When to start networking for VP jobs post MBA

I'm pretty average at my job but I'm likable and have a strong network and that's how I find career success. 

I don't know the OCR VP recruitment timeline but I've got 5-10 firms I want to work at post MBA.

There are dozens of people more talented at technicals and maybe who have better or equal reps than me for these jobs so I feel the need to get in touch with the MDs doing exactly what my background is in now to express interest and get on their radar. That's how I got a good Associate role anyhow.

However I'm still in my associate program so wondering if I have to wait until school starts because it's a small world. Do I?

However, waiting kind of shoots me in the foot because I won't have the networking head start of people knowing I'm interested ahead of everyone else and a good guy.

Some intros would be asking advisors I know for referrals, some intros would be asking post-MBA people I know to refer me to the relevant MD at their firm.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Comments (6)

  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jun 20, 2022 - 9:05am

Are you going to a HSW? I'm sure there's current 2nd years who have landed PE VP jobs that you can reach out to. Recruiting for PE is not as standard as IB/consulting in terms of the timeline.

Most Helpful
Jun 20, 2022 - 10:56am
mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's honestly never too early to start networking. I'm not sure I'd go straight up to the MD unless you have a specific ask, but to connect with the other Associates/VPs just to get coffee, see what they're seeing in the market, etc is probably fine. From there, once you start B-School, which I'm assuming is this fall, reconnect, tell them you got into HSW/M7 and that you're beginning to think about your summer internship plans, and soft ask/feel out if they have interns or if they'd bring people on. Most firms don't have structured recruiting around summer interns as much as they do for full-time except for the MFs/UMMs. For the really big funds, they usually start in the fall of B-School, go on campus, and wrap up by early winter. For non-big funds, they're either a little later or they're just in time hiring. After the summer, in your 2nd year of B-School, again most big funds start in the fall, and the rest are honestly kind of random. That's the big reason why you want to reach out right when B-School starts and hope that somewhere within that 2 year window you find a hiring opportunity of some sort for a Senior Associate/VP role. I've seen folks get hired across the spectrum, from during their internship in the summer, to as late as May/June 

With all that said, if you're not even into B-School yet, you're kind of jumping the gun. If you're 3/4 years away from your next role then you should probably focus on the next step or two before thinking of your post-MBA VP role. Good idea to get to know other funds and start to build relationships with them/understand how they operate and why you might want to eventually work there, but beyond that, there's not much to do. You also need to know where you're going to business school to help with some of the convos. It'll go a long way if you're at HBS and a partner at one of the funds you're interested in is an HBS grad as well.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 21, 2022 - 1:06pm

Isn't it pretty tough to even get a summer internship for non-diverse candidates? I've heard a bunch of pre-MBA PE people summer at a big tech company or start-up, and then just go for full-time VP recruiting via HHs and other OCR. That was my plan, since I'm really not a fan of PE, but I'm down bad for money so I'd consider going back if I don't enjoy startup / tech

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 21, 2022 - 1:15pm

Praesentium aspernatur vero sapiente maiores maiores quo qui. Optio similique aut ullam. Quos iure pariatur quia in illum et quia itaque.

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