We had the honour to represent Cambridge Judge Business School in the 21st Wharton Buyout Competition organised by the Wharton PE/VC Club at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and sponsored by Kirkland & Ellis. Among the participating teams from top MBA programmes in North America, Europe, and Asia, we were one of the 5 finalists to present our private equity investment recommendation to a board of judges from the private equity industry.
The Cambridge MBA Class of 2021/22 Team speak about the experience -Ting Zhang, Mayuko Yamaguchi, Nabil Anis, and Michelle Goh.
Why did you enter this competition?
“I have private equity experience in real estate but want to expand to look at deals in other sectors. The best way to gain experience is through participating in competitions during my MBA. Wharton MBA PE competition is one of the well-known ones with seasoned judges coming from the industry and teams from top MBA programmes around the world participating. It is a good way to gain valuable feedback on our investment logic and also see how teams from other schools approach deals.” – Ting
What MBA skills have you applied during the competition?
“The Cambridge MBA teaches us how to paint a picture using data i.e. analysing data, getting to the bottom of it, and then predicting the future growth opportunities. I was keen on analysing the trends in the market and then articulating opportunities for the future” – Nabil
“We applied skills and knowledge in LBO modeling, financials, business case studies, investment memorandum, and pitching exercises” — Ting
Did you aim to do competitions as part of your MBA year?
“During the first term I did another competition, and the experience was invaluable. So, I decided to leverage these opportunities throughout the year to broaden networks and explore different fields. The experience contributed to my career exploration.” — Mayuko
“Yes. Competitions are a great way to get some practical experience and exposure to the various finance sectors.” — Nabil and Michelle
How did you form the team and how did you balance the skills across the team?
“The collaborative nature of the Cambridge MBA provided us with many opportunities to work together in teams. We formed the team based on trust built up from previous working experience such during our Cambridge Venture Project (CVP). We also formed the team based on similar interests in private equity and complementary skills such as investment, financial, accounting, and banking.” — Ting
What has the experience been like alongside your MBA studies and now alongside the Global Consulting Project (GCP)?
“It was a good real-life experience of managing multiple deadlines and learning how to lean on others. I am grateful that my GCP team and family were being understanding and supportive.” — Mayuko
“It was definitely hectic as we were in the middle of doing our exams so during the first week of the competition we barely managed to do any work on this competition. However, I really enjoyed the fact that we did this in a shorter amount of time, as this prepares us for deadlines in the real world.” — Nabil
Will this experience help support your career growth after your MBA?
“We are happy to be one of the finalist teams in the competition. We got to apply our learnings to a case study, get feedback from the professional judges, and gain insights into how teams in other schools approach the case. The learnings can be readily applied to future competitions and in our future careers.” — Michelle
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