This summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics discovered new avenues for professional preparation and practical hands-on experience. Lerner College students pursued an array of remote, in person or hybrid internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. From MBA scholars to undergraduates entering their second year at UD, students across a spectrum of Lerner programs shared their experiences accomplishing an assortment of projects.
Each profile of our “My Summer Internship” series will provide a glimpse into one of these unique experiences and how students applied knowledge from their studies to be successful in the real-world.
Leah Walter, class of 2025 finance and economics double major in the Honors College, spent her summer participating in the Girls Who Invest program and serving as a summer analyst at Warburg Pincus LLC in New York City.
Lerner: What was your job title and the name of the company you interned with?
Walter: I was one of 207 students selected from top universities across the country to participate in the Girls Who Invest (GWI) program. GWI is an intensive and immersive opportunity for women finishing their sophomore year in college to spend the first half of the summer learning about investment concepts and technical skills from Wharton business professors. In the second half of the summer, GWI scholars are placed at top investment firms across the country in paid internships. My placement was as a Summer Analyst at Warburg Pincus LLC, a top private equity firm in New York City.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Walter: I heard about Girls Who Invest through my involvement in the Blue Hen Investment Club at the University of Delaware during my sophomore year. I pursued this program because I wanted to learn more about the investment management industry. The GWI program provided opportunities that I would not have been able to achieve on my own. One of the main goals of the GWI program is to improve gender diversity in the investment management industry. I’m now a GWI campus ambassador at the University of Delaware, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more about GWI to reach out.
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Walter: During my time at Warburg Pincus, I was part of a deal team that executes prospecting, deal work, and portfolio company management in the Technology sector. The most exciting project that I was a part of was completing a deep dive into a vertical of Sales and Marketing Technology. I led expert calls with current and former founders, executives, and consultants that had expert knowledge of this space to gain insights about the key drivers of this industry. I compiled the information that I learned from these calls and my research into a comprehensive slide deck for the Warburg Pincus team. At the end of my internship, I presented these findings to several senior partners, associates, and analysts at the firm.
Lerner: What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Walter: I learned what a typical workday looks like in the private equity industry and what makes Warburg Pincus unique from other firms. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge that these professionals have amassed about their target companies and industries as well as the different roles of each of the employees at the firm. Most importantly, I learned that this would be an exciting career path for me as I consider post-college employment.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Walter: Lerner has taught me valuable finance concepts in my coursework as a finance and economics double major, which I used when analyzing an LBO model at Warburg Pincus. My economics degree has helped me understand macroeconomic trends and looking at economic data as a whole, especially when keeping an eye on the Fed tackling inflation by raising rates and how that impacts private equity.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Walter: During the Girls Who Invest academic portion of the summer, I was challenged by the rigor of the coursework and the long days in the classroom at Wharton. To overcome this, I took extra time to study the class material to make sure I felt confident and ready to get the most out of each day. At Warburg Pincus, since I was new to private equity, I came in early each day to spend extra time learning about the firm and the industry.
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Walter: Next summer I will be a Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City. My internship will be with their Petershill GP division, which takes ownership stakes in private equity firms and other alternative investment management firms. This combined with my experience at Warburg Pincus should prepare me well for a career in private equity and the investment management industry.