Back Office Jobs in PE

Hi,

So just out of curiosity, I was wondering what back office is like at a PE firm in terms of lifestyle, compensation, how interesting the work is, etc. Although doing front office work would be ideal, I, unlike many people on this site, don't think I'd be totally opposed to being an accountant at a private equity firm and working up to controller becaues I legitimately enjoy accounting. However, I'm wondering if someone can shed some insight as to what an accountant would do at the private equity firm, how to break in, what compensation/hours are like, etc.

thanks

Comments (25)

Dec 31, 1969

Ask around the office?

Dec 31, 1969

You just finished undergrad and you went straight into a part time/evening MBA program?

Dec 31, 1969

Correct. I graduated in May 2010. I had no job opportunities therefore continued my education with the MBA program. When I finally received a job, I reduced my class load to part time, however proceeded with the program because of how far along I already was.

Dec 31, 1969

No offense, but you're not gonna get any love on WSO for doing an MBA immediately after undergrad. You need meaningful experience for an MBA. Otherwise, it's a waste of time/money.

Dec 31, 1969

Quit MBA, do an MS or something....Echoing everything justin just said

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Dec 31, 1969

What MBA program is it?

I will say this, no bank or PE shop is going to put you in a FO role post MBA with no experience. It is going to be an uphill hike.

Dec 31, 1969

Drop the MBA program and reach out to alums. Coming out of either of the schools you mentioned, you have a large network in FO in Boston. Look at MM banks - lots of Bentley/Babson people around. With a good GPA you should be able to get an internship. Which MBA program is it, anyway?

Dec 31, 1969

Dude, you got a 560 on your GMAT. You're doing your MBA at a weak school and you decided to do it right after undergrad.

Network your ass off, but be prepared for the very likely outcome of not landing a front office role.

Dec 31, 1969

Wait... looking at your profile, a 560 GMAT? Seems absolutely ridiculous for someone with a 3.8 GPA from Bentley. You must be very hard working. I assume you are doing your masters at Bentley as well? Advice still stands - drop the masters.

Dec 31, 1969

gmat score is specious, it was taken with zero prep simply in an attempt to qualify for scholarship money. I am positive that with prep and study time I could exceed 600, and most likely come close to 650.

Thanks for comments and criticisms, everything helps.

Dec 31, 1969

No offense buddy but I took the GMAT cold for fun after SATs in junior year in high school and got a 630. I think you are absolutely retarded.

Dec 31, 1969

Wow boutique, you must be heading to a mega fund with smarts like that.

Dec 31, 1969

I sure am, you jelly about my megafund offer?

Oh yeah in college senior year I got a 780 with only 3 weeks of study. Luckily got into an elite boutique so didn't bother with bschool and now i'm heading to a megafund so dont' think Harvard Business School is good enough for me at this stage.

Dec 31, 1969
boutiquebank4life:

I sure am, you jelly about my megafund offer?

Oh yeah in college senior year I got a 780 with only 3 weeks of study. Luckily got into an elite boutique so didn't bother with bschool and now i'm heading to a megafund so dont' think Harvard Business School is good enough for me at this stage.

I'm not quite sure what "jelly" is, but I prefer peanut butter only on my bread.

Nice job on the 780, I'm struggling for a 700, I must be retarded, as you would say.

Dec 31, 1969

Nice job on the 3.8 GPA. BUT It was be essentially impossible to find any PE gig (besides maybe a tiny 2 or 3 person fund) or even a banking gig, period. Kids who go into harvard business school straight out of college cannot find post-MBA investment banking associate jobs or other front office jobs, much less PE.

another possibility is gunning for an investment banking ANALYST program (normally for college grads) at a top firm, which might be your best bet. if you really want a post-MBA associate job, i would aim for a boutique (10 to 15 person) investment bank, or if that fails, the middle-office of an investment bank at this point.

i don't want to discourage you, but PE is INCREDIBLY unrealistic at this point.

Dec 31, 1969

Won't be good.

    • 1
Dec 31, 1969

yes, you would be an idiot for not taking a job when you don't have one

however, a BO in PE is even harder to break into the front office than BO in IB.

To be successful as a PE associate, you need 1)modeling skills 2) transaction exp 3)enough industry knowledge 4)market experience (general financing knowledge/feel for the market)

It's a lot harder to get all that than just being a banker..where all you need is simple technicals and a lot powerpoints. Maybe if the PE firm actually hires guys lower than associates or if they need some sourcing help then you might have a chance

Dec 31, 1969

I just dont see the point in doing BO if it brings you as much closer to FO as nothing at all (unless of course you need $, which I dont). For all the hate this site dishes out on BO, I kinda felt like it was rarely towards PE. If the pigeon-hole is as bad there as else where, however, then fuck it (and I take it, it is?). Id rather work for free and progress in the right direction than 55k in the wrong

GBS

Dec 31, 1969

A couple comments: firstly, in response to the notion that doing nothing may be better than working "in the wrong direction," I disagree. I would caution that the longer you go after school without a job versus working in an undesirable job, the more you begin to look unemployable versus merely unlucky. Moreover, your most probable path into a front office role at this point appears to be through an MBA, and increasing the dead time on your resume post-college only further forecloses this last option.

As for the original question, perhaps counter-intuitively a back office position at a small PE fund will be viewed even more unfavorably than a back office position at an investment bank. Your early jobs are as much about pedigree as they are about transferable skills. It will be difficult to acquire either in this role.

Dec 31, 1969

BO at PE gives you less career options than BO at IB because you lack the brand name. I've never heard of someone transitioning from BO PE to FO PE.

Dec 31, 1969

Thanks for the responses guys, imma def pass on this one. Shoulda known it was shit considering it was posted by my school. Back to the drawing board, fml

GBS

Dec 31, 1969
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