Doing Well By Doing Good

This is part of series of posts by recipients of the 2020 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Joe V. Abdo, SEAS ’21

My internship experience at Blisce was a very informative experience that I took a lot away from. I worked with young professionals looking to launch their careers in venture capital. Moreover, I worked with the investment partners and analysts to research, identify, analyze investment opportunities in new companies that are reshaping industries. With fellow interns, we delved into startups, finance, entrepreneurship, technology, and design. It was a fast-paced environment where everyone is expected to make an impact. The firm believes in the importance of doing well by doing good which hit home for me. They are proud supporters of Epic, a leading charitable organization working globally to change the trajectories of disadvantaged children. Understanding through the internship why Blisce chose to take the Epic Sharing Pledge, effectively committing to giving more than 20% of their returns to Epic, was a very rewarding experience that changed the way I viewed the finance industry.

I spent my days in a variety of ways, depending what I have on my plate. Because I shadow the firm’s only associate, the majority of what I do and learn has to do with whatever he’s working on. For example, he has given me several investment memos to look over and analyze. These are essentially the final formal due-diligence forms that go out to the entire firm before making an investment. They include things such as future value drivers for the company, potential hazards, terms of the investment, the structure of the investment (debt / equity), etc. From these, I have learned a lot about the venture capital investment process, and about the innumerable combinations of debt & equity agreements that companies and their investors engage in (and their respective advantages & disadvantages).

He has also shown me some models he has built for current portfolio companies. While they are quite complicated, I have gleaned how assumptions regarding product revenues and financial performance are made, and more importantly, how they affect forecasting an investment’s payoff or loss. I have learned to read 10-K statements and 10-Q statements; consequently, I have gained a fairly advanced understanding of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These critical skills helped in learning how to conduct DCF valuation, a key feature in the models and an extremely useful and germane tool for any investment banker.

Overall, my internship experience was a very valuable one that taught me a lot about an industry I have always considered wanting to be a part of. I hope to keep in touch with the firm and meet new companies and people through the people I worked with this summer. The funding allowed me to eat a hearty lunch and dinner everyday of the week and I am grateful for it.

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