Advice for BS liberal arts major?

Quick background:

Target (H/Y/P/S/W) in quasi bullshit major (think poli sci, public policy, international affairs) with an average gpa (3.5)

Interviewed for BB SA but struck out. Ended up with a VC gig with similar comp but only 50hr/week. Sourcing and research heavy with some ops experience at portfolio companies. I want to try again for FT IB, but realize most jobs are filled from SA classes.

Considering getting an MS Commerce at UVA or MSFin at LBS to gain some hard skills. I like the VC work but am nervous working for such a small fund right out of school without technical skills. Want to eventually work on the buy side and possibly get an MBA.

Advice on next steps?


Private Equity Interview Course

  • 2,447 questions - 203 PE funds. Crowdsourced from 750k+ members
  • 9 Detailed LBO Modeling Tests and 15+ hours of video solutions.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring private equity professionals just like you.

Comments (12)

Jun 1, 2019 - 7:26pm

Is it likely to get into a decent MSF or MBA program straight out of undergrad?

thots & prayers

Jun 2, 2019 - 12:22am

1 year programs like UVA/LBS yes, MBA programs no

“How do you measure yourself against other golfers” “By height”
Most Helpful
Jun 2, 2019 - 9:37am

First off, if you're a rising senior, you shouldn't throw in the towel on banking analyst roles yet. Yes most of the classes come from SA, but it's not 100% (due to people accepting elsewhere, deciding against pursuing banking, being bad interns, etc). You could still spend the next few months networking and positioning yourself for FT roles before thinking about MSF, etc.

Separately, a VC role right out of undergrad is a great, and rare, gig. I know the views on this website is that IB is the end-all be-all for first gig, but this could be a great opportunity if the fund will promote you to Associate, etc (and even if it's two years and out). Don't write it off because it's against the herd mentality.

Jun 3, 2019 - 8:52pm

Seconding this - if your experience at the VC was good/interesting, it's also a great opportunity to directly gain experience investing.

If you are set on pursuing the traditional IB -> buyside, the accelerated recruiting cycle will also have created opportunities where classes aren't filled, class composition changes, needs shift etc. Most kids from target schools don't have a "true" finance background, and your network from your school gives you a lot of leverage to hustle/network with alumni for opps.

I had a roughly similar experience - feel free to PM me with any additional question

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jun 3, 2019 - 9:28pm

Doing an MSF isn't a bad idea if you don't land what you want FT next cycle. I had a nontarget liberal arts background and took the MSF route. I'll officially be on the buyside FT next month. Go ahead and jump into technicals yourself. It's way easier than it seems at first.

JUST DO IT. Don't let your memes be dreams.
  • 1
Jun 13, 2019 - 1:30am
“How do you measure yourself against other golfers” “By height”
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (7) $694
  • Director/MD (18) $575
  • Vice President (65) $371
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (67) $270
  • 2nd Year Associate (132) $257
  • 1st Year Associate (273) $223
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (24) $164
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $136
  • 1st Year Analyst (177) $118
  • Intern/Summer Associate (19) $70
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (205) $59