A student’s most important job search might be the pursuit of an internship, suggests Anthony DeLuca ’84, managing director of SCF Partners.
DeLuca, who received a bachelor’s in accounting from Texas A&M University in 1984, urged a group of Mays Business School undergraduates to secure internships, even if they are not required.
“That should be your first job, to begin looking for an internship in August or September of the school year,” he said, advising them to find meaningful opportunities, not just “resume fillers.” “You not only get good experience, but you also get to try things, some of which you think you’ll really like but then find out you really don’t care for. It has been a career saver for some people.”
DeLuca joined two others at SCF in 1992, and most of their current investors have been affiliated with company since the beginning. He attributes the company’s success to its focus on one industry. The firm has built and sold 50 platform companies, has eight companies in its current portfolio, has made more than 300 acquisitions and has a total transfer value of more than $10 billion. “On average, for 24 years we have bought a new company every three weeks. It is a very busy, actively engaged firm,” DeLuca describes.
In the beginning, the investment team members had no job titles, they just did what was necessary, DeLuca recalled. Now there are 22 people working for the firm, of which about half work on the transactions. “We used to require our new people to have experience in energy,” he explained. “Now we want people who are excited about energy and willing to learn.”
Tania Sustaita ’14, a Business Honors and accounting major, said she benefitted from DeLuca’s advice to learn how to take constructive criticism, and to realize from the start that employers do not expect you to do things perfectly. “No one likes to deal with people that cannot accept their mistakes or feedback that they are wrong,” Sustaita said.
Alex Washington ’13, a Business Honors and finance major, said she enjoyed hearing Deluca discuss how he moved from a career at Arthur Anderson to the private equity arena. “I really have not had very much exposure to private equity, so I learned a lot about platform companies and how to combine those for competitive advantages,” she said.
About Mays Business School
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.