Comments (6)

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Mar 9, 2021 - 10:06am

Having friends at several top 10 schools who work across both, I'd say growth vs LBO is less important that the branding and actual experience. Did you work on 1 deal vs 5, was it a big headline of a deal like investing in a Unicorn or was it a roll-up of small fries out in the Midwest that no one cares about, pedigree of the fund's leadership (all H/S/W alums vs guys who went to Notre Dame/UCLA MBAs), etc. If you're coming from some no-name LMM buyout fund in the manufacturing space vs TA Associates growth then I think it's pretty obvious which one a top MBA will weight better. I'm admittedly not an expert on who the different tiers of GE are, would T2 GE be names like Level Equity?

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Mar 9, 2021 - 11:03am
mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As terrible as it sounds, the difference between Growth Equity and LBO will likely make very little difference to MBA adcoms. Honestly, even the strength of your deals probably won't matter that much either. MBA adcoms aren't' going to care that you went to a small shop, but had great deal experience vs going to a Megafund and not getting any deals done. I've seen plenty of MF associates that have completed 0 deals, but have ended up at H/S.

What will really matter is the brand name of the fund, where the partners went to business school, how willing they are to write a strong letter of recommendation, and lastly and perhaps most importantly, how strong of a pipeline that firm has to sending folks to business school. There are certain firms, usually UMM/MF PE firms, that have strong ties to H/S/W and pitch to Associates that they will more/less guarantee them admission into one of those top schools. Anecdotally, I've heard that some firms have enough pull with these schools to set up an informal meeting with the dean of admissions each year to introduce some of their best and brightest Associates to the dean. No surprise, all of those kids get into one of the two.

So, bluntly, if you go to a tier 2 growth shop, I'd say your chances at getting into H/S is greatly diminished. There just aren't that many spots for PE/VC folks and H/S are going to 1. Pull from the places they know 2. Pay service to the large donors and the groups and people they have close ties to.

With that being said, I'd strongly argue against going to a firm purely for B-School exit ops. We're in a world now where business school matters less and a good experience at a no-name growth shop will likely make you a better long term investor, while also keeping B-School open as an option. H/S might be tougher, but the rest of the M7 will be well within reach. Also, unless you aspire to working at a MF long term, the rest of the M7 place decently into PE, if you have a PE background.

Hope this helps. 

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:36am
plskystks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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