In 2022, the Faculty of Business and Economics introduced the Commerce Internship subject to Bachelor of Commerce students. Chamindu Athauda took advantage of this opportunity, completing a University-sourced internship with Straight Bat Private Equity in Melbourne.
My semester-long internship at Straight Bat Private Equity has been an incredibly formative experience for my early career. Straight Bat is an income-oriented private equity fund that invests in mature, robust, medium-sized Australian businesses for income, wealth preservation and sustainable capital growth.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to work with the investment team and participate in assessing investment prospects across a range of sectors. This gave me a first-hand look at the inner workings of the private equity industry.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my internship was the opportunity to collaborate with seasoned professionals from M&A, accounting, and strategy domains, exposing me to the diverse perspectives and expertise required to successfully navigate the complex industry. Furthermore, I received invaluable mentorship and guidance that, in addition to deepening my understanding of industry best practices, supported my growth in a professional environment.
Throughout my internship, I gained hands-on experience in M&A transactions, from origination to execution, enabling me to develop the skillset required in evaluating, structuring, and financing investments. This has been particularly relevant to my degree as an Economics and Finance major. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work on various portfolio businesses, which exposed me to the day-to-day operations of a private equity-owned company, and the associated challenges and opportunities. These tasks have allowed me to acquire valuable skills such as financial modelling and research, while strengthening my business acumen and commercial awareness.
My internship at Straight Bat Private Equity was an enriching experience that provided me with a wealth of knowledge and practical skills that will be beneficial in my career. I would highly recommend the Commerce Internship subject to other students as it offers a valuable opportunity to gain real-world experience and develop strong connections within the industry.