Inflexion internship programme 2023
Inflexion welcomed seven interns to its London and Manchester offices over the summer, enabling the firm to meet some wonderful people and provide an opportunity for them to get a glimpse into how the private equity world works.
The annual Inflexion internship programme, now in its third year, offers proper hands-on engagement and work experience alongside deal teams. Interns work with a number of people on the Inflexion team across multiple areas to get involved with research, assessing potential investment opportunities, and even sitting in on board meetings and calls with the portfolio. Inflexion is proud to partner with both the 10,000 Black Interns programme, creating paid internships for Black students and graduates and the 10,000 Able Interns programme, creating paid internships for disabled students and graduates of all ethnicities.
“For the third year in a row we’ve seen first-hand how our internship programme benefits all involved. We were incredibly impressed with the inspiring individuals we met, and we look forward to continuing to support people from a variety of backgrounds get exposure to private equity,” says Kirsty Tikerpae, Partner, Inflexion.
The interns were drawn to Inflexion for different reasons. Eager to learn more about private equity, Jonathan Zhu was drawn to Inflexion's strong reputation. “Knowing it was so highly regarded, I wanted to learn from some of the most experienced investment professionals in the industry,” he says.
Erwin Yaptangco had six years of banking under his belt prior to moving to the UK to pursue an MBA and was keen to get into private equity. He was drawn to the UK owing to its longstanding status as a leader in Private Equity, and chose to apply with Inflexion owing to its diverse talent pool and what he describes as its “collaborative, inclusive, and people-driven culture”. Erwin initially became acquainted with Private Equity during his first acquisition finance project in a previous role in his native Philippines. “I really enjoyed it, but I was not exposed to a lot of projects of this type. It inspired me to read more about the different branches of finance, including Private Equity, and I decided that it was an industry I wanted to eventually enter.”
The interns’ days were dynamic and filled with variety. “I had the chance to work closely with the industrial team, originating potential investment opportunities, building financial models, and working on my internship project which was a take-private deal for a public company,” recalls Jonathan. He was invited to attend two board meetings with our portfolio companies and found the experience meaningful. “Inflexion's collaborative atmosphere fostered learning, and I felt encouraged to ask questions and seek guidance from my managers and other experienced professionals. I gained insight into deal structuring, due diligence, and origination processes. Additionally, I honed my financial modelling skills and learned the key metrics that we value to identify future investment opportunities with high growth potential.”
Derin Shofolahan was able to learn about private equity first-hand during her time with Inflexion’s ESG team over the summer and feels the experience has provided a competitive edge for future applications. The standout takeaway for her has been the process of accelerating value within a portfolio company. “Learning about each department and how they upskill a company with their industry knowledge has been interesting. I got a general overview of what the portfolio company looks like before and after their intervention and what success looks like for a project. The opportunity to speak to someone in each team was really eye-opening and put into perspective the life cycle of an investment and how all the departments come together to create a final result.”
It's also been a real learning opportunity for Erwin. “Private equity isn’t just about numbers and multiples – there is so much more going on behind the scenes in Private Equity that the general public isn’t aware of. It involves ensuring the success of portfolio companies through value acceleration, employee wellbeing, and leaving a long-lasting impact through responsible investing.”
The importance of culture
The interns were unanimously positive about Inflexion’s culture. “I had done some research online and found out that the firm cultivates a collaborative culture that encourages the sharing of ideas, fostering an environment of continuous learning and development. Inflexion’s commitment to nurturing talent was also a compelling factor,” Jonathan says.
Erwin feels he benefitted from Inflexion’s non-hierarchical and collaborative culture. “Inflexion’s approach gives interns the opportunity to work on day-to-day tasks alongside the firm’s executives, directors, partners, and clients, exposing its interns to the entire spectrum of dealflow. A typical day for me would include doing research on primary and secondary targets, collating industry information, conducting expert calls, analysing financials, valuations and modelling. I also attend the firm’s weekly deal flow meeting, which I really appreciate!”
Inflexion’s culture, Derin feels, helps create a strong culture conducive to results. “I feel like the culture in Inflexion creates an atmosphere that optimises results because of the care they show their employees; this is evident in the little things like gym access, weekly massages, and workout classes. People here are welcoming and quick to say hi and ask about my day, which is lovely.”
The internship programme is intended to provide long-lasting impact, with the participants positive about their experience. Says Jonathan: “The network I've built and the skills I've developed will continue to serve me well throughout my professional journey, while the exposure to buyouts and other investment strategies has broadened my perspective, making me a more well-rounded and adaptable professional in the future. The internship provided me with an invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the industry.”
Looking ahead, Derin feels the experience is one she can draw on for future applications. “I understand that private equity is a competitive industry and, therefore, difficult to break into, but now I will be more confident in pursuing a role in private equity in the future as this experience will position me to stand out as an applicant.”