“Really immerse yourself as you can learn so much in a short space of time, you must seize the opportunity.”
We caught up with former ECI intern Caitlin Campbell to pick her brains on what she learned during her eight-week summer internship. Caitlin graduated in 2019 from Cambridge having read English Literature and been part of Emmanuel College’s Student Union and former Female Welfare Officer.
Q How did you find the application process and interview?
I sent in my covering letter and CV in early January 2019 and within a few weeks I had a telephone interview with one of the ECI team before being shortlisted for an interview. I was asked to prepare a presentation with an origination bias, and I had done my homework in terms of the types of growth businesses that might meet ECI’s investment criteria. As part of the interview I had to justify the companies that I had chosen and why. I remember one was a Travel business. I was then given a timed case study that I presented to Isa and Hamish.
Q What type of work were you given and how much did this vary?
I was incredibly grateful for this opportunity as I learnt so much in a short space of time. At the most basic level just being in an office with the daily exposure to highly motivated and hard-working people. But what stood out for me were the two origination projects that I worked on with Ruth and Hamish. I probably learnt most in the legal services deep dive particularly around AI and blockchain.
Q How much coaching or mentoring did you get?
The team were particularly generous with their time and I literally asked hundreds of stupid questions as I progressed. I was encouraged to sit in on expert network calls and meetings with ECI’s Commercial Team. At least two of the Investment Team gave me some coaching on LBO modelling.
Q Any advice for future intern applicants?
Really immerse yourself as you can learn so much in a short space of time, you must seize the opportunity. Keep asking questions and get involved in different projects. I worked mainly with the Origination and Commercial Teams. Don’t be put off by the fact that you haven’t read Maths or Economics as a degree subject because communication and people skills are equally important.
Q What are your plans for 2020?
I am busy applying for training programmes and have recently passed the Civil Service Exams. I also have several consultancy applications so hopefully 2020 will be an exciting year for me. I have volunteered for team GB at the Tokyo Olympics in July next year as I have always wanted to travel in Japan and if I get out there, I would love to see more of the country.
Q How would you describe ECI’s culture?
A highly motivated and hard-working group of individuals but who are prepared to collaborate on tasks and share best practice. It felt very open and transparent. I learnt a huge amount just by listening and sitting in on various meetings. My thanks to Ruth, Hamish, Laura and Isa for their endless amounts of patience!