Summer as a Private Equity Analyst

Su Ah Kim, WH ’26, Monterey, CA

To recap my freshmen summer in three words, it was eye-opening, exciting, and enriching. During my internship search process, my primary goal was to find something in finance that would allow me to develop a better understanding of the industry and gain hands-on experience. Thankfully, I was able to land a private equity analyst role at Sakira LLC this summer. Sakira LLC is a small-scale search fund founded by Josh Hogan, a Wharton MBA alumni. It focuses on acquiring and operating companies in growing industries supported by positive macroeconomic conditions.

A big part of my analyst role consisted of weekly company sourcing in the software industry which required me to be resourceful and excel in navigating sites such as Pitchbook, D&B Hoovers, and LinkedIn. There was also a friendly competition for a monetary incentive for those who sourced the most number of high-priority companies, which I had a lot of fun with. In addition to company sourcing, we were also tasked with researching, identifying, and pitching attractive software industries with an enterprise value between $5 million and $50 million. While I found this task to be slightly challenging at first, since I had little to no experience with industry pitches, with time and practice, the assignment became close to natural to me by the end of the internship. Moreover, I learned to be attentive to the other interns who were more experienced or knowledgeable about finance through which I developed a plethora of self-feedback to improve my own work. Rather than feeling discouraged or unmotivated being surrounded by wiser peers, I strived to take advantage of my environment and learned as much I could to feed my curiosities- a valuable life lesson I will carry with me into the future.

Furthermore, I gained exposure to confidential information memorandums (CIMs), a key marketing document in M&A, by writing analytical reports answering questions about the company’s business model, macroeconomic conditions, financial considerations, and more. Another exciting component of this assignment was interns were able to draft questions for Josh to discuss with business brokers representing sell-side advisory clients during closing meetings. Additionally, there were weekly education sessions during which we learned to create and maintain LBO models and other key acquisition models such as trading and transaction comparables, both involving comparing financial metrics of similar companies in the same industry.

Ultimately, what I loved most about the internship was every day I was exposed to unfamiliar material and each task brought its own unique challenge. However, through actively seeking help from my peers and Josh as well as taking full advantage of every resource available, I was able to persevere and overcome each roadblock. As the saying goes, what you put in is what you get out and I think it couldn’t have been more true for my own experience.

Needless to say, I had so much to learn and experience in the entire 10 weeks and couldn’t have asked for a more insightful and intellectually stimulating freshmen summer. I am eternally grateful for the relationships I’ve formed with my peers and with Josh which I will continue to develop as I navigate a career in finance and life in general.

Outside of my internship, besides spending time with my loved ones, I also pursued a newfound interest for fitness and health. Therefore, at the end of work each day, I would spend my free time trying new home exercises on Youtube, running on the treadmill or outside if the weather permitted, and trying healthy snack recipes that I could replicate at Penn. Overall, I highly recommend allotting time to relax and finding a fun hobby or two during the summer time to maintain balance!

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 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

By Career Services
Career Services