Looking for some advice on the 2013 pre-MBA PE recruitment process. Before I get started, background is:
- semi-target private university (think Rice/ND/Vanderbilt/Emory)
- top-bucket analyst (our bank caps the # of people they can award this at 10% of global analysts and groups 1st, 2nd and 3rd years together) in product group at lower-tier bank in NY (i.e. my bank is on this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulge_bracket)
- male / over-represented minority
Entered banking pretty gung-ho on large-cap PE (I know... I should have went to Harvard/). Knew it was the area of finance I wanted to be involved with as early as high school through industry research, a family friend/mentor, etc. Let the recruiters know this when I met with them in late-2011/early-2012 and kept up with them, gave them the ranking update, and sent updated resumes here and there as well. I'd rate my initial meetings with these firms a 6.5/10 (didn't do myself any significant favors, probably said what most kids say, etc.).
For lack of a better word, I've "held out" till now, keeping my head down at work and taking the occasional interview at upper-middle market firms (i.e. turned down the majority if not all of ">PE in my update emails). Made it to the 3rd round at the one mega-cap opportunity put on my plate mid-summer w/o receiving an offer.
That brings me to now. It doesn't take an extremely well-connected person to know most large-cap firms have held networking sessions and such both before Christmas and over the past week (with the last few firms finishing those up this week).is that interviews are very imminent, and most places - historically at least - finish their processes over the course of 1-3 days max.
My problem (and I'd consider it a pretty big one) is that I've had ZERO interaction with the prominent recruiting firms on these opportunities over the past several weeks. Where I'd like the forum's advice is how I might be able to execute a last-gasp effort that at least gives me a shot at 2-3 places (i.e. I'm at the 20 and am trying to get to midfield to throw a Hail Mary but my level of contact with the recruiting firms on these opportunities is as pitiful as RGIII's knee after it buckled for the last time this Sunday).
With banking it's a pretty easy numbers game to me. Only so many people care enough to reach out to bankers at firms, and there's a precedent that says that if you get on folks' radar/have a good GPA/have good interest you will get a look. After that it's just up to you to convert on one of your interviews.
With PE everything just feels so much more intricate. You can reach out to firms directly, but the jr. and lower mid-tier folks don't really have much more influence than the recruiting firms who are paid to bring in a predetermined mix of "the right candidates" and have an established reputation for doing so. You can go up to the sr. level, but then you're crossing swords with MDs at your bank who spend their entire lives trying to make money from those folks/manage those relationships intricately. You can have your MDs reach out to the sr. level guys to recommend you (which mine would do if I pushed them), but I'm unfortunately faced with the challenge of the new analyst paradigm where my group head, etc. want me to stay given my rank; they've also told me explicitly that they don't want to "give me away" and lose their investment in me. The decision I feel like I'm left with on that front is to either ask them to pull out all the stops and help (in which case my employment would terminate at the end of my 2nd year, whether or not I find something) or go it alone. The former effectively pits the small chance of me landing something vs. unemployment should I not land something, which is not a great place to be.
What should I do? Help much appreciated. Thanks all.