Breaking into Private Equity after being a Product Manager for 3 years?
Hi Everyone -
First time on this forum! I'm currently a Product Manager at Microsoft and I've been so for the past 3.5 years right after undergrad (I graduated from Harvard). I never really gave finance a look until recently when I started becoming really unhappy with my job and started asking some of my friends what they're doing out of college.
PE seems a lot more interesting with much more leadership/upside than PM-ing in tech. The thought of doing/leading deals, really understanding a business from how they're run to what they're doing, and growing companies is so much more interesting than what I'll ever get to do in my entire career as a PM. The money is also something that's drawing me too I won't lie. Tech salary is terminal once you're senior at 350-400k, and even if you get promoted to principal, it caps at 600k. I'm not too interested in VC but could consider it, and am also not considering start-ups because they're super risky in my mind.
So I'm here to ask, is it possible for me to break into PE after being a Product Manager for so long? I've read a lot of the posts and it seems that the only route is MBA --> IB --> PE, which is already a pretty tough path and there isn't a good change. Is MBA --> PE even remotely likely? Can I even work for free at some of these PE firms and get some type of experience? I would really appreciate the advice before I start studying for the GMAT, get into an MBA (hopefully), then end up never getting PE. Is there another path I could follow? Literally any insight you have would be really valuable.
To also give back, please feel free to ask me about my experience at either at H, Product, or at Microsoft in general. I've also done 2 software engineering internships if others are interested in knowing more about that! Thank you so much in advance!