Joining PE in early 30s - can it be done?

Life worked out in a weird way and I'm looking to get a dual degree with a good MBA (that's the hope at least) in the next few years, with an expected age of graduation around 32 or so. I'm specifically targeting Infra PE firms (independents, pensions, MFs, etc.), and am trying to lateral into a project finance role currently with the federal government (think DFC, DOE, DOT, etc.), giving me a somewhat unconventional background, but with an inside look at how some loan programs are administered that institutional investors use. Have previous experience in the NNN RE space and other credit background. So here goes:

  1. With that kind of background (not mentioning other things like prior grades/leadership roles/etc.), would adcoms at the 10-25th top bschools look at that favorably?
  2. Assuming getting into a semi-reputable program, how are my chances of breaking into infra PE?

Comments (7)

Dec 29, 2020 - 1:01pm
Undercover meme, what's your opinion? Comment below:" This is kinda like back when you get get the username on salary info / reviews lol

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 4, 2021 - 9:31pm

The positive is that there's a lot of similarities in valuation framework and due diligence when it comes to the buy- and sell- side so there are often many bankers who make the jump later in their careers (at the VP level, even). In that sense, I think infra PE is a bit more lenient toward unconventional backgrounds.

However, I know of a few post-MBA bankers who are having difficulty making the transition. I don't think age is as much of an issue as post-MBA is; many programs don't hire entry-level associates as post-MBAs. I would say to test the waters and see if you can get an infra role either as part of a strategic in project finance first, and then work your way up. People tout MBAs as career resets, but frankly there are not many people in the infra or corporate world that get into PE post-MBA without having had strong banking or PE experience prior to starting their MBAs. Most people I know who don't have any banking/consulting/buy-side experience prior to their MBAs end up going into IB as a final destination.  

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jan 7, 2021 - 5:16pm

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