PE Recruiting from Darden

Hi All - 

Recently got into Darden's MBA program and I'd like to weigh in the pros and cons, what is the feasibility of getting into a top UMM or MF coming from Darden having BB and MF experience? 

I know MBA buy-side recruiting is less structured than undergrad but still curious to know your thoughts.

Thank you

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Comments (6)

Apr 29, 2021 - 7:37pm

PE recruiting is hard enough as it is out of places like H/S/W. I can't imagine your chances of getting into a top UMM or MF would be very high but if you're proactive, maybe you'll have a chance of nabbing an interview at a solid shop if you're lucky. With BB / MF experience, you'd be one of a select few candidates at Darden with such a profile. I guess the better question is why go to Darden? Was this for deferred admission (your title says Analyst 1)? While it's awesome that you were accepted, I don't think attending Darden will serve you well if you're trying to break into a UMM / MF as a VP. If you're set on an MBA, really gun for H/S/W and maybe consider a couple of other M7 schools (e.g., Booth, Columbia). It'll be much harder to break into UMM / MF even from the likes of Booth and CBS. Good luck!


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2021 - 8:19pm

Thanks for the answer, definitely agree that it would be extremely hard. I got into the deferred program so just trying to evaluate my options. My overall profile is very good, just having issues with the GMAT, so that's why going for HSW is tough. Is it fairly easy to just skip b-school all together and stay at a MF/UMM? Ideally, I'd like to do that.

Apr 29, 2021 - 9:53pm

A lot of MF / UMM funds that historically required top associates to go to business school before coming back have recently started to promote people internally. It's definitely competitive but doable to skip b-school altogether and stay on or lateral to a similar fund. The Harvard / GS / Blackstone white guy that would have been a lock for HBS / GSB 10 years ago is now getting dinged more often than not.


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2021 - 10:55pm

I know this is case by case but is there any situation in which your MF lets you stay on and you eventually regret not doing the MBA? I feel like for most people skipping it is beneficial 

Apr 30, 2021 - 3:42pm

Apollo now has a 4 year program (2 normal associate years, 2 as a replacement for B-school). But virtually no one makes it through because they are the sweatiest of sweatshops. More common for direct promotes at MMs and some UMMs, definitely at LMMs. When recruiting for PE firms tell your headhunters that you want firms that don't require B-school, it'll limit your options but if that's what you want go for it.

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