I am at somewhat of a dilemma, and wanted to get some outside perspective into the decision I am facing.
I am an European monkey about to graduate with Msc by the end of the year and want to land a upper MM (e.g. Bain Cap, Hellman & Friedman, Advent, EQT, Silver Lake) or a MF PE role few years after starting FT. Longer term, I do not see myself staying at a large fund but hope to transition into a senior role at a smaller fund since I would like my work to have an operational vibe in addition to just financing / deal making.
I have received a couple of decent offers for FT work, and I am quite torn choosing between the options I have. More specifically, I can either:
- Start at a MBB in beginning of next year and try to recruit for PE roles from there
- Start at MBB in beginning of next year, stay with the firm until August and join the analyst program at a top BB (GS/MS) and then recruit for PE roles from there
For background, I have previously interned at the MBB, a solid EB (think Laz/Rothschild/Evercore) and a lower MM PE firm. Neither of the MBB nor BB offers I have are in the city I would like to pursue PE role later down the line, but I have a slight preference for the city the BB is located in. However, the group at the BB is not my preferred one (think industrial goods / nat res)
Based on my previous experience, I found the MBB work to be quite a bit more interesting / challenging than the IB work, and imagine it would take me longer to get bored with it compared to IB work. However, I don't mind grinding it out for 2ish years at IB if the exits are better.
Overall, as I initially said I am very torn between this. On one hand, I feel I should have quite a solid and well rounded profile for PE recruiting if I were to have both top BB & MBB experience. On the other, I would like to go through with the full 2 year MBB experience since I enjoyed my time there previously.
What would you guys do? Is going with the second option more optimal in the long-term given my goals, or am I sacrificing short-term enjoyment for no reason?
Here's a short summary of pros/cons for both options my perspective:
+ More interesting work
+ Better lifestyle
+ More interesting people / better culture
+ Better non-PE exits (if I change my mind)
- Realistically almost no chance at MFs (if I choose to prioritize these over upper MMs at exit)
- Miss out on BB experience (is this just irrational fear or missing out?)
+ Better PE exits (?)
+ Well-rounded skillset (bit of consulting and strong finance knowledge)
+ More interesting city
+ Better pay
- Having to do first 6 months twice (first at MBB, then at BB)
- Having to screw MBB over by leaving after first 6 months
- Sucky lifestyle / less interesting work prior to PE exit
Any insights are appreciated. Thank you for the help!