Is there a point to networking if you have (nepo)?

Hey! I'm a student in Canada and have been pretty busy over the past two years. I've sent tons of cold emails, had lots of chats, and done plenty of mock interviews. I also worked at a Big 5 bank (mid office role tho), interned at a search fund, and had a lmm IB internship in the US this winter, working on some cool deals. This summer, I'm diving into mm PE here in Canada.

Originally, I was all in on the US, but some family members think they can get me into bigger PE firms here in Canada think a little bigger than HOOPP and AIMCO. They’re pretty high up think VP+ and confident my skills are good enough, which might make things easier.

Now, I'm wondering if I should keep networking for a third-year placement, try for a Big 5 IB in Canada, or go for a BB or EB in the US. My school is solid—it sends about 15-20 students to top US and Canadian firms each year. Not sure if I should push for IB or just go with the family connection for PE, or even think about the US again.

I’ve got a 3.85 GPA and decent internships. Getting first-round interviews in the US is doable, but getting further is tough. Staying in Canada for PE looks like a sure thing though. I'm aiming to reach the $230K - $250K CAD total comp ($180K USD) around 4 years after graduating. Do you think going for IB in Canada or roles in the US is worth it? Any advice?

 
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I imagine this needs a bit more context to make a proper judgement. For example, how senior are your family members at those PE shops and how much pulling power do they have? Can they only guarantee an internship or can they guarantee your longer term success there? How much stress do you want to put yourself in for recruiting? Also if I'm infering correctly, 2025 summer would be your 3rd year summer? I think a lot of 2025 summer processes in US have already kicked off and for Canada too so not sure if you're already in those processes or not (if not, would be wise to take the sure thing MM PE offer in Canada). If you're in the processes or have some way in and your long term success at said fund isn't guaranteed, it might be wise to gain some external experiences at reputable shops. It 1) opens more doors in case family members can't pull as hard for you, 2) widens network by working at other reputable shops, and 3) makes pulling for you easier when you have a more stacked background + nepotism.

 

Hey, thanks for the answer. 2 of them are VPs, and one of them is an MD although quite recent less than a month. I'm not sure if they can "guarantee" anything, but I imagine those positions should have a decent amount of pull. Yes, summer 2025 would be my third-year summer. I've done some recruiting, but I'm in a 5-year program doing a double degree (useless major, but I just wanted extra time to decide). So technically, my final year of recruiting won't start until summer 2026, so I still have some time.

 

Yeah, my goal is WLB (I know that doesn't exist in finance but as much as I possibly can get) I really value the pay-to-work-time ratio—like how much time I can actually enjoy with the amount I'm getting paid—I want to enjoy the life I have still. Is it really worth doing the 80-100 hour weeks in IB and aiming for the US, or even staying and doing IB in Canada for that higher comp, or just living an easier life doing 60-hour weeks in PE in Canada with a most likely placement out of grad at said MM-UMM PE firms? And how possible would it be to move to US PE if I did UMM Canadian PE for 4-5 years?

 

If WLB is your goal, definitely don't pursue IB or PE at a sweatshop, it's not worth it for the sake of being able to flex on your classmates. Go with the relatively more chill PE option in Canada. You do have to recognize though that it will likely limit your chances of moving to the US, especially as a non US citizen given visa issues, and chill PE gig equating to less intense and well recognized deal exposure. Might be doable so never say never but just have a realistic expectation of the sacrifices you make for having the WLB.

 

Be cautious of family / friends claiming they can help you land a role at a company. I made this mistake years ago and lost ~3 months or so on the job search. People tend to overexagerate and sometimes lie about how much they will help you. 

 

Be cautious of family / friends claiming they can help you land a role at a company. I made this mistake years ago and lost ~3 months or so on the job search. People tend to overexagerate and sometimes lie about how much they will help you. 

agreed, some people just like to talk/brag about how many important people they know. Doesn't actually mean that they're willing to put themselves on the line for you, a nobody. 

 

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