Breaking into PE as a rising junior

Current M&A Finance Intern - The work is actually a lot more than I thought for a tech company since they have a lot going on within this department which Im also apart of.

I've heard having a sophomore internship at a big name (recognizable firm with a role in something related to corp dev such as mine) would have some of these firms bat an eye at my resume. 

Stats: Double major (Quantitative Finance & Management Information Systems)

3.45 GPA, higher major GPA

Anyone need more info or have questions for me to help with tips? Feel free to ask!

Thanks again for any help :)

Comments (10)

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 16, 2022 - 8:21pm

Are you at a target? That GPA is an uphill battle for either IB or PE - understand a very hard double major, but for finance, GPA is king above major difficulty. Good internship but people will still question GPA.

You might be able to network your way into MM/LMM PE, but MF/UMM PE is highly unlikely. It's unlikely for most people given so few analyst spots, but they really want to see 3.7+ GPA and multiple prior IB/PE internships for those limited roles. Are you recruiting for banking at all? That is a more natural path to PE.

Jun 17, 2022 - 2:20pm
raseign, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thats for sure, Im actually a rising junior so I have two more years of school yet. I intend to really grind out these courses and all to get that up. My school isn't a big target but we have some big firms like GS, JPM, etc recruit from our business school

Jun 17, 2022 - 4:21pm
raseign, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I got a follow up from Wells and CS so Ill try my luck there but I've been told with my background especially with my sophomore internship being at a brand name, I have a good chance with consulting so I've been applying for those and I know other asset managers like blackrock release apps end of June and roll into the end of summer so there are opportunities out there for sure and I'm not all too scared I'll end up somewhere I don't like with my background. Nonetheless, any input you have is still greatly appreciated :)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jun 17, 2022 - 10:04pm

Not to burst your bubble man but for your stated goals, you're not in as good of a place as you seem to think. Yes, you're working a cool internship this summer but being at what sounds like a semi / nontarget with a GPA < 3.5 will all but guarantee you don't wind up with a full time offer at a reputable PE program full time unless you get a good banking internship for junior summer. I'm sure if you network hard and cast a wide net, you can find a great job at a smaller LMM buyout or growth fund but as you seem to have already realized, you face an uphill battle for a spot at most banking programs, let alone established PE analyst programs. Consulting recruiting isn't the walk in the park you think it is either -- unlike finance where there are 40+ great firms to be a summer analyst at, everyone recruiting consulting is fighting for a spot at one of 5-7 firms and really qualified, ivy league 3.9+ candidates who have done sophomore internships similar to yours have struck out.

This isn't to shit on you -- again, you've worked hard to land a cool internship as an underclassman, but like the other commenters have implied, you need to keep working hard if you want to wind up where you say you do. You've hit a single -- there's a long way to home plate.      

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jun 16, 2022 - 9:02pm

Unfortunately the GPA will be a nonstarter at all the large cap PE funds that take analysts, but there are a ton of middle market (and I mean true middle market not like the big name UMM funds people on here talk about) that take interns and full time analysts that would look at your profile. You just have to be really proactive about networking and reaching out if you're deadset on starting in PE. If you're really interested in large cap / umm PE then you should try to get into a banking program first -- many of those will be more forgiving of GPA during recruiting if you make up for it in other ways.

Jun 17, 2022 - 4:22pm
raseign, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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