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 tiny boutique REPE/Investment Firm (<$100M AUM) 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 real estate
- Modeled a live deal at Firm 1 and came within bps 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 Summer Analyst position at a T-3 REPE firm ( , 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 capital raising process, 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 top BB 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!
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