Advice - Private Equity Graduate Program (London/Paris)
I am a French student (master's degree) at a top French BS (think HEC, ESSEC). I am currently doing my gap year in Paris: one IB offcycle in top BB (think GS, JP, MS), and one PE offcycle in top MF (think Carlyle, CVC, Cinven).
I received a FT offer at the top BB , but definitely don't want to go, because of the lifestyle, and the poor interest I have in the job. I really like the job at the top MF, but lifestyle is still tough though... (and they don't recruit analyst)
I think I want to start my career in a top MM PE fund (IK, Keensight, HLD...) in Paris (but I can be flexible in terms of cities - depending the opportunities I'll have), but it seems offers in PE in Paris are reserved for girls...
Need your advice on different points:
- Do you think I should do an internship in a PE fund at the end of my studies, and hope for a FT offer ? Or should I directly network with people in PE fund and ask directly if they recruit analyst?
- If I don't manage to break into a MM fund, would you go in smallcap PE fund or to a top MBB? if your midterm goal is to endup at a MM fund as an associate
Thanks a lot for your advice!
Just try focusing on what you really want to do, careers can be shaped in different ways. If your first choice is a MM fund then start networking and see what opportunities come up (FT, internships, etc.) and once you have something in your pocket then you can make a choice.
Prepare also a Plan B, it can be BB (tough job but one of the best options for getting into PE later on) or MBB (still a good option to get into PE).
Try to keep your possibilities open and diversify
Thanks for your advice!
I'm in a very similar position. Internship at GS/MS and internship at a well-known UMM PE firm. Hated my internship in banking. Horrible hours. Bad culture. Extremely boring work that requires no brainpower at all. IB has its moments when you get to listen in on more strategic calls, but these calls are <5% of your time.
The work in PE was more interesting than the work in IB. Better culture. People were nicer. More responsibility. Hours were not good, but significantly better than IB.
Very few firms have analyst programs. The firms that do have analyst programs have very few spots and it seems as if it's mostly larger funds that offer analyst positions. I've experienced the same bias for women in recruiting. When I was an intern, they were recruiting 5-6 associates at my firm and they had an explicit requirement to only recruit women.
I'm also wondering how to best recruit for analyst positions. I've reached out to all the major headhunters and most often they just say that they don't have any analyst positions but would be happy to stay in touch for associate positions down the road. I have also thought about networking directly with the PE funds. Would be great to hear from anyone with experience from this.
idk why people are so opposed to putting in the 1-2 years in banking tbh - obviously good to get a buyside seat straight out of school but if you have an offer at a solid bank it's still a very good gig
Objectively it is a very good start to your career. However, 2 years is a pretty long time when you're doing something extremely boring for 80+ hours a week at a place that often has a really bad culture. If there is any possibility to avoid spending 2 years in my 20s in banking, I'll take it in a heartbeat.
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