DONT DO ON-CYCLE...If you’re not prepared

A little rant that is hopefully helpful for you incoming 1st year analysts.

To start off - No, I don't know when on-cycle will kick off this year.

That being said, in the previous cycle, we saw far too many analysts jump into recruiting when they clearly weren't ready.

To give you some background on UMM/MF interview processes... my interviews with my firm (MF) lasted from about 8am - 4pm and I met with more than 10 ppl. Interviews are extremely technical. There are cases, models, mental-math, etc, and they WILL ding you for very small mistakes. I've talked to many analysts who assume the bar is lower because recruiting is so early. NOT TRUE

By jumping into on-cycle recruiting because you're excited and everyone else is doing it, you could really put yourself in a bad spot. If you interview with a handful of firms and get no offers, you won't get a second chance with them. Also, the HH's you worked with will be less helpful for you in future processes.

WAIT until you are really, really ready. As in over-prepared. Our firm, and many others, intentionally leave many seats open to recruit bankers starting their second years who choose to wait a year before recruiting.

Just something to keep in mind for you new, eager bankers.

Comments (15)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 27, 2020 - 7:23pm

What qualities should someone look for in themselves to indicate their readiness?

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 27, 2020 - 8:33pm

Do mocks with PE associates in your network. That was my best gauge. Practice timed modeling tests and case studies in interview-like environments. These should be second nature and if you're struggling with any portion of them... you're not ready.

Have people grill you on deal experience. Everything from high-level rational to niche metrics. If it's on the resume you should know everything. If you don't... not ready

Make sure you can nail variations of the advanced LBO/Accounting technicals in many of the guides. You should also be able to quickly run through paper LBO's using mental math.

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. You're competing with over 1,000 bankers, many of whom think they're going to Blackstone. Most top firms hire maybe 4-8 people in a given cycle. Not trying to scare you, but there really is no room for mistakes

Jun 27, 2020 - 11:48pm

OK, buddy. Don't go around thinking the ocmpetition is that stiff. There are not "1,000 bankers" competing for PE shops. Most of them don't even get interviews cuz they come from shitty banks and won't even get any exit opps. Realistically, you're maybe only competing against 50-60 bankers max that are good for the top positions. The UMM / MMM places are not that hard to get jobs at. Look at how many PE firms there are nowadays.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
  • 2
  • 5
Jun 27, 2020 - 7:55pm

I think this guy is just trying to scare people off so he can get the UMM / MF offers himself. Make it easier on himself.

Maybe they were too techincal for you because you weren't prepared yourself.

Ever think about that?

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 27, 2020 - 8:38pm

Assuming this is a troll, but in the case that it's not... lol

I only interviewed with 1 firm because I got the offer and accepted on the spot. I'm sharing this post because I've seen a lot of kids get screwed over by how ridiculously early these processes are. No point in rushing, if you're not ready.

Ask any headhunter that works with top firms and they'll give you the same advice.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 27, 2020 - 11:12pm

Couple of questions:

1) Any resources you used to help prepare yourself best?

2) How important was networking in your process?

3) What size of fund are you at (UMM/MM/MF)? Thanks!

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 30, 2020 - 11:06pm

Half true. Yes, there will be more spots available for off-cycle now and for second years. However, interviewers and PE firms are more aware that kids will not be as strong if they choose to recruit on-cycle. This doesn't mean it is impossible to recruit, but make sure you are ready. Technicals matter but only as a check the box metric. No major mistakes and you should be fine. At this level, we sort of assume most people who are at out interview process (coming from Bulge bracket or independent banks) will have good enough modeling experience by the end of two years; technicals are just to make sure you prepped enough and care enough to try. Fit matters a lot more -- can this guy be good talking to management teams? Can he potentially be a partner?

IQ matters as well. Modeling isn't hard -- its all about reps. However, we do care about whether an analyst can think critically. Is this company a good investment? Why or why not? Are you asking the right questions? etc. The advice I would give to anyone is recruit on-cycle if you can build a reasonable LBO and know your technicals, and if you KNOW you want to do PE

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 1, 2020 - 12:45am

Incoming analyst at a mid BB in a satellite office. Do you think it would be worth it to lateral to NY top Bb and wait a year for oncycle next year? Also, how much the SAT score matter?

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 1, 2020 - 12:57am

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