Yale School of Management

Industry Focus: Private Equity at Yale SOM

In this series, we ask current Yale SOM MBA students to share their experiences interning and recruiting for positions in their industries, as well as the resources at SOM that have helped them in the process.

headshot of Mimi Trinh ’21

Mimi Trinh ’21

Education: B.S. in business administration from Lynn University and M.S. in data science from Northwestern University
Pre-SOM work experience: Real estate private equity and TMT growth equity at Kayne Anderson
Summer internship: The first half of the summer was in growth equity at Jump Capital, and the second half of the summer was in growth equity at Active Capital.

Why did you choose to enter private equity?

During my time in undergrad when I studied business, I started to develop an interest in finance. I truly enjoyed taking on the role of an investor with the long-term approach and I knew that I wanted to start a career in investing. Within the world of investing, I enjoy the private market much more than the public market. Ultimately, I chose a career in private equity because I truly enjoy working alongside managers of private companies to scale the business.

What was your experience like during recruiting season?

In a typical week during recruiting season, I spent a significant portion of my time connecting with alumni within the space to seek career advice and insights into the industry—these are called informational sessions or coffee chats. If there was a good match, then I would go through the formal recruiting process with behavioral interview, technical interview, modeling test, and case study. This is the standard process for jobs from any source, whether through job postings on the SOM career portal or coffee chats with alumni.

How was your summer internship experience?

I had a wonderful summer internship experience at both Jump Capital and Activate Capital. At Jump Capital, I participated in live deals, sourcing, and portfolio operations. My investment thesis focused on proptech, real estate tech, and contech. At Activate Capital, I supported the fundraising effort and drafted the PPM and DDQ for the firm. My investment thesis focused on warehouse management software.

Was there a class at SOM that helped you develop key skills for this internship?

The best class I have taken at SOM—and also the most helpful class for my career—is Private Equity: LBO, taught by Professor Josh Cascade, a practitioner with 10-plus years of private equity experience. I would highly recommend this course to any SOM student seeking a career in private equity.

What were some of the most valuable resources at SOM that helped you during your search?

The classmates on the Private Equity & Venture Capital Slack channel were the most valuable resources at SOM for my recruiting process. A lot of good job opportunities are posted on the Slack channel from students. It’s also a good platform to exchange ideas, study materials, and industry news.

What is the biggest challenge you faced while recruiting?

Time management is perhaps the most challenging aspect of recruiting as I needed to balance recruiting, academics, and the social life components of an MBA. Overall, it has been manageable but still quite difficult.

Do you have any advice for prospective students looking to work in the private equity space?

If you’re interested in a private equity career, I highly recommend speaking to folks already in this space prior to the start of business school. It’s important to seek information as early as possible and then draft a recruiting plan so that when business school starts, you can focus on implementing the plan. For those interested in a career in private equity, please feel free to reach out to me directly at mimi.trinh@yale.edu if you have additional questions, and I’ll be happy to share as much insights as I can.