Odds of HSW from MF PE?

Hi all, I'm a second-year banking analyst headed to a MF PE shop next year and am considering going to b school after my 2-year stint. Can anyone share data and/or anecdotes on the acceptance rate for South Asian/East Asian straight male MF PE associates for Harvard/Stanford (and Wharton)? I'd appreciate anecdotes/data like "last cycle 6 of the 10 KKR PE associates applied to b-school, 2 got into Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton; 2 got into Harvard and Wharton; 1 got into Wharton, 1 rejected from all 3"

I know this is a big ask and the data listed above might not be available but would appreciate whatever you guys could share. 

Comments (55)

1mo 
curiousandcurious22, what's your opinion? Comment below:

He's not wrong -- this post is incredibly dumb and the data that ur seeking is useless. Pretty sure you're just a college student and not actually an "Analyst 2 in IB - Restr," but I'll explain:

People don't realize this but asking about certain UMM/MF's acceptance rates to HSW is pointless. It's gonna vary year by year and is highly dependent on the individual's essays, GPAs, ECs, etc.

Adcoms do no really care about TPG vs Amsec vs Advent vs GTCR vs Apollo. They're not gonna reject someone for being at GTCR instead of Advent or something like that. To them, if it's a brand name fund, it's a brand name fund. You fall under the same applicant pool of 2 + 2 IB/PE people. 

Funniest
  • Prospect in PE - Growth
1mo 

Ignore title, am a senior associate at a MF (not KKR though). Based on what I've heard/seen from co-workers, you need to have at least 800 SB's to be competitive for any of the 3. So, I suggest you start drafting "MF PE is Paradise" posts immediately. Thanks

1mo 
Deo et Patriae, what's your opinion? Comment below:

HBS alum here. I graduated a while back, so I don't have the latest stats of the most recent class, but my class had plenty of ex-Blackstone/Carlyle/KKR/Apollo/etc. With a gig at a MF PE, you are already well in the running for a spot at HBS (assuming strong GPA and GMAT score) - it simply comes down to crafting the right narrative (your story/essay, extracurriculars, etc.) and execution (e.g. interview)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
1mo 

Hi Deo et Patriae, thanks for sharing that information. I know there are a lot of people at HBS from MF PE (and I appreciate you reaffirming that). My question is not whether people from MF PE get in, but rather what proportion of kids get in. Appreciate your comment nonetheless!

  • 3
1mo 
Dr. Rahma Dikhinmahas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm sorry but I'm really curious if I'm the only one who notices what an HBS answer this is:

1. Gets the fraction wrong.  OP trying to figure out what % of MF PE gets in to HSW, not what % of those schools are MF PE.  

2. Tells OP something he already knows (that MF PE background is common at these schools)

3. Sounds nice and professional while doing it.  Beautifully crafted non-answer.

No hate at all, I have a ton of respect for HBS and could never get in myself.  But I just thought it's funny how classic that was.

  • 25
1mo 
DaveRamseyBurner, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sry not helpful, but what resume would be a stronger candidate (demo stats aside)?

Is your doubt primarily about resume quality / attractiveness or the demo stuff?

Seems like you'd have a v strong case on the resume front..

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
1mo 

I don't think you're going to get a satisfying or helpful answer because the process is very random with a lot of variability year to year. There are years when, say, TPG has a 100% acceptance rate and years when it's 25%. It all depends on your individual application, how many people are applying from your class, what the applicant pool in general looks like, and whatever the schools are prioritizing in their class. The only answer is that your odds are as good as anyone else's coming from MF PE
 

P.S. - I would be dubious of firms with "pipelines" to specific business schools. Yes, there are certain firms that seem to outperform in MBA applications vs. peers but it's very hard to say what the causal factor is. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
1mo 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Would you mind sharing which MFs are known to generally outperform in MBA applications? Sounds like TPG is one of them.

  • 3
  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
1mo 

Bain historically does well at HBS.

In general it is much more of an uphill battle to get in as a white / asian male applicant with traditional 2+2 background, given this background has fallen out of favor with MBA adcoms who have looked to increase diversity in the class. One small datapoint, but was at a MF (BX / KKR) and an associate in my class with strong background (H/W undergrad, GS/MS banking) got rejected at both HBS and GSB. Very crucial to differentiate through essays and ideally have an involved alum pushing for you in a recommendation 

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
1mo 

It really doesn't matter IMO. I know people at "pipeline" firms that have struck out on HSW who were indistinguishable on paper from those that got in and I'd bet the outcomes would have been the same at any comparable firm. The process is incredibly random-the difference between and an admit and a ding could come down to whether the person who's reading your app at HBS happens to be having a bad day or if they grew up near your home town. Focus on writing good essays and getting a good GMAT score because those are the only things in your control. 

1mo 
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

it's an incredibly sad indictment of western society when perfectly good candidates need to labour the point that they are "straight"

  • 4
  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
1mo 

ethnicity and gender too mate...

  • 1
  • Intern in ER
1mo 

What do u want to do post-MBA?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
1mo 

Sounds like Crestview

  • 3
1mo 
Batman-Robin98, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Heard this from a reliable source

It's not a 100% guarantee, but BX Traditional PE Class basically has a lock of getting into Harvard/GSB as long as they do not mess up the interview/essay. You'd be surprised how often this occurs.

  • 1
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

You're likely not going to get hard stats like you want. No one is sharing their entire admissions decisions with their group, usually just wherever they end up.

That said, Asian and 2+2 IB/PE background are both overrepresented, so you need stellar GMAT and GPA. If you have any niche interests or volunteer work, try to develop it during your time in PE. Not saying you need to start a charity or anything, but if you have something else to showcase or talk about in essays that is not just finance hardo, recommend cultivating it a bit in the next few years

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

Lol this data request sounds like a classic Friday evening little "research task" from a VP.

  • 1
Most Helpful
1mo 
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Most comments in this thread demonstrate a misunderstanding of how the soft aspects of a candidate's profile influence the admissions decision.

When people talk about 'pipeline' funds, it's because of one of two possible factors.

First, the founder(s) (or current leader(s)) of the fund are alumni of the school and are involved in a leadership position or donate meaningfully to the school. You can instantly grasp how favorably an adcom is going to read an application coming with a recommendation from someone on its advisory council.

Second, the fund hires consistently and in volume from the school. Schools care immensely about their employment report: headcount (total hired) and compensation figures. A firm that hires multiple people from each graduating class is a firm that will also place multiple applicants into each new class. This applies beyond finance. Big corporates have this same quid pro quo. This is where the entire 'sponsored MBA' term came from. Historically it wasn't as much about the financial element as it was the 'you get to go here because we can make it happen' aspect. 

You will laugh at how cynical this is, but it's the simple fact.

It also should help you understand the other side of the coin to the department each school titles something like 'corporate relations'.

The thing to couch all this in is that the b-school admissions process has flattened dramatically in the past two decades. B-school used to be the red-headed stepchild of graduate school. If you go talk to alumni from the 70s and 80s, they're very open about the fact that the application was basically writing an essay on the weekend, that school was a huge joke, and all the kids they meet today at events are so much more impressive on paper and career serious than they were. The GMAT wasn't a real exam at that point. If you've seen the movie Catch Me If You Can, think of that era. Clipboards and pencils type of shit. Admissions rates were 50% because everyone serious wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. 

So the phenomena I'm describing above were in no way out of place in that environment. And while application volume has skyrocketed and admissions rates plummeted, those same phenomena still exist. They simply apply to a much lower percentage of the overall applicant pool than before.

In terms of your application, you should understand that adcoms 'bucket' applicants. This means you're not competing against the strategy associate from Doctors Without Borders or the MBB consultant who then moved to political organizing. You're competing against everyone else coming from finance. This is why there are fewer successful candidates from corporate or commercial banking, because those resumes (and test scores and undergraduate schools and so on) sparkle less than the Goldman Sachs to Carlyle kid from an Ivy with a 3.85. 

Here's an excerpt from a comment I made a year ago:

The thing people do incorrectly is focusing their essay and recommendation letters on why they are a great candidate. The correct thing to do is write specifically about why that school is a great fit for you.

You need to explain what your post-school goal is, how the MBA specifically at that institution fits you, and your action plan for transforming yourself from today you to tomorrow you.

HBS is very open about what they look for in candidates. It's three things. A habit of leadership, analytical aptitude, and engaged citizenship.

Use your written materials to demonstrate what you've done that exemplifies that, some tangible things (especially anything unique to that school) that will help cultivate (not create) those traits that are already in you, and your vision of how it all coalesces to give you the platform to achieve exactly what you say your endgame is.

Finance applicants rarely communicate anything about their candidacy other than the very thing they're already overweight on: the I'm great at the work I do shit. When they do go past that, it tends to be about how they're awesome relative to other people: the I marshal other people around shit. If you can find a way to prove that you are involved in any way with shit that actually matters in the world (engaged citizenship), you're going to be golden.

In short, worry less about the statistics and more about rounding yourself out into the person that the school would be glad to have.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 16
  • Intern in IB - Gen
1mo 

How do analyst to associate at MF PE compare to MF PE associates? Is it seen as better?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
1mo 

Incoming analyst, sorry on-cycle didn't work out ;)

  • 4
  • 3
1mo 
curiousandcurious22, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Pretty sure you're just a college student and not actually an "Analyst 2 in IB - Restr," but I'll explain:

People don't realize this but asking about certain UMM/MF's acceptance rates to HSW is pointless. It's gonna vary year by year and is highly dependent on the individual's essays, GPAs, ECs, etc.

Adcoms do no really care about TPG vs Amsec vs Advent vs GTCR vs Apollo. They're not gonna reject someone for being at GTCR instead of Advent or something like that. To them, if it's a brand name fund, it's a brand name fund. You fall under the same applicant pool of 2 + 2 IB/PE people. 

  • 1
  • 3
  • Intern in PE - Other
1mo 

according to APAE it sounds like you're wrong curiousandcurious22

  • 2
1mo 
brobby, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No I think this post and all the ones saying fund brand name doesn't matter are generally accurate.

once you're actually in a real buyside role you can go through HBS/GSB PE resume books and see that representation is pretty much all over the place across MF/UMM/MM funds.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
1mo 

Kind of disagree with a lot of other posts - certain funds absolutely have a pipeline more than others.

I'm at a UMM with a big HBS pipeline. The firm cares about this and supports applicants, is active at career fairs to stay on good terms with top MBAs, and so on. No one can answer how much of it is the selection bias (fund encourages you to go to HBS basically) vs intangibles (fund relationship helps) but either way there is a higher hit rate from my fund to HBS vs other comparable funds.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
1mo 

do you mind sharing an approximate HBS admit rate for your firm?

1mo 
Laser44, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From my understanding if you are at a kkr/blackstone/Apollo it's yours to lose. 

  • 4
1mo 
musitall, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Very high. Something like 6% of GSB's class is made up of Carlyle Group associates and like 40% of the class are PE associates.

Get a 750+ as you're over represented and pay a consultant and you should be good.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
1mo 

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

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  • Associate 3 in PE - Other
1mo 

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