Sep 7, 2021
Analyst Spotlight: Natalie Garcia
Investment Analyst, Winter 2019
What is your Palm Drive Capital journey?
I interned at Palm Drive Capital during the winter of my junior year. I had already planned to intern at JP Morgan to experience the world of investment banking for the summer of my junior year but I also wanted to try something different so that I could experience another side of finance. Palm Drive’s internship program provided me with the opportunity to explore the world of venture capital. I went from interning at a massive bank to working with a close-knit VC team, and I loved it.
The work environment was much less rigid, and that, alongside the small team, allowed me to explore varied fields and occupy different seats. During my time at Palm Drive, the company was in the middle of raising a new fund, so not only was I tasked with looking for potential investments, but I was also involved in trying to find investors to help raise funds.
As of now, I’ve just finished my first year at JP Morgan as an investment analyst.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt working for Palm Drive?
One thing that I’ve really been able to take with me to JP Morgan from Palm Drive is my ability to have great client interactions. At Palm Drive, I had the opportunity to talk to many CEOs and founders, either on the phone or during in-person meetings. As a 20 year old, new to the investment world, it was amazing to be given that much responsibility.
Now that I am at JP Morgan and work with companies that are at a much later stage, it still remains a valuable skill. It has helped me so much because I am able to handle myself well around clients. I very much attribute that to my time at Palm Drive – to being thrown in the deep end and having to learn on the go how to talk to professionals and be taken seriously. And not only as someone so young, but also as a woman in the investment world. It really is a skill that will heavily benefit me throughout my entire career.
To have that sort of experience at such a young age is an incredible asset. Also, meeting and interacting with all of these CEOs, I had the opportunity to pick their brains and learn about different company dynamics.
What was your most challenging experience?
It is well known that the industry is heavily dominated by male CEOs, and when first contacting some of the startups, my biggest challenge was that I wasn’t always taken seriously from the get go. Over the course of my time at Palm Drive, I had a lot of conversations with Henry and the team to figure out the best way to navigate being a 20 year old woman in this industry. Ultimately, it came down to me being as prepared as I possibly could. I quickly discovered that if I came into a meeting with an arsenal of information, showing that I had done thorough research, everyone took me more seriously. It proved that I knew what I was talking about. Learning how to be super prepared to overcome this obstacle of pre-judgement is definitely one of the most instrumental things I learned throughout the internship.
On the flip side, I did have substantial success in connecting with female CEOs and with female-centric products, because I was able to relate in a different way than the Palm Drive partners. Really it all came down to figuring out the best way for me to navigate the investment environment.
What was your favorite part about working at Palm Drive?
One of my favorite parts about interning at Palm Drive was working with a close knit team and also interacting with clients. At Palm Drive, we would often get lunch together and sit in a conference room to eat and I became extremely close with many of my colleagues, some of whom I still keep in touch with. In addition to the great team, being able to interact with so many unique clients on a daily basis was such a highlight. Seeing the passion founders have for the work they do was very inspiring as a young professional entering the corporate world. Both the culture of Palm Drive and the client driven nature of the firm produced an unbelievable internship that taught me many lessons both professionally and personally as well as providing me with lifelong friends and colleagues.