Excelling at Excel with the Help of Employers


Name: Andrew McLeod

Year: Junior

Major: Economics

Minor: BIP

CFS Class: Business Field Studies

Employer: Shore Capital Partners

Through CFS, I was fortunate enough to intern at Shore Capital Partners during my winter quarter. I had no idea what to expect but was excited to learn more about the industry of private equity. During our winter break, a Shore’s analyst forwarded a brief overview of PE’s history in Chicago and coordinated our schedule in a fashion that would allow us to attend their “Monday Meetings”. This served as an early indication that that the firm truly wanted to provide an informative experience. The office was incredibly friendly from the outset and welcoming of all questions. What I appreciated the most was how unassuming my coworkers were. From day one, they provided us with the tools and resources to educate ourselves on private equity’s many intricacies and then had the patience to follow-up with us and walk us through any areas of confusion. It was truly impressive how they were able to simplify complex topics without ever coming across as condescending. It was also clear that they were organized and had important projects for us to attend to. These projects were clearly laid out with context behind their objective and clear deadlines. This level of organization was the catalyst for a great experience because there always seemed to be more meaningful work to do and little time was wasted between tasks. The work we did largely consisted of building target lists, consolidating financials and identifying candidates for medical or board positions. The amount of time spent in Excel is very beneficial and they went out of their way to provide each intern with a packet of useful shortcuts. Watching Shore’s analysts work in Excel was equally beneficial as it showed the level of proficiency they are expected to be at. When critiquing our work, they were always encouraging but direct so it clear where room was left for improvement. The opportunity to have such mentoring was extremely valuable for myself as I greatly lacked key technical skills. The jargon that we were able to hear on a daily basis was also a large part of the experience. For once, I looked forward to Monday’s as we were able to sit in on “Monday Meetings” as the office went through their targets and the Partners discussed their investment approaches. These meetings likely deepened my understanding of private equity the most as they tied the projects we would work on at an intern level to a deal they were trying to execute or their management of a portfolio company. I could not recommend interning at Shore Capital more for anyone looking to learn more about the private equity industry. They believe in not only giving their interns responsibilities but communicating to who your responsibilities add value. It truly is a special experience and worked well within my CFS coursework. As we tackled difficult questions concerning work culture and diversity, my awareness of my surroundings increased, and I was forced to consider the type of environments I hoped to work in moving forward.