Hamilton Lane Partners with Drexel University to Bring PE Experience to the Classroom


By: Therese Hipkins, Bryan Jenkins and Katie Moore 

Hamilton Lane has been a longtime partner with Drexel University, having employed more than 60 undergraduate students since 2008 through the university’s co-op program. Hailing from one of the top business schools in the Philadelphia area, 15 alumni from Drexel currently work at Hamilton Lane. Given this backdrop, when presented with the opportunity to collaborate with LeBow College of Business MBA students in one of their courses, several professionals from Hamilton Lane’s Philadelphia office were eager to participate.

Focused on the private markets asset class for the first time this year, this program’s experiential consulting course was designed to offer graduate students the opportunity to work directly with a hypothetical client (in this case, Hamilton Lane) and a team of client mentors to assess real-world problems and, ultimately, to present innovative potential solutions. Over the course of the 10-week semester, students acted as consultants, diving deep to understand the firm and industry, with the goal of proposing solutions to business challenges and identifying strategic growth areas. The students benefited from regular interaction with the client mentor group, which visited Drexel’s campus several times throughout the semester. Through these frequent interactions, the students were able to gain a greater understanding of Hamilton Lane and the private markets industry as a whole, and benefited from candid instruction that would help to shape and guide their final recommendations. 

The MBA students worked under the supervision of LeBow faculty member and Professor of Management David Kurz, who specializes in organizational behavior and experiential learning. Professor Kurz was instrumental in helping the students navigate through this complex case study, working closely with Hamilton Lane to design a program whereby the students could continue building upon their research into a highly specialized asset class that is not traditionally studied at the University.

At the conclusion of the class earlier this month, several Hamilton Lane colleagues, many of whom are Drexel alumni, attended the students’ final presentations. The findings that the student groups presented were quite impressive; all were well-researched and heavily focused on actionable proposals that the Hamilton Lane team could bring back to the firm.

Even more exciting and important, the students interested in a career in the private markets will be offered the opportunity for a further course of study through a private equity-focused fellowship program led by the University.  

The Hamilton Lane team had a wonderful time throughout this partnership with Drexel, and we think this experience could create a model for strategic partnerships with other universities around the world. While many of the students’ recommendations and proposals would likely have real-world application for our firm, ultimately our goal was that the students walk away from the experience with a unique understanding of and perhaps even a newfound interest in our asset class.  

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