My ideal role is a generalist analyst position at a small, deep-value concentrated L/S fund with $1bn+ in AUM. I don't come from the traditional target school + IB, so I'm running into the dilemma of what I should do next. I wanted to do ER out of undergrad b/c I thought it was a more tolerable way to get to a HF, made a ton of contacts, but just couldn't break in and took what I could. I'm now in a better position to start choosing what I want to do with my life and not settling with the scraps.
I'm trying to decide now whether it's still worth it for me to recruit for ER knowing full-well that I'd want to jump to a HF soon after. My concerns about going directly to each are laid out below.
ER: It would be a safe route if it was at a decent shop with a good analyst. Could help provide another good name on the resume, provide some practical experience, and help convey that I love to talk about investing. Worries come from getting stuck on the SS and not being able to convey to HF's that I want to be involved with the actual investing process.
HF: The route to get a gig would be more difficult, but extremely worth it if it's a smaller group of people, decent AUM and a chance to be actively involved with the research process. I absolutely love to research equities and have been actively investing since HS. I could seriously let my passion run free, as homo as that sounds. Worries come from getting into a smaller fund, getting thrown lots of BS work, and/or the fund closing shop with me out left to dry without any BB ER or big-name HF experience on my resume. I know the pain of not having any good experience on your resume and trying to score interviews.
I'm not concerned about the networking involved with getting either role with this post. I just want to know if my worries are actual concerns and whether anyone has been in a similar role and how it's worked out.
Background: Engineering major with short stint at a BB in their PB risk group and now at a BB in a specialized asset valuation group (similar analysis as ER, but just purely asset based and less intensive). Currently taking online advanced accounting college courses, working through TTS and WSP to sharpen modeling skills, and working towards CFA charter. Only been in current role ~half of year and want to stay at least another year to appear from "job hopping".