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Sam Peter

Degree:

MBA

Location:

South Africa

Industry:

Consulting

Year:

2014-15

By Sam Peter

The term with the most moving parts

Two thirds through my MBA and things are dovetailing into a final term filled with opportunities and answers. This past term had many moving parts, with coursework, competitions and extensive private equity (PE) interviews.

The coursework was split between core and non-core subjects covering investment, strategic and economic competencies. It also addressed global issues and trends. This concoction lead to a rigorous term with the majority of March spent on a laptop, in a library or in a lecture hall. Three consecutive exams and multiple deadlines finally marked the end of all academic submissions.

The competitions included a trip to New York to compete at the Wharton PE Challenge and participation in the Bridgepoint PE challenge, where my team fortuitously gained third place.

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These competitions placed young financial professionals in front of partners and investment members of some of the world’s leading PE firms, such as Blackstone, Carlyle, Bridgepoint and Bain Capital. Related conferences offered the opportunity to press industry leaders on what keeps them up at night.

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The second term, known as Hilary term in my neck of the woods, also boasts the majority of the Blues fixtures against Cambridge University, the old enemy. Two recent victories were the men’s and women’s boat races on the April 11th, 2015. Three MBA students took part in these: Emily Reynolds and Caryn Davies on the women’s boat and Tom Swartz on the men’s boat.

Aside from the coursework and competitions, attending interviews has been a steady process, sometimes involving three to six-hour case studies. These interviews have tested a range of skills: financial modelling; investment decision making; fundamental company analysis; legal knowledge.

Although mentally taxing and time intensive, the interview experience is unparalleled and allows you an opportunity to have a conversation with partners across multiple companies, providing a clear view of how they run their businesses. This is something key for me given my ambition to establish a private equity fund in Africa.

The third and final term welcomes in the British summer and with the warmer weather our class will be completing our final electives as well as deciding our direction and place in the world.

This blog post was originally featured in the Financial Times

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