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Interview with Erin Lee: Private Equity and Beyond

Cover Image: Austin Distel via Unsplash


About Erin Lee:


GYEF: What is private equity? Why did you decide to go there and what interests you about it?


EL: Over the summer between senior year of high school and then freshman year of college, I really wanted to kind of step forward into finance. My high school didn't really offer any business classes or finance classes or even have a business club. So I really had to learn everything on my own. So I found Romero capital. And I was actually an intern there, I was an investment research intern. So I got to research a bunch of companies like Tesla, Amazon. And also, I did mergers and acquisitions on Chili's and Amazon, which is super cool. And I feel like not a lot of freshmen know how to do that. But after I completed that internship, I actually got an offer to work out there, student-led Hedge Fund, which is also very, very cool. You guys can actually apply if you want to. But I think a lot of equity research has to do with how well you understand a company. So what I do is I read a lot of their SEC filings, I read about what other people are saying about this company, and I perform a lot of DCF. So I don't think you guys know what that is. But it's a discounted cash flow. So it's a way for you to kind of value a company. So I kind of do that. And I try to come up with a price target for a lot of these companies. And if they are worth investing in, then I will go ahead and kind of publish it to everyone. And then I can also write an equity research report on it. And it basically gives an overview on the business, the industry, and kind of things like that. So I think that's super cool. I've interested in it because I connect well with certain companies. I'm super into crypto and blockchain so when I come when I see a company that's in that field, or something related to it, I immediately gravitate towards it. I'm like, Wow, that's so interesting. Definitely worth investing in. Let me just shove all my money in there. Yeah.


GYEF: There’s been a lot of hype circulating cryptocurrency and bitcoin. Can you debunk these terms and tell me what cryptocurrency is?


EL: Okay, so crypto really started with Bitcoin back in, I believe 2008 might have been 2009. But it started off with this guy named Satoshi Nakamoto. And no one knows exactly who it is. It's a pseudonym. So it could be a he or she or it or they it could be a group. No one really knows. But at the beginning, I feel like a lot of people were discouraged to look towards crypto because no one knew exactly what it was. And the government had no control over it. But at the same time, I feel like that's also why people look towards crypto because the government had no control over it. Meaning if I were to send you money, a lot of money, the government wouldn't be able to track down who sent that money or who received it, they could see the transaction because it is published on the public ledger called blockchain. However, the government, they wouldn't be able to see that I sent it or that you received that which is super cool. So I'm super interested in blockchain tech, it, it basically records all transactions, and it puts them into different blocks, and then each block or a group of transaction, it forms a blockchain. If you see where I'm going with that. Super cool. I think we can use blockchain tech in almost all sectors in the us right now. For example, if we want to use it in the financial services sector, we can use it to verify each transaction. If we want to use it in energy. We can use blockchain to kind of verify all transactions to like I know you can actually buy sell and trade solar energy using that. And I've actually thought about that, and I wanted to create a project on it. So maybe it's in the works. But you can also use it a lot in the supply chain. They kind of things like that. Oh, and there's also something super cool. It's called Universal voting. They use a blockchain. And they can verify each person's identity so that when they go to vote, it wouldn't really take that much time to see whether or not this person actually lives in the country and kind of things I thought, like it helps with voter fraud. And it also, it's a law efficient, and kind of things like that, and like people from nearby countries or things like that they can't really interfere with a certain election to kind of go So that's about it. I'm super interested in blockchain. I feel like more people should learn about it. Yeah. Do you have any questions on it?


GYEF: I see a lot of internships. So do you have like any advice for high schoolers interested in pursuing an internship for college students?


EL: Okay. So there's a program that comes into mind. It's called the JP Morgan smart intern. I think that's what it's called. If you are a high school student, I think in New York, and you're super interested in finance, or economics or business and things like that, you can actually apply and they'll give you here to do more research. Please don't quote me on this. It's like on top of my head, I didn't apply. But I just saw, like a few people doing it. If you're a senior, live in New York City, you can apply. And they'll basically give you an internship every single year during your college year. So you'll be able to work with them, you're kind of guaranteed a job. No way. That's great experience. But it also seems like you're kind of grooming you not in a bad way. But they're kind of grooming you for that specific job after you graduate college. So that's definitely something you can also apply to our internship at Romero, capital, Ramiro mentoring, you'll be able to learn a lot more about financial modeling what it takes to really work in this industry and kind of things that caught we are going to come up with a new program dedicated to high school students, so be sure to check that out when it comes out.


GYEF: Why do you want to major in finance?


EL: This might seem like a really bad answer. But it was really hard for me to connect to a lot of the STEM classes, and also the history and English classes. I do use a lot of what I learned from those classes when it comes to equity research, for example. You know, in my English class, I, I learned how to write good papers. And then I can translate those skills when I write equity research reports. But what I was kind of like in middle school, and kind of things like that, I was super interested in math, I was always in love with math, I want to last competitions, that I was just always connected with my math teacher. But I didn't really want to become a mathematician or become a math teacher. So I kind of looked towards finance. At Baruch, we have a financial math, mathematics major, which is super cool. It's more finance and math, more finance, math and concert related than it is with just finance. So I think that's super interested to look into if you are also very good at math. I'm not in that major. But I do plan on minor in Mathematics there. Yeah, that's about it. Basically, I was bad at stem. And I was like, I'm kind of good at math. So maybe finance.