How to upgrade your private equity skills and network

The design of the Certified Private Equity Analyst (CPEA) program allows participants to develop skills that open new dimensions for them while continuing to work in their regular jobs. Britta Hornung is Senior Director for Rautenberg & Company GmbH and received her CPEA certificate in 2022. In the following interview, she talks about her time management, the evolution of her private equity skills and how her network was valuably enriched by participating in the part-time program.

How did the part-time program fit into your professional life? 

Today’s world seems to have been significantly speeding up due to the ongoing striving for efficiency and supporting technological features further accelerated by Covid-driven online meetings. With the part-time program, only two working days per month had to be covered, while all self-study elements could be allocated to an individually suitable time slot. The program took place in five modules, spread over seven months. This format served as an ongoing learning, exchange and networking platform as the interaction with other participants was continuous instead of an intensive two-week course with no interaction afterwards. Furthermore, each module covered a different topic and hence allowed me to intensively reflect on it for about four weeks and apply respective new content to my professional life.

How has the CPEA program impacted your network?

Thanks to the intensive interaction with peers and lecturers over a longer period of time, I extended not only my network but developed friendships. It is an ideal basis for placing critical questions, discussing recent developments and seeking support from peers. Additionally, the network’s different backgrounds, professional, and life experiences as well as slightly different focus areas (PE vs VC) allowed me to frequently think “out of the box” and hence stimulated my mind. Together with an already large group of alumni, I have gained an accessible network with an overarching set of expertises and experiences. Although it has only been a couple of months since the end of our program, this network has already supported me in several projects.

What was the benefit of having both a faculty and a practitioner perspective on the program?

Within the last decade, I have continuously furthered my education on the job. This learning was primarily driven by practitioners (clients, colleagues, and partners) within my focal point and enriched by academic self-study and articles. Within the CPEA program, I have had the chance to not only connect academic research and knowledge with practical experience but to especially question deviations between those perspectives.
On the one hand, lecturers imparted past and current theoretical developments and provided us with the most recent research and best practices. In addition, they sensitized us to potential traps. On the other hand, practitioners directly commented on the actual impact of these developments and on how far theory can or cannot be put into practice. A further enrichment has been the perspective and experience from other program participants (PE and VC) as well as the direct application on individual cases. To fully combine both perspectives, we then analyzed which further developments in our everyday work can be derived and how we can react to those in the best way.

Are you too looking to continue your lifelong learning goals and expand your knowledge in Private Equity and Venture Capital? Then stay in touch and register in our program page to find out the dates for our next application round starting beginning of 2023.

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