Q&A - Senior Associate Ex-Megafund (REPE)
Thought I might give back to the community that's helped me get to where I am and taught me about the world of finance. Here's a little about me:
- T-5 Magnet Public STEM High School (feeder into Ivy; 50% of graduating class of 69 went to an Ivy or quasi-Ivy)
- SAT: 1600/1600 Composite; 2290/2400
- HS GPA: 3.8 (92/100)
- Applied to only NEC BSchools and HPY; accepted at my state school (full ride) and T-5 BSchool. Rejected from all Ivy League schools.
- Went with T-5 Business School (Non-Ivy), half ride with three other scholarships. Still graduated with $150K in student loans.
- Freshman & Sophomore year downward trajectory GPA from 3.2 to 0.8.
- Decided to drop out and study compsci and try to land a job without a college degree so took a gap semester to study. Realized I didn't want to pursue compsci so returned to BSchool.
- Junior & Senior year upward trajectory from 3.2 to 4.0. GPA Major was a 3.97.
- Graduated in 4.5 years with a sub-3.0 cumulative GPA and a dream.
- Sophomore summer sent in 150 applications and heard back from one-a data science yearlong feeder program into full-time. Did that for 3 months in the spring and decided I didn't want to work there long term
- Applied to ~50 or so more internships hoping for a VC role, but instead landed at a /Investment Firm (<$100M ) as a Research Analyst ("Firm 1")
- First month had no idea what was going on, second month figured out what the important bits were and what to aspire to contribute so bought a bunch of self-learning courses on
- Modeled a live deal at Firm 1 and of return metrics. Principals were impressed and decided to keep me on for a full year (part time during the school year) as an Acquisitions Analyst. Also took lead on various consulting engagement as my modeling skills were slowly developing. Received FT offer at $70K all-in, which was more like a courtesy (they didn't expect me to accept it)
- Applied to 300 Junior Summer internships and heard back from two. Leveraged Firm 1 experience and above-average technical skills in financial modeling into a a T-3 REPE firm (BX, Brookfield, Starwood) but under the AM group. Received the return offer and accepted ("Firm 2"). Pro-rated 85k over the summer with a 15k signing bonus for FT offer.
- Upon graduation, I had 4 months of free time before my FT at Firm 2. So reached out to professor at my school that ran his own development shop.
- Worked there for 4 months; last day there, professor said, "Why don't you work at Firm 2 for a year or two and come back and work for me? You'll make a lot more money." I agreed.
- Worked at Firm 2 for a year averaging 80 hrs a week with 4-6 week sprints of 100 hrs back to back. Hated my manager and couldn't wait to leave. Bonus hit my account and within 10 minutes I sent my resignation letter. TC: $170K
- Went back to work for professor's firm (AUM ~$250M). Within a couple months we conceived of a brand new strategy/niche to invest in.
- Was part of the founding team of the firm today (Firm 3) and participated in , diligence calls, preparing materials (deal summaries and models). Institutionalized all our UW and decks leveraging prior experience at Firm 2. TC: $125K
- Currently a Senior Associate in Acquisitions at Firm 3, a multi-billion dollar JV with a as our partner. Expected TC: $175-200K
- Recently was just testing the waters in terms of what the market prices me at for comp and with ~3 years of experience I'm seeing roughly $250-350K all-in comp packages.
Happy to answer any and all questions-everything is fair game and I'll try my best to respond to all.
P.S. I run a Discord for RE professionals-Real Estate Professionals Network (REPN)-DM me for an invite or ask about it here and I'll post a link!
WSO Mentor's Profile
Do you want to work with me? Check my profile here.