Here at University Growth Fund, we give students an unparalleled learning experience. Students have opportunities close to that of a partner or director at a venture capital or buyout firm. Students meet directly with the entrepreneurs and other investors, asking the hard questions as they drill down to the company’s investment attractiveness. The students drive the due diligence process forward and ultimately play a key role in determining whether or not UGF invests from it multi-million dollar fund. Once an investment is made, students often have the opportunity to sit in an observer role on the board of the company and see firsthand how successful companies are managed and operated. Student associates are also able to add additional value to the company over time through various value-add research and strategy projects. Meeting with entrepreneurs and investors, sitting on boards, sourcing new deals are all ways in which students are able to build an extensive network and gain new experiences and skills.
Students are brought on for one semester as interns. Those that perform well are invited to stay on in the Fund and are promoted to associate. Associates take on a more autonomous role and have more freedom and flexibility to choose the projects they work on. During this time, associates work to refine an investment area of expertise. After approximately one year, associates who perform well are promoted to senior associate. Senior associates lead the deals and projects at University Growth Fund and maintain relationships with the entrepreneurs and other investors in the deal.
New UGF interns are brought up to speed on the industry through an accelerated 7-week training program to teach them the basics of VC and PE investing. From there, UGF provides additional training to help students further refine their skills and areas of expertise. Senior associates enjoy a more individualized training program that provides a deeper dive into investment and business issues through a more mentored approach. However, Not all training is focused purely on VC and PE investing. UGF creates an individualized career preparation program for each new student with the express goal of helping that student achieve their career aspirations. In addition, UGF provides other opportunities to learn and grow through subsidized trips and access to numerous conferences throughout the year like the Consumer Electronics Show, ACG Utah, and Techcrunch50.
We are on the constant lookout for those that will be the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. These future leaders come from a diverse set of backgrounds including Finance, Biology, English, Math, Computer Science, Engineering, Economics, and so on. Many of our student associates plan to pursue careers in entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, investment banking, management consulting, private equity and venture capital. We look for students for whom we can add a lot of value, because their goals are correctly aligned with our program and because they have the drive to succeed and take full advantage of our program. The two basic traits we look for in all candidates are:
Intellectual Horsepower: The ability to think analytically and strategically is key in our area of investing. One must often attempt to predict the future with very little information and make crucial decisions that have a real impact on our organization’s investment performance. In addition, there is a steep learning curve here at UGF, one that will require your very best.
Desire: This is an unpaid internship, and like most good things in life, you will get from it what you put in. This might entail “pulling an all-nighter” to finish a deal analysis in time to make the close date on the investment. It will mean monetary and leisure sacrifices. But for those that have the desire, they will gain experiences others only dream of.