Going from non-Target to Private Equity

gangstabanka's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 280

Does anyone have experience with breaking into PE MFs straight out of a non-target undergrad? If so, could you provide any advice or testimonials?

Assuming the answer is no (which it more than likely is), which non-HYP targets do PE HFs recruit at?

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Comments (14)

Nov 14, 2017

While I could be wrong, I think it's extremely difficult to break into MF PE straight out of undergrad coming from HYPW, let alone from a non-target (barring extraordinary circumstances). I have a friend who is at a top PE firm (e.g., Warburg, Apollo, Carlyle) but he went to school at one of the schools mentioned. You would likely need to do so through networking and having a partner pull for you for this to be viable.
It's definitely a bit more straight forward going Nontarget -> IB -> PE. One of the reservations firms have at recruiting directly from undergrad may arise from the concern that you don't have meaningful transaction/modeling experience that would come from 1-2 years of IB prior. Of course these are just general conventions, and YMMV. I think your best bet if you are looking to pursue this is to network heavily. All the best :)

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Nov 14, 2017

I understand that PE straight out is the exception even for HYPW kids. Just curious though, does anyone know of any other reputable PE or HF shops that recruit directly out of undergrad?

Array

Nov 14, 2017

Silver Point Capital if you're Wharton.

Nov 14, 2017

very few PE MFs recruit directly out of undergrads (Summit is an exception) and if they do it's generally at HYPW

Best Response
Nov 15, 2017

Any PE firm that will hire you straight directly from a non-target undergrad is probably one you don't want to work for. You'd have better luck with the traditional IB -> PE track.

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Nov 15, 2017

Not sure why this got poop - this is absolutely the TRUTH. +SB.

@apollo95 - sorry other monkeys don't like the taste of reality.

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Nov 17, 2017
apollo95:

Any PE firm that will hire you straight directly from a non-target undergrad is probably one you don't want to work for. You'd have better luck with the traditional IB -> PE track.

This. If you are going to PE straight out of UG, you are likely just going to be cold calling companies. I get hit up about 2x per day by some analyst from a growth equity or PE shop (most did a year or two in IB). To be honest I don't take those calls - if you really care about my business, get me a partner on the line.

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Nov 17, 2017

Haha, thank you. My point wasn't that if you didn't go to Harvard then you're not worthy of working for KKR nor did I mean to imply that MM PE funds don't do meaningful work.

Just that the traditional IB -> PE route exists for a reason. What do you expect to do at a PE fund if you have next to zero real modeling/deal experience?

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Nov 17, 2017

For all intents and purposes, none. No firm would want to hire someone with no experience. It's not just the inefficient labor and opportunity cost of a quality hire, but the perception the LP's would have knowing they brought on someone with no experience. Also not good for reputation when a seller or management team meets him/her and learns this is their first job - reflects poorly on the firm and would appear that they're not taking the deal seriously to be putting someone so green on the team.

However, I think some PE firms have begun hiring analysts (not associates) who essentially function as full-time interns.

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Nov 17, 2017

I am currently working at one of the larger MFs globally. Got in as an undergrad from a non target (Non US)
Stuff that worked:
1.) Networking
2.) Getting an internship at the firm
3.) Having 3 MDs root for you

And no, my work isn't anywhere close to a full-time intern. I am pretty much a contributing member to the investment team, and have been given the opportunity to work across major markets in the Old World.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Nov 17, 2017

Congrats!

Did you have the option of doing BB / EB IB (i.e. get offers?) or did you put all your eggs in one basket for PE? JW as I was a non target who broke into MM IB and didn't even try to do PE out of school.

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Nov 18, 2017

Pretty much went all in desperate for this MF. Check my AMA for my background. As a non target, you really don't have many networking options, but once you network properly with the right people in the right way, you'll make far more solid connections than alumni connections.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Nov 17, 2017

It sounds nice but I would really advise against it. Go BB IB, pay your dues and make full associate. There are always exceptions but something people undervalue is the how fast your can compound your experience if you show up to a firm with good prior experience. The associates that have come to my firms with very strong experience always get staffed and on the hardest work and continue to get the best projects because they earn our trust the fastest. This puts them on track for potential VP slots earlier as well. If you show up with less experience we're going to spend a year just making sure you won't mess stuff up and then you are already behind your peers in terms of staffing and experience before getting really hard projects - it will be hard to get away from that without switching firms.

The reality is buyside firms rarely have time to train you, and if they do or hire straight out of undergrad, it is usually to trade their brand on your resume for giving you crappy experience (i.e. - cold calling at summit vs. deal reps). Please for your own good 99/100 time just do a top tier IB analyst class first for the benefit of your career.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."

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Nov 17, 2017

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