Buyside recruiting is really demoralizing as a non-target

Reflecting upon PE oncycle & feeling a little down in the dumps..

I came from a west coast non-target and absolutely grinded my way, borderline sacrificed, my college experience to land a spot at a well known top group at a top BB. It took a ton of effort, but really thought this might change the course of my life. Most of my peers in my group are targets/top targets. 

Flash-forward to oncycle recruiting, where I begin seeing vast differences in opportunities spring up. HHs reached out to us all, however when it came to who got priority in interview invites or solicitations from specific funds, I witnessed my teammates who went to targets receive an insane amount of opportunities. To be frank, I totally witnessed first hand how I was being passed up. For the opportunities I did get, the experience was also very painful- many I hardly made it past first rounds (and being honest, I am strong technically and behaviorally, as I prepped for months for OC recruiting) and for the ones I got cut in the later stages I thought I had in the bag.  
 

Most of said target classmates have offers in hand and had a quick process. About 85-90% of my class who have MF offers are targets in my class (100% in my group). I know it's well known that PE recruiting is much more traditional in its view of pedigree, but damn it still stings. It really makes me wonder what all this hard work was for, in trying to work up the ladder, when I keep getting the shorter end of the stick. I'm generally a confident person who is proud of how far I've come, but processes like these really do make me question my place. Sad boi hours 

Comments (70)

Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
2mo

You should have worked harder in high school. What's done is done. With that being said, your career is 40 years, not 4 years.

edit: Wow, non-targets really are self-conscious about their schools.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
2mo

Not sure why this got so much MS, two things can be true at the same time: OP can't change anything abt his school but he probably should have worked harder in high school as well

  • Intern in S&T - FI
2mo

Who cares abt high school. I have a damn near full ride at a top engineering school, 3.7 gpa, engineering research, consulting internship, hedge fund internship, and s&t. Multiple leadership experiences as well. But yeah I'm still a stupid non target right that should have tried harder in high school? I bet I couldn't even break into a very top hedge fund once I get out of school. Prestige whores are the reason why everyone hates finance.

  • VP in IB - Cov
2mo

A lot of times it's luck/background and not always how hard you work. (Many years ago) I had above a 4.0 (with the AP program) + a nearly perfect ACT + extra curriculars + multi sport varsity athlete and got denied from the targets I applied to.

Think this is attributed to 1) I didn't know how to write the essays/what they were looking for and 2) no one was guiding me on the recruitment process in high school (first college student in family). I just assumed my GPA and test scores would get me in and I only applied to 4 schools, got denied from 3. No teacher or counsellor or anyone was there to tell me how to approach/game the process and that I should've cast my net wider to more schools (since it's such a luck of the draw; you hear about someone getting denied from Harvard but accepted to Wharton and vice versa).

I attribute both of these to a lack of information/mentorship available to me at the time and not that I wasn't performing academically. Despite the setback, was able to make up for the deficit and get into a BB and have a successful career to this point.

Does getting denied from a target imply a lack of hard work? Not necessarily. Does getting denied alleviate you from having to work harder to overcome it? No, you'll still have to work harder because of it, but it's not impossible by any means.

1mo
The Dandern, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Should've worked harder in highschool? Do you realize how much luck is involved in getting into a target? You're gonna be in for one hell of a reality check down the road when your kids have to apply to college

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

Applying to college is not how it used to be, it's heavily reliant on "playing the game" and being guided to do the right thing that cannot be expected by most 14-18 year olds by themselves

Far from a pure test of brains and work ethic

  • Intern in IB - Gen
3d

I mean look I understand where you come from but I grew up in the hood, didn't have finances or resources to " work hard ". But I did work hard to get into a non target school atleast and at a top IB group…most of the time with non targets it's financial reason or lack of resources that didn't lead us to be at HYP

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
2mo

I've been there so I completely understand what you're going through. I was a complete non-target that ended up landing in a top group and somehow made it to a MF. I did not get any MF interviews during the traditional on-cycle process, but landed something off cycle. I would encourage you to continue interviewing for all roles (MM / UMM / MF) as you could lateral down the line if you don't end up in a spot that you wanted. Just keep an open mind that you may not go the GS / MS -> KKR / BX path but you could certainly end up at those exact same PE firms as a Principal or Senior Associate after a couple of years at a MM or UMM firm. There is always attrition at the MF PE firms and you would be surprised how many lateral or off cycle opportunities come up. I would also take a real hard look at some of the other top tier PE opportunities that may be just as good and if not better than your traditional MF firms. At the end of the day, you can't control your background or what you've done in your life thus far, but you can certainly control what you do from here. I know how much it sucks to be placed into to a certain bucket despite having worked so hard to get what you conceivably thought was the "top", but I promise you that if you keep trying, you'll land something. There is a reason why you made it this far from a non-target and I'm sure others will see that come through in interviews. I most definitely give credit to non-targets that I end up interviewing at my firm. Just prep as much as you can and speak with confidence as you had to jump through many more hurdles to be in your current role. 

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
2mo

Hate to be that guy, but if you got to the interview rounds, not moving on is your fault and has nothing to do with school.

At my fund (UMM/MF), school obviously plays a role in interviews, but have honestly never heard of us passing up a candidate from a top group because they were a non-target. I would be shocked if there's a single MF that doesn't have at least a few non target associates.

If you get a first round, your resume is now useless, it's all about interview performance. You can argue it influences people subconsciously or whatever, but I can tell you for a fact that we don't consider resume beyond who gets an interview. The minute you enter an interview room everyone is equal and we are purely picking the best candidates.

So do some real soul searching on why you didn't convert on interviews - if you're so confident in technicals, maybe do some work on the behavioral side. Are you coming off as arrogant / try hard / too much of a chip on your shoulder? Can you talk intelligently about deal experience? Did you have strong answers for "why X fund"?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
2mo

I would second this.

It's kinda tough to hear and I acknowledge I definitely have some survivorship bias, but I come from a non-target and was able to land MF interviews/offer coming from a "mid-tier" BB. Like the kids who I was interviewing against went to "top banks" and "target schools" but I still managed to get an offer over them. I think your bank/group is what can help land you an interview, and then after that it's up to you to land the offer.

Also on a side note I felt that I succeeded in interviews because I had a better attitude and was able to connect with the interviewers more than the other candidates (just sitting in the break room talking between interviews some of them had really crappy/disingenuous personalities).

  • Works at Coatue Management
2mo

This is a surprisingly naive take. Obviously there is a selection bias toward target school candidates, but to claim there still isn't an advantage of school post the screening process is just absurd. If you go to Penn, your network of alums / peers is far more robust than most other schools and at firms that are over 50% Wharton (more common than you think) makes it so much easier to make the initial good impression and break the ice in an interview. I can't tell you how many times I've seen PE interviews go so smoothly because the interviewer and the interviewee had mutual friends (often due to school) or could relate to similar school dynamics vs a non-target candidate with a target interviewer.

People need to understand that non-target candidates are not just fighting to get an interview, but also fighting to overcome the robust connections that target candidates have which ultimately make interviews smoothly given the ability to connect with one another. 

With all this said, this is not an excuse to feel bad for non-target candidates, instead this should be something you understand you need to overcome sooner rather than later. As a non-target, I completely recognize the challenge of this, but don't expect handouts.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
2mo

feels like if you pick any of your favorite funds and go to the investment team on their website, wharton will have like 50%+ representation lol.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

100% truth. 

Coming from a non-target, I was astounded how many people had connections who were in banking/politics/power (i.e. parents, uncles, parents friend etc.)

Also, people need to understand that even for the junior levels it's a signaling effect thing as well. 

Harvard vs no name school? obviously choose Harvard to show LPs that you're "choosing the best" 

Evercore vs no name boutique? obviously choose Evercore even though person from no name boutique might be stronger in technicals 

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
1mo

This is a surprisingly naive take. Obviously there is a selection bias toward target school candidates, but to claim there still isn't an advantage of school post the screening process is just absurd. If you go to Penn, your network of alums / peers is far more robust than most other schools and at firms that are over 50% Wharton (more common than you think) makes it so much easier to make the initial good impression and break the ice in an interview. I can't tell you how many times I've seen PE interviews go so smoothly because the interviewer and the interviewee had mutual friends (often due to school) or could relate to similar school dynamics vs a non-target candidate with a target interviewer.

People need to understand that non-target candidates are not just fighting to get an interview, but also fighting to overcome the robust connections that target candidates have which ultimately make interviews smoothly given the ability to connect with one another. 

With all this said, this is not an excuse to feel bad for non-target candidates, instead this should be something you understand you need to overcome sooner rather than later. As a non-target, I completely recognize the challenge of this, but don't expect handouts.

That's BS. You get an interview, it's a level playing field.

In fact, I'd venture to say if you're at a top group from a non-target, you have the upper hand. You have a story to tell, you're not like everyone else. You went to University of Miami and ended up at the same place as someone who went to Princeton. That's not happenstance.
 

The target kid is status quo, no big win in getting into GS TMT. You know his cruising altitude. He was at 30,000 feet in college, and he was at 35,000 feet in his first job, and now he's vying to get to 50,000 feet. No big news there. He's defined by that altitude. Sure, he's picking up some tailwinds over time, but you can see a pretty predictable flight path there.

Then there's you… were at 15,000 feet in college, must be a little turd single prop Cessna. Nope. First job, you're at 35,000 feet. Now you're in the same room as all that others and are vying to get to 50,000 feet. Defined by the slope of your ascent. Point up when everyone else is bending towards the horizon.

If that's not the story your telling / feeling you're inspiring in people, that's on you.

That only works if you demolish your interviews and your competition by a laughable margin. People don't know what to make of you, you don't fit the mold. There's no archetype. You're literally off the scales.

2mo
MarthaStewartsAFelon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

this isn't to say it's not harder, but some of the best exits in my class were from people who went to random schools. if you're being first rounds something is happening in your interviews. candidly, your attitude in this post is very preemptively defeatist and in want of self confidence. i wonder if that shows up in your interviews in some manner. lastly, stop calling yourself a non target. you're an adult not the school you went to's status in finance recruiting. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

Had pretty much the same experience man. I was literally sending target school kids prep material and teaching them LBOs and got almost no interview invites.

It stings like a mofo but what can we do besides push through and hope for the best.

What is clear is that this industry is not about performance but prestige and will haunt us for a long time.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
2mo
  1. Were you only going for UMM/MF?
  1. Honest question - how else do you expect headhunters to filter candidates when nobody has deal experience?
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

1) Mostly MF/UMM - need to wash away the sin of being a non-target somehow.

2) Heavier on technicals, and emphasis on bank/group as opposed to school makes the playing field more equal. But I know PE is just a monkey work job so you just need a threshold of IQ that gets measured via proxy of school name.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
2mo

I've suffered from this endlessly and now don't waste time thinking about this. I come from an Asian country, went to a good school nobody knows outside of the country, worked for a boutique that again very few people understand. Recently joined a top sector specialist UMM in their large cap fund alongside a bunch of target + BB people in London (RIP £). I'm literally the only person in my cohort to have non-BB TMT experience. My two cents would be to stop looking at things like "how many opps was I shown" but instead look for that one firm/ partner/ recruiter who will take their chances with you. I have realized that instead of targetting hardo places which place a lot of importance on pedigree, I am a much better fit with people who want me instead of trying to impress people who place more weight on metrics I don't have. This means an easier working environment, my development being taken care of, and good career opportunities. Not working at KKR is not the end of your life. You've come a long way by working hard, please try to enjoy it.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
2mo

Congrats, now you know how ridiculous this world is: people treat the adult version of you as basically a high-school version of you.

What's done in high school seems to haunt you for years. That's how absurd the elite hierarchy of investment banking and private equity is. 

Maybe go the public market route. There is less structure and less hierarchy there. Even if you are the top 0.1% at H/S/W doesn't guarantee a positive return. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

Not just years but for the rest of your life.

2mo
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You're crying you're at a top group at a top BB and messed up your PE interviews?

The only reason you're not getting offers is your undergrad school and not your performance in interviews?

No one who works in PE comes from a crappy undergrad like you? Seriously?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
2mo

I think you might just be weird / suck at interviews, especially reading how you wrote your post and "sacrificing" your college experience for an IB job. I would get over the complex dude

1mo
www50, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My thoughts exactly. As a nontarget myself the process has been hell, but at the end of the day everyone in IB sacrificed massive amounts of time and forgone experiences.

Getting a first round interview is the hard part, past that point it is 90% your own fault.

  • Assistant in IB - Gen
2mo

To the "shoulda worked harder in high school" crowd:

- first-generation students with zero guidance

- didn't go to a prep school, don't know what finance is

- school did not offer sufficient opportunity to stand out in extracurriculars and academics (they grew up in the average household)

- only ~15% of the target student body is first-generation (compared to 56% nationally)

- somehow manage to get in because the admissions committee sympathizes, only to realize that your state university is cheaper and going to the target school would not break even if you didn't pursue IB and only IB

out of touch for sure

2mo
nyctooexpensive2, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't worry about it man. It's in the past, there's nothing that can be done to switch that. You have to remember you're dealing with the hardest of hardos who've had a stick up their ass their entire lives and get hard at the mention of a bullshit school.

keep working at it. Broaden your scope. The past is the past. Work on the present :)

  • Assistant in IB - Gen
2mo

thank you for the kind words! :) i fortunately made it, but there are many who haven't and it sucks to see this uphill battle as a result of firms' uncertainty towards non-targets - if anything, i think those of equivalent intelligence but from a harder journey deserve these spots the most and will perform the best, but I get the client's appeal of calling an associate "the Harvard guy."

  • VP in PE - LBOs
2mo

To the "shoulda worked harder in high school" crowd:

- first-generation students with zero guidance

- didn't go to a prep school, don't know what finance is

- school did not offer sufficient opportunity to stand out in extracurriculars and academics (they grew up in the average household)

- only ~15% of the target student body is first-generation (compared to 56% nationally)

- somehow manage to get in because the admissions committee sympathizes, only to realize that your state university is cheaper and going to the target school would not break even if you didn't pursue IB and only IB

out of touch for sure

There is no chance 56% of the us is first generation. My guess is about 15% which is in line with your other number but given the inaccuracy of your 56% not sure if I'd trust. I'm also a 1st gen immigrant and got a 3.0 gpa in high school but I'm an svp in buyouts at a umm fund. So don't sweat it, your career is much longer than your first job 

2mo
BoutiqueAsc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know people who went to total non-targets and wound up at good funds.... It can be done just saying. 

I think a lot of people also underestimate how many opportunities there are off-cycle, I saw a lot of people go to good funds at random times.

Keep at it I doubt it's your alma mater that's the sole issue. 

2mo
TechBanking, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The factor that I'm not seeing here is how you explain it as part of your story. I spent my first three years at university of Colorado in engineering, and it's a top 10 school for that. By the way, I also got into MIT. CU gave my a cycling scholarship because of my prior racing history. We went on to win the national championship all 3 years I was there. I got hurt my last year and transferred to a higher ranked school to pursue finance. 
 

That's my honest story. If you go to a non-target or semi-target just place the reason as part of your story. CU is a non-target for banking but it is the only target for cycling. 

  • 2
2mo
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It should be work experience > undergrad pedigree, which is one of the reasons I steered away from pure finance. Meritocracy and hard work means little to nothing at these places 

2mo
Stephen A. Smith, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you've prepped as much as you say then you'll land somewhere, just keep plugging away. I had the same issue when I recruited. The ambiguity of "fit" doesn't help when you don't pattern match. Like others have mentioned, you probably don't want to work at a fund whose values (prestige) don't align with what you have to offer. It'll always work against you in promotion talks, comp discussions, etc, regardless of how much people want to tout meritocracy at these places.   

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
1mo

Agree with the comments above, am also a non-target who broke into a top group at a top BB, and just signed a MF offer during on-cycle. 

I honestly believe that losing the chip on your shoulder about being a non-target is the most important thing during interviews. Nobody cares, and it's all about being someone that the interviewer would enjoy being in the trenches in at 11 pm on a Friday. Technicals are always a check-the-box thing, and they know you can do the job based on your resume. 

Do some soul-searching. therapy worked wonders for me, and by gaining confidence in myself that I belong here honestly made all the difference. Again, no one cares which school you went to. You already broke in. Make the choice easy for everyone by being someone they want to spend time with and beat out the H/S/W hardos. 

  • Managing Director in PE - LBOs
1mo

I'm sorry to hear that you're having challenges. I graduated from a non-target 15+ years ago and so have a pretty good amount of experience both on how it affects you as a candidate and an employee.

For background - I am a co-founder of a buyout fund. Previously, I was an MD at a MF. I started my career at a boutique. I've personally been directly involved in deciding who to hire for 50-100 analyst/associate/VP positions over the years. I went to a non-target and as far as I know, I'm the only person to ever graduate from my school and then work in PE.

My experience has been that where you went to school almost always affects your recruiting, even fairly late in your career. The amount that it matters diminishes over time, but it is always present.

To start, when a firm is selecting who to give interviews to, they receive a resume book and a spreadsheet from one of the HH firms that lists the following things: name, firm, group, school, GPA, ACT/SAT. That's it. School is on there because people absolutely do take it into account. When you get a spreadsheet with hundreds of names, you have to use something to narrow it down. 

For the interview process, and the decision making that follows, people are ultimately trying to put together a comprehensive view of you as a candidate. Your interview adds significantly to that picture, but it does not replace the basic biographical details that are on your resume. This includes everything from details of your current role, what school you went to, where you are from, what your hobbies are, etc. Using that full picture, people will then decide: i) can you do the work, ii) what is your max potential at the firm, and iii) do they want to work with you.

Once you're hired, where you went to school doesn't matter as much at that job and you will normally be evaluated on your performance, relationships, etc.. That being said, HHs definitely call people with more prestigious backgrounds more frequently (since many firms, even for senior positions, will explicitly say something like "degree from a top school strongly preferred"), so my friends with more prestigious backgrounds were generally able to feel more secure in their positions, since they knew that at anytime, they could lateral to another firm. 

The complete picture of who you are cuts both ways. There was one case where we were choosing between two equally qualified candidates. The job ended up going to the candidate from the non-target because his background made him seem scrappier compared to the candidate who listed his prestigious high school on his resume.

Ultimately, you're absolutely correct that your school will make your career more challenging. However, you can't go back and change where you went to school and you can't change our unfair world, so all you can do is keep moving forward and figure out how to improve your interviews to get the job you want. You may have to follow a longer course, but you can still get to where you want to be eventually.

Best of luck!

1mo
SouthernWallStreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow, it is quite nice to read an even-keeled, honest take.

The "Associate # in PE - LBOs" crowd is unbelievably obnoxious in contrast.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
1mo

There are two ways to walk away from this and each one will piss off a group in one camp or another.

1) Target schools matter and you probably should've worked harder in high school. The list of schools that are considered "target" has expanded considerably in the last 4 years alone. This website is always having a pissing contest on what's "target" / "semi-target" / "non-target" and it's kind of a stupid argument. At every firm, the schools that the firm considers "target" varies greatly based on a number of factors such as alumni at the firm, past associates that have done well there, did the VP (who went to an Ivy) know someone from banking / social life who went to another school that they respected, etc. The truth of the matter is you probably could've worked harder in high school because some of the schools that place pretty well now are not crapshoots to get into: Michigan / UVA / Notre Dame / Georgetown / etc. I've met more than a few kids from UF that have ended up at insanely good PE firms/hedge funds. I don't know where you went to school but while getting into an Ivy may be random, getting into one of the other schools I mentioned (and it's NOT an exhaustive list) is not random - a function of high school GPA + test scores + 1-2 extracurricular. That being said, you can't change the past so it's not worth living in regret or even thinking about this any further. Life is unfair and unfortunately, that's the way it is. However, all is not lost. Further, you may need to re-evaluate how well-prepped you are for recruiting. I'd find someone else in your analyst class you trust and isn't a weird fuck that did get a job and just have them mock interview you and see what they think. It could be your technicals are good but maybe you can't communicate your process effectively or that your behaviorals are not as good as you think. I'll say from personal experience, I'm generally a pretty good interviewer but I also have my bad days and I can totally bomb a few in a row, and then it becomes a self-defeating cycle until I get out of the slump. One way to do that is to interview for a firm that you don't think is that competitive and just do well for 1-2 rounds and then tell the HH that you are no longer interested for some well-thought-out reason (like picking an LMM firm in a city you wouldn't live in for example). That should give you a confidence boost that you can definitely do this somewhere else. The interviews are not that fundamentally different at KKR than at an LMM firm. 

2) You need to lean into off-cycle recruiting. On-cycle recruiting is a bunch of bullshit. The modeling tests are a joke, the interviews are mostly a joke, and the resume process is also kind of a joke. The whole thing has been distorted to hit certain hiring goals that various firms have now (diversity, etc.). I may get MS for this but that's just how it is. The interview process is easier for historically underrepresented people in the PE industry for associate roles and this has been the case since probably the university class of 2019's recruiting on-cycle which happened in September 2019. The modeling tests were made way easier at most places and the "case interviews" aren't nearly as difficult as they used to be when you'd have more intense math / mental math on the fly to do market sizing or a more in-depth conversation about a business where you'd get a sheet of paper with information on it (separate from the model test). What this does is change the calculus for on-cycle hiring. Assume 1/2 the spots at any firm are reserved (I'm assuming OP is an overrepresented man). The other half is more likely to be filled with the best candidates you can find on paper as at that point you can't even justify meeting as many people for these traditional route spots. This is the case for most MF PE / UMM PE firms (the exception is maybe Apollo but I think that may have changed recently too). In off-cycle recruiting, it's more like how dating used to be before dating apps. The firm and you take several weeks to get to know each other. Your interviews will be spread out over the course of 4-6 weeks (1 round a week and 1 model test or take-home case). Even if there's only one spot, I've found that the net that's cast is wider for these processes (giving a better shot for a non-target student), the longer period of time involved means people will get to know you a little bit better / more invested in you overall, and the model test/ take-home case study they use is harder than the one they do for on-cycle in most cases (not all but most). This means that your technical abilities, on-the-job modeling experience you are getting from a top group, and investment acumen will have a better chance of standing out against the target student who was probably a liberal arts major in college. Also, it comes down to luck. Not every person from Wharton likes hiring other Wharton kids. Some of them don't really care and just want someone they think is a good culture fit, smart, and hardworking. There might be one who is from the same hometown as you and decides to take a flyer on you. Many kids from target schools are not always a great culture fit in some places (esp for the UMM firms / MM firms vs MF PE who may care less about culture). Finally, there are some places you will probably never get a job. That's the unfortunate reality of life. There is one firm in particular that asked a friend of mine if he went to a private school in the last round and he said no and got cut. I'm not going to name the firm but one night late in banking we looked up the associates who worked there and 80% of them went to a private high school (most of the time people list this on their LinkedIn, the 80% assumes those who didn't list a high school went to a public school). 

Before I get a lot of people flying in here to tell me how I'm a bigot or something I'm not trying to come off like that about diversity recruiting. I'm just calling it as I see it. I'm not even making the argument that it's bad or unfair. The customers of PE firms (endowments, etc.) are demanding the changes you see happening and any good business listens to its customers. I am an associate in MF PE (KKR / BX / APO / TPG) and I have had a number of friends in the years below me go through the process and now have sat on the other side for several years of recruiting as well and that's the way the industry has evolved, specifically at the junior level for on-cycle associate recruiting.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
1mo
Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

Reflecting upon PE oncycle & feeling a little down in the dumps..

I came from a west coast non-target and absolutely grinded my way, borderline sacrificed, my college experience to land a spot at a well known top group at a top BB. It took a ton of effort, but really thought this might change the course of my life. Most of my peers in my group are targets/top targets. 

Flash-forward to oncycle recruiting, where I begin seeing vast differences in opportunities spring up. HHs reached out to us all, however when it came to who got priority in interview invites or solicitations from specific funds, I witnessed my teammates who went to targets receive an insane amount of opportunities. To be frank, I totally witnessed first hand how I was being passed up. For the opportunities I did get, the experience was also very painful- many I hardly made it past first rounds (and being honest, I am strong technically and behaviorally, as I prepped for months for OC recruiting) and for the ones I got cut in the later stages I thought I had in the bag.  
 

Most of said target classmates have offers in hand and had a quick process. About 85-90% of my class who have MF offers are targets in my class (100% in my group). I know it's well known that PE recruiting is much more traditional in its view of pedigree, but damn it still stings. It really makes me wonder what all this hard work was for, in trying to work up the ladder, when I keep getting the shorter end of the stick. I'm generally a confident person who is proud of how far I've come, but processes like these really do make me question my place. Sad boi hours 

The reality is that by being in a top group at a top bank you were in a privileged position. There's people that have far less to start with and turned it in to far more.

Sure, if you sit around waiting for people to give you a elite job offer they'll pass you up for the guy in the seat next to you that looks 5% better… but if you were scrapping and taking initiative to get out there and smoking your interviews, you'd have had offers at 5 MFs.

Its not the hand you're dealt, it's how you play it.

Hard truths.

1mo
Falsaf, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Pussy galore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
16d

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Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.5%
  • Warburg Pincus 98.9%
  • Blackstone Group 98.4%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 97.8%
  • Bain Capital 97.3%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2022 Private Equity

  • Ardian 99.5%
  • The Riverside Company 98.9%
  • Blackstone Group 98.4%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 97.8%
  • Bain Capital 97.3%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.5%
  • Bain Capital 98.9%
  • Blackstone Group 98.4%
  • Warburg Pincus 97.8%
  • Ardian 97.3%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2022 Private Equity

  • Principal (8) $676
  • Director/MD (22) $599
  • Vice President (83) $363
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (83) $276
  • 2nd Year Associate (190) $264
  • 1st Year Associate (368) $227
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $157
  • 2nd Year Analyst (77) $132
  • 1st Year Analyst (223) $122
  • Intern/Summer Associate (25) $68
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (276) $58