For the past four years, Permira’s New York office has hosted Permira Summer Scholars, a 4-day program designed to introduce high school students to finance and related careers. This program is currently open to Minds Matter and Opportunity Network students.
Along with moving the 2020 program to a virtual format, Permira also increased the scale of the program, taking 20 Minds Matter students versus 8 in 2019, and involved colleagues from its Menlo Park, NJ office.
Sean Spatz has been a Minds Matter volunteer since 2017 and spearheaded this year’s program. He explained that although only 4 days long, the appeal of the Scholars program is that it gives rising high school seniors real insights into a host of careers right at the time that they are deciding where to apply to college and what to study. He said that the heavy emphasis on networking and developing relationships is also especially impactful, as most Permira employees who take part in the program hope to maintain relationships with the students as they progress through college and career.
Labib, Minds Matter senior, who participated in the program this summer, agrees with Sean’s assessment. He told us:
“I was originally worried about what opportunities I would have to pursue my passion for Wall Street and finance during the summer of COVID because all my other summer programs got canceled. I was so glad that Permira decided to give us a virtual internship! I had the chance to hear from people in finance, consulting, and more while working on a private equity-based project. I learned that private equity firms buy and sell other companies. They buy companies that have the potential to do better financially and competitively, and sell them once they’ve reached that status. At Permira, our task was to determine whether Permira should invest in the well-known mattress company, Casper. In small groups, we assessed the company’s threats, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths, under the instruction of a Permira employee who served as our mentor. We concluded to not buy Casper and presented our findings to a group of Permira employees. The presentation was the best part of the experience because because it was the culmination of all our hard work. Permira Summer Scholars was such a fun and memorable experience. It encouraged me to keep pursuing finance and I know I’m going to be interviewing with Permira for a job in the future!”
Permira hopes to build on the success of the virtual program and expand its reach to other regions, hopefully leveraging the nationwide Minds Matter network to reach new students in its goal of having 100 participants next summer.
Thank you, Permira, for bringing this wonderful opportunity to our students!