By Aileen Yan Nov 03, 2016
Earlier this year I took part in KKR’s first-ever summer MBA internship program, which the firm created as a part of their effort to take a different approach to recruiting. Having worked in the financial services industry prior to the start of my MBA program, I was comfortable with the technical aspects of the day-to-day work, but what I consistently found most difficult during the interview process for internships was understanding the culture and the true depth of experience I would be getting in just a short three month span. The only way to confirm what everyone had told me throughout the process was to dive right in, and I was pleasantly surprised:
Surprise 1: We were a very diverse class of interns with more than half of the intern class comprised of women and minorities. The financial services sector is notoriously lacking in diversity, especially in positions of leadership, and it quickly became clear to me that KKR is focused on changing this.
Surprise 2: I was quickly integrated into the Retail and Consumer industry group on the Americas Private Equity team, taking an active role on live transactions. It was evident the Firm cared about giving us an in-depth experience and valued our contributions. Throughout the summer, members from the Human Resources team checked in with us and our managers to ensure we were staffed on meaningful projects. This meant I was able to develop and challenge myself to take on stretch opportunities and ultimately take on more responsibilities than initially expected.
Surprise 3: I had complete access to everyone at the Firm. I worked closely day-to-day with senior level executives, and the internship program scheduled weekly catch ups with leadership for us to ask questions, hear about their experiences, and get to know KKR better. No one was off limits. Completing my internship at KKR’s Menlo Park office also meant that I even ate lunch on a regular basis with one of the founders, George Roberts.
When the internship ended, I accepted an offer to join KKR full-time next spring after graduation. I could not be more excited. For me, the decision to join KKR comes down to the people and the organization. It is an incredibly entrepreneurial culture with people of the utmost integrity and accountability. Even though individual project teams are small, colleagues collaborate across the firm. KKR provides remarkable access to brilliant people who are the best at what they do, and I’m looking forward to continuing my career here.