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Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab

Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab

Application & Eligibility

Students must apply to take part in the PE/VC Lab. Participants are selected through a competitive application, screening, and interview process, in which students are matched with firms based on the firms’ specific criteria and the students’ backgrounds.

Applications for the 2019 PE/VC Lab are now open. Please submit your application by Monday, November 12, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

You can also watch a recording of the PE info session to familiarize yourself with the program as you begin the application process. Career switchers are also encouraged to watch the recording of Professor Chris McGowan’s Private Equity Landscape and Skills for Career Changers presentation. Career switchers are also encouraged to watch the recordings of Professor Chris McGowan’s Private Equity Landscape and Skills for Career Changers and How to Successfully Interview for PE Roles as a Career Changer presentations.


Following the application deadline, the following process takes place:

Student/Firm Matching: The Polsky Center matches students with firms based on the firms’ criteria and the students’ backgrounds. There are a variety of firms that participate in the Lab, and each looks for a specific background based on their investment focus and current projects. There is no specific background that will guarantee entry into the Lab.

Resume Distribution: Each student resume is sent to at least five firms. Firms typically review between 20-50 resumes. Students may contact the Polsky Center to ask where their resume was sent and research those firms; however, they may not contact any of these companies directly about their PE/VC Lab status without the express approval of the Polsky Center. Students who have already established a relationship with a firm and wish to participate in the Lab should contact Erika Mercer. The firm will be expected to meet the same requirements as those selected by Chicago Booth.

Interviewing: Host firms select students they wish to interview. Firms may call students at any time to schedule interviews; this may begin as early as December. The Polsky Center occasionally helps participating firms schedule interviews and may contact students to set up an interview as well.

Selection: Host firms select their interns. Most selections will be made by the end of February; however, sometimes the selection process lasts until the early spring term and is not timely enough for the first round of spring registration. Students should recognize that the Polsky Center may not be in a position to know much about their status. In previous years, many students have been flexible enough to wait until the beginning of the spring term to hear about an internship; however, other students have not and have locked in their schedules.



1. The Lab is open to Chicago Booth students only.

2. Program and Year: The Lab is open to Full-Time Program students (first year and second year), as well as Evening and Weekend Program students with flexible schedules. XP students are not eligible to participate in the Lab.

3. International Students: International students may participate in the PE/VC Lab but must meet with Christine Gramhofer in Academic Services before accepting an internship offer. First year F-1 and J-1 visa-holding international students will be registered for the course according to the start-date of the experiential component of the Lab and are not allowed to drop the course without approval from Christine Gramhofer.

4. Prior Experience: Prior experience in the private equity or venture capital industry is not needed to be considered for the Lab. Additionally, there is no specific background or resume that will guarantee entry into the Lab.

5. Time Commitment: The Lab requires a significant time commitment. In addition to weekly three-hour class sessions, participants are expected to work 15-20 hours at their internship for at least 10 weeks and should only register for a total of three courses (including the Lab) during the quarter in which they are interning. Applicants must be willing and able to make this time commitment.

6. Contact Policy: After applying, students are matched with firms based on the firm’s criteria and the student’s background. Students may not contact participating firms directly about their PE/VC Lab status without the approval of the Polsky Center.

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