How Julia Klinkert found her way to the private equity sector, in what way she started in finance with zero knowledge and what her next career opportunities could look like.

Let us introduce you to Julia Klinkert, who has been with private equity firm Egeria for more than four years. Her career journey started early 2018 when she graduated from the TU Delft and did not know in which direction she wanted to pursue her professional career. In this article, you will read about how her journey went from Mechanical Engineering graduate to Private Equity associate.

We met in a coffee bar in Amsterdam. Julia was a few minutes late because ‘’I was stuck in a meeting, sorry it is busy at the moment’’. We started talking about her professional background, which is quite interesting because she graduated from a technical study, gained experience in strategy consulting, but decided to start in finance afterwards. ‘’During my studies, I never heard of the career opportunities in finance. All the events and trainings about finance were in Rotterdam or Amsterdam. Only consultancy and engineering firms came to Delft”. Julia did an internship at Shell, a large technical corporation where possibilities for different directions could be explored (operational, technical, financial etc.). She soon found out that she did not like the corporate life: too big, yet little impact. ‘’I prefer to work in a smaller team where you see more impact from your work’’.

During her studies, Julia gained experience in strategy consulting while participating at De Kleine Consultant but quickly found out that she was only a small part of the whole decision making process, working on short term plans where most of the time you do not know what happens to your advice. ‘’I really knew then that I wanted to experience the whole process from A to Z while having ownership in decisions ’’.

After these internships, she still did not knew what job she wanted to do, but she knew what kind of work she did like to do:
1) Working in a high performance culture
2) Working in a small team setting
3) Experience and decide on a process from A to Z
4) Working analytically

“By going to many different events, you get a better image.”

‘’Because I did not know which job would fit me, I went to visit many inhouse days, events and started using my network. By going to different company events, you also get a better image of the different types of jobs, job requirements and company culture. I quickly considered Private Equity because I was in contact with a recruitment agency that helped me. Eventually, Egeria matched all my requirements and I could start as the first intern in the company. At that time I didn’t really feel like doing another internship because I had already graduated, but I also thought: “What are 4 months? Let’s give it a chance!”, in the end, it worked out well because I’ve been there for more than 4 years now!’’

“When I started at Egeria, I didn’t even know what an EBITDA was”

Instead of being afraid of not knowing anything about financials, Julia started her internship by asking everything she didn’t know yet. “When I started at Egeria, I didn’t even know what an EBITDA was”. But if you don’t know it, just ask! Of course in the beginning it comes with trial and error, you need to be curious and eager to understand everything. In comparison with my colleagues, who do have a financial background, I was lagging behind, but they created the opportunity for me to have the right training and guidance.

“My technical background certainly comes in handy in my current position!”

I notice that my technical background helps me understand more complex information and products more quickly, which is important while evaluating if a company could be an interesting target. My technical background certainly comes in handy in my current position!

I’ve been with Egeria for 4 years now, and I feel like I still haven’t seen everything. There are so many phases and opportunities in private equity, you do a little bit of everything. The projects are long and not repetitive. You will be educated so broadly that you could go in many directions after this, you can go to consulting, you can enter the business world, you can take on a financial position or you can become an entrepreneur. To me, it’s the best foundation of my career.”

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