intern – Watermill A Strategy Driven Private Equity Partnership Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:24:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 7 Similarities Between Baseball and Private Equity Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:18:46 +0000 I am an intern at the Watermill Group. I graduated from Cornell in May and in June was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. I was assigned to the Cardinal’s Class A short-season affiliate team where I spent the rest of my summer playing baseball. Currently in my off season, I am working at Watermill while getting ready for spring training in March.

If you take one lap around the Watermill office, it’s easy to see that the people here are huge baseball fans. So much so, you can predict what the mood at lunch is going to be based on how the Red Sox played the night before. But before you judge the group’s dedication to the game, you must understand how similar baseball and private equity really are. Here are seven ways my experiences in baseball connect to working in private equity.

  1. The baseball season is long and requires endurance. Teams play 162 games in a season. Watermill reviews hundreds of deal books throughout the year. Lace em’ up, we’re in it for the long haul.
  2. I’ll shake the catcher off several times before finding the pitch I want to throw. Partners do the same thing with companies. You need to have conviction in the direction you’re going and once you have that…watch out…it’s on.
  3. In both baseball and private equity, we have to fuel up for the big game/meeting, so you’ll find a pre-game food spread in both settings. Only difference here is that in minor league baseball, PB&J is its own food group.
  4. We swing for the fences at Watermill, but are patient too. It’s a delicate balance that few have mastered. One of those people being David Ortiz. He’s my pick for Watermill’s player comp. Go big or go home.
  5. When I’m about to pitch a deal summary to the Watermill team, it might as well be bottom of the 9th with two outs. The adrenaline rush is real. My heart is pounding, I’m locked in and ready to fire.
  6. The Watermill team operates just like a pitching staff. You have your starters, your closer, and specialty options out of the bullpen. Everyone has their own unique style and skills that they bring to the table. With all the talent on the Watermill staff I’m still trying to find my niche, even if it’s as the weird guy that throws knuckle balls.
  7. Believe it or not there have been mascots in both my private equity and baseball experience. Watermill’s mascot is everyone’s favorite dog, Dash. He is less animated than the “BB&T Knookie Monster” I had over the summer, but that’s probably not a bad thing.

So now the verdict is out. Baseball and private equity are a match made in heaven.

By: Paul Balestrieri, Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 Intern

Reflections on my experience as a summer intern Thu, 31 Aug 2017 20:03:16 +0000 With my internship coming to a close, I have started to reflect on my experiences so far and what I hope to achieve following my time at Watermill. A typical intern day runs from 9-5, allowing for some variation based on deal flow and the timing of meetings. Each week kicks off with an investment committee meeting Monday afternoon in which the team is updated on active deals and introduced to new deals by the interns. We read through company CIMs and prepare a deal summary to present to the team. Watermill invests in companies that have $50 to $500M in revenues, and a majority of the deals we look at are in the manufacturing industry, but we are always open to strategic opportunities in other industries as well. We learn about industries we didn’t know existed and companies that deal with products we wouldn’t expect to have an entire industry devoted to. One example is of a company that manufactured everything from organizational office supplies and chair mats, to bicycle reflectors and HVAC ducts. It is interesting to see the wide variety of products that a single company can be involved with.

Time as an intern is spent mostly looking at new deals and preparing summaries, but we also have the opportunity to complete valuation models, listen in on banker calls, perform due diligence, draft IOI letters, and conduct relevant research for members of the team. The entire team at Watermill is dedicated to ensuring that the interns have a positive and worthwhile experience while here. There are always new projects for us to tackle and information to learn.

Coming from a liberal arts background at Amherst College, I didn’t have the finance or accounting foundation that a business student has. Although it has been challenging to bring myself up to speed with the terms and basic concepts, the team is very open to showing us the ropes and making sure we understand the business. With this hands-on experience, I already feel more equipped to tackle the world of finance and bring these skills with me to my next challenge. At the very least, this internship has reinforced my interest in finance and desire to continue working in this industry, whether it be private equity, investment banking, or another avenue. I look forward to continuing this learning experience, positive that I will come away with valuable knowledge and skills.

By: Morgan Machiele, Watermill Summer 2017 Intern

Tips for surviving and thriving in your summer internship Thu, 31 Aug 2017 16:37:28 +0000 Congrats! You’ve landed the internship and your frantic search for something to do this summer is a thing of the past. Now, it’s time to focus on how to make the most of your 10-week taste of the working world. To help you do that, I’ve written a list of tips I’ve come up with this summer on how to contribute, make a difference and most importantly, learn something, in your private equity internship.

  1. The most important thing you should do, starting day one, is ask questions. If you don’t, people will assume you understand everything and you’ll be in over your head before you know it. If you do, your coworkers will happily take the time to explain things to you. These people enjoy what they do and they enjoy teaching it. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t hire an intern who’s never worked in private equity.
  2. The next most important thing for surviving your internship is to listen to the answer when you ask a question. The only thing worse than not asking questions is asking a question, receiving an answer and proceeding to do something incorrectly that was just explained to you. It wastes time and you don’t learn anything. Bad combo.
  3. Another thing I’ve learned this summer is that volunteering to help on a wide variety of projects makes for the best learning experience. Even if it’s a task you’ve never done before or a project that you don’t fully understand, ask for instructions and work alongside your coworkers. Being engaged in different types of projects is the best way to take advantage of your internship and gain valuable experience.
  4. Next: never eat lunch alone! At Watermill, everyone eats lunch together in the conference room and there’s no better time to get to know people around the office. Talk to your colleagues about their backgrounds, last night’s game, the phone call from that morning… really anything at all. Part of this is building a network in a field that you ultimately want to break into but it also saves you a lot of boredom if you can talk to the people around you.
  5. If there’s one thing I’ve learned at Watermill this summer, it’s that you should never be afraid to speak up in meetings and offer your own insights. There’s obviously a time and a place for this, and you’ll get a feel for when and where that is, but you were hired because you showed the potential to contribute. Don’t go the whole summer sitting quietly on the sidelines!

If you follow these tips and bring a good attitude, you’ll build great relationships, learn a lot and have a rewarding experience that will serve you well in the future.

By: Henry Connon, Watermill Summer 2017 Intern