From Social Enterprise to Healthcare to Private Equity or Venture Capital, there are a number of lab courses across a range of subjects here at Booth that give you a chance to work on real issues with real companies. These courses offer a unique opportunity to learn and do. And for a career switcher like me, they are an invaluable part of the Booth Experience.
I am currently in Private Equity Lab, working for a stage-agnostic firm, meaning they will make investments in companies at all stages of their lifecycle, including companies that are not yet profitable. When you pair this work experience and interaction with the principals at the firm, with classroom discussions with professors who are actively working in the field, you get one of the best classes I have taken at Booth.
In class, we cover all of the overarching issues, through readings, lectures, and guest speakers. When working with a firm, you get the opportunity to see how it is done in practice, and how the firm works on each piece of the process leading to, and following, investment. Take Due Diligence — it is a lecture in class. During the same week I sent out a diligence document for my firm — learning the concept and working through my firm’s diligence guide in real time.
You may think PE/VC lab is for students trying to find employment in the field. This is true, and it is a great way to get your foot in the door, gain 10 or more weeks of experience, and figure out if it is for you — all without committing to a summer internship. But it is also true that the course a valuable experience for Boothies who never intend on being a Private Equity or Venture Capital investor. It is just as valuable for entrepreneurs, in order to understand how their companies may be valued by future investors, what to expect in future transactions, and how to capture the most value for themselves and their management teams. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity for anyone whose employment goals will have them working with Private Equity or Venture firms, such as those planning to go into financial services.
The same is true for all of Booth’s lab courses: they offer a great way to not only get working experience with firms, but also gain a knowledgeable perspective on the industry, the challenges they face, and the problems they seek to solve. So as you think about your course selection at Booth, think about how one of these classes may enhance your employment opportunities, but also your expertise and perspective.