When Miguel Amaral, a UCL BSc Information Management for Business student, completed a six-week internship at Btomorrow Ventures (BTV) recently, it was great success for us, with Miguel contributing enormously to our team. But we also wanted to find out what it had been like from Miguel’s point of view.
Here he explains what it’s like to be an intern at BTV, what he learned and what skills and knowledge he will take away with him to use in future roles. Just as Miguel learned from us, we learned from him too and we know he’ll go on to make a great success of his career.
Time flies when you are enjoying your work! My six-week internship at BTV flew by, and I had a wonderful experience working in their investment team. During the first day of the internship, I was given the responsibility to initiate and work on a live project, preparing a course/presentation to teach BAT stakeholders and potential future recruits about Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), in general, and BTV, specifically. To my surprise, I was given complete freedom to propose the structure, format, content and method of delivery of the course. The team was prepared to place a substantial amount of trust and confidence in me on a project that can be further developed and utilised. When connecting with the team members to gain further insight and information regarding the work that they do, I was amazed at how friendly and supportive they were and surprised at their willingness to take time off their extremely busy working schedules to have discussions and provide me with constructive feedback for the project.
The Personal Touch
In previous internship experiences I completed work that was designed specifically for interns. I was expecting a similar experience at BTV. Instead, I was regularly asked by each member of the investment team what type of work I wanted to do. As I have always had a deep interest in finance, I was incredibly thankful to be given the opportunity to work on the valuation of an early-stage technology company, which in hindsight was my most enjoyable task. Prior to my internship, the BTV Investment Analysts had been developing a valuation template for target start-ups. This had not yet been tested. I was tasked to stress-test the template by completing the valuation work and making any corrections to formulas or links along the way. I also worked on creating a liquidation preference analysis and capitalization table template, which was very rewarding as it was great to build models that would be thoroughly utilised by the team after my internship.
Diversity of Work
Lastly, I was highly grateful to work on such a diverse range of tasks and activities, as it resulted in me learning more about the company and the industry. To emphasise the wide range of work that I completed throughout the six weeks, I was also given the opportunity to support origination activities and be involved in the scouting process of potential investment targets. I was required to conduct desktop research and create summary slides on PowerPoint succinctly describing how each start-up fitted within BTV’s strategic scope. I always had support from the Investment Analysts regarding the various questions and queries I had.
In summary, throughout this internship, I leant an abundance of hard and soft skills, that I will, unquestionably, use in my future career. I am particularly thankful for the friendliness and welcoming nature of all the team members and their desire to offer me tasks that I had particular interest in!
Five Quick-Fire Questions We Put to Miguel, And His Answers:
Q: What is the main thing you learned from being an intern at BTV?
A: How many areas are involved in the wider topic of corporate venture capital. I was able to observe and work on a diverse range of tasks in areas such as scouting, due diligence, financials and valuation, and term sheet negotiations. This taught me the importance of having a deep level of understanding across a wide range of areas rather than solely one.
Q: Which new skill will you take away with you that you can apply to your next job?
A: I was lucky to learn multiple skills, however this internship demonstrated to me the importance of organisational skills. At school and university, I had always been able to plan a week in advance what specific tasks and activity I would be completing for each day. However, when working at BTV, this was not possible as multiple ad-hoc tasks were introduced at different times that needed to be prioritised over other planned tasks. This forced me to become more flexible with my working schedule and greatly improved my organisational skills.
Q: What was your best day at BTV and why?
A: The day that sticks in my mind is when I was asked to conduct the valuation of an early-stage technology company. A couple of months prior to beginning the internship, I worked on a recommended virtual course from the Corporate Finance Institute, where I learned the theory behind valuation work. I found it extremely rewarding to apply the theory into practice and to be involved in a work that helped speed along a deal process.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you’d known on your first day at BTV?
A: I wish I'd known how approachable and supportive the BTV team were. During the first few days, I attempted to complete tasks by myself as I didn’t want to distract other team members and waste their time. However, I quickly discovered that they were more than happy to answer any questions I had and were actively wanting to help me make sure that I fully understood the tasks, which made completing them much easier and quicker.
Q: What advice would you give to people who are thinking of applying to be an intern at BTV?
A: My main piece of advice would be for future interns to prepare for the internship by working through the Financial Modelling and Valuation Analyst virtual course from the Corporate Finance Institute. This helped me greatly to complete the financial tasks. I’d also recommend reading books and watching videos about the industry as you will find that Venture Capital/Corporate Venture Capital have their own language in terms of term sheet and investment terminology.
Written by Miguel Amaral, Intern at BTV