering individuals has fostered a truly collaborative environment, despite the virtual nature of our work and the team members being physically located in different places.
What you have you most enjoyed thus far?
Aside from building data-driven models for the investment committee memo, I have truly enjoyed industry ideation. Unlike the methodical nature of data and statistics analysis, industry ideation introduces a creative element to the deal process, which I find refreshing. Through this process, I have discovered an infinite universe of niche industries that I never knew existed until I started placing all the services and products that I come across daily under a microscope.
Any skills you’ve gained or unique takeaways? Pre-existing skills you’re building upon?
Coming from a background where selections of actual data were always readily available at my fingertips, the first realization I had during my first week of the internship is that we don’t always have an ideal dataset to work with. Given the unique nature of the lower middle-market and niche industries NGP serves, I have learned two important skills: the ability to construct logical assumptions to identify alternative sources of data and the ability to deduce conclusions based on the limited amount of information available.
What stands out to you about NGP’s process that you’ve gotten to see first-hand?
What really stood out to me about NGP is the firm’s commitment to learning and development. NGP provides a wealth of knowledge through weekly reading materials and lunch & learn webcasts. The reading materials range from in-depth university research papers to helpful articles related to the private equity and search fund industry. The lunch & learn webcasts, which are typically hosted weekly, offer case studies from the firm’s previous deals that bridge the conceptual understandings gained from the readings to real-life examples. The quality of these resources speaks to the thought, effort, and consideration that NGP team put into curating the selection of materials.
What do you envision yourself doing in the future, and how is interning with NGP building upon that?
I plan to pursue a role in private equity as it aligns with my long-term career aspiration. Working at NGP has allowed me to build, and will continue to help me build, a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise in industry ideation, proprietary deal sourcing, industry research, investment thesis development, and due diligence. I have no doubt that my experience at NGP will set me up for success in the private equity industry.