“I’m amazed you are coming here to work! Our people want to go to your country to live and work!” This is what the taxi driver said to me as I drove from Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to begin my summer with Eos Capital, a Namibia-based private equity firm. As I continued speaking with the driver and looking out of the car windows, I immediately realized that this internship experience was going to be truly unique.
I landed my internship by applying to a posting on GTS. The process was quick. Following my application, a few email exchanges and Skype interviews, I had an offer. My decision to intern with Eos Capital was motivated by a couple of key factors. From a professional standpoint, I was a management consultant before coming to Booth and specialized in mergers and acquisitions. An internship in PE felt like the best way to complement my prior consulting background with financial modeling and valuation skills. From a personal perspective, I had never worked abroad or visited Africa, so the internship struck me as a great opportunity for an amazing life experience.
Throughout the summer I had the chance to work on a number of deals. My responsibilities scaled across the entire transaction lifecycle. I performed preliminary screenings of potential target companies, developed financial models, performed due diligence, and helped close deals. Eos Capital is a relatively small fund, so I was entrusted with a significant amount of responsibility. I directly interacted with company CEOs, discussed pricing for their companies, and strategized with my supervisors on deal structure and terms. Overall, my internship at Eos Capital was a fantastic way to gain a holistic PE experience while really being a valuable member of the team and driving investment decisions.
In addition to working on deals, I also supported the development of a water sector acquisition strategy for Eos Capital. This involved identifying and working with potential acquisition targets that could be bolted onto one of the fund’s existing portfolio companies to create a larger end-to-end water engineering services provider. This not only allowed me to learn about the water sector in Africa, but also afforded me the chance to perform market analysis and learn how a PE firm may consider growing its companies through bolt-on acquisitions. Furthermore, I worked closely with this portfolio company to identify organic growth options and devised a strategic plan to help the company meet its growth objectives.
Last but not least, being in Namibia provided an amazing opportunity to explore the southern region of Africa. I went to safaris, saw beautiful and enormous sand dunes, went kayaking with seals, took in the most stunning starry nights I’ve ever seen, and visited Cape Town and Victoria Falls while I was there. Between the business skills I learned and the once in a lifetime experiences I had by living in Africa, I think interning at Eos Capital was the ideal way for me to explore new things and grow both professionally and personally.
David’s a former Management Consultant who explored uncharted opportunities of Private Equity in Asia and Africa.