Comments (12)

Jan 12, 2021 - 6:55am

Assumption will be that you won't have much to offer, so set up a networking meeting and disprove that through sharing what you know about the process, high level investing ideas etc. Then ask if they're looking for extra help, and ideally you can say ways you would be able to help them specifically. You can learn where they will need help by asking them questions about their fund in the first half of the meeting.

  • 1
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 12, 2021 - 11:16am

Thanks. So would you recommend not mentioning anything about an internship in the initial email (just simply asking to learn more about their fund etc.). Based on your experience, how receptive would you say these people running the fund are to these informational interviews? Would most be willing to talk with freshmen about their fund?

Jan 12, 2021 - 11:26am

I think these people are on the clock. They know it's unrealistic for someone like you to be doing a search fund in the near future, so if you want to talk just for the sake of questions, they may not see it as time well spent for them (they may take a call for a realistic prospective searcher just looking for info, but probably not for an 19 year old). Therefore, in your email definitely mention that you want to learn more as you are looking to help a search fund through an internship - that way they immediately see value for themselves. Just be ready to prove your value. Good luck!

  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 12:36pm

In a few months (April-ish), you'll see a fuck ton of search funds on Handshake looking for unpaid summer interns. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 12, 2021 - 12:57pm

Oh wow they can hire interns to start that quickly? Like a month after applying?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 4:30am

Yeah. Their recruiting process isn't super hard or anything. Some places will still be hiring into the summer and even during the summer for nearly immediate starts. Typically, the process involved an interview or two consisting of basic stuff like your resume and why you're interested in finance and maybe some additional stuff like having you make a small list of companies (~15) in their target industry with contact information (it would drastically help to have access to CapIQ for this). Search fund internships are almost always unpaid. 

Jan 13, 2021 - 1:06pm

Echoing what others have said, Handshake will quickly populate with search fund roles over the coming months. Just realize that the vast majority will be unpaid, but (in my experience) still a very valuable experience. If you want to take a more active approach, some funds have a "Careers" page on their website with an email you can send your resume to. If you start scouring a bunch of these sites you may be able to find something quicker. Good luck! 

Jan 13, 2021 - 1:43pm

Interned at a search fund this past summer, interviewed in April and started in May, so can attest to roles likely popping up late in recruitment cycle. Through my experience I've learned the space is becoming increasingly populated, so should be plenty of places for you to reach out to directly. What they seek from you is free labor, I think especially coming from a target you should have no trouble hitting on one. I would advice you to look through databases such as searchfunder to find funds that look interesting to you, then reach out directly and transparently.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 13, 2021 - 1:45pm

Highly recommend doing a search fund bullshit unpaid internship part-time during the school year if possible as a freshman or sophomore. Everyone knows it's shitty sourcing work, but that's a skill nonetheless and you can leverage it to upgrade to better PE/VC internships and then either into IB/HF or stay in the private markets.


And all search funds want reasonably intelligent, unpaid interns. GSB even published a guide for searchers on how to best exploit college student labor for free. If you're upfront about wanting an internship and seem smart they'll give it to you.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 2:21pm

Did one sophomore year, "work" was unpaid; it's an absolute meme but you can put it on your resume and it's a tremendously useful conversation piece if you can BS it wisely. It worked wonders for me when I got stuck in interviews.

Jan 13, 2021 - 2:36pm

Just be conscious of the fact that many search funds are complete bullshit. Do your diligence on the founder(s) and existing team to see if they are actually people you can learn from. I would shy away from any firms without previous deals under their belt or significant background at an established private equity firm - the former is much better. Many ex-PE guys are good at being PE monkeys but don't realize running a search fund is very very different and hard without all of the ancillary support staff/brand of an established firm. Plus if they have an existing portfolio, you might get to do more than just sourcing.


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