HELP: Business School convo with head of group at mega fund


Hi all – I’m having a conversation with the head of my group this week to discuss my career trajectory, and needed some advice on how to message a few things. As background, I’m currently ~6 months into my role as PE associate at a top MF, and have had great year-end reviews in which I have been told that the team would like me to “stay on longer term”, which I assume means a third year offer for now. My team and the fund generally have a track record of promoting associates without MBAs (some senior folk in my group, as well as VPs are all direct promotes from associate without MBAs). Here’s the issue – I am on a work Visa that actually expires a few months after I finish 2 years at the fund, so I can’t legally work in the U.S. beyond that horizon. The head of the group was informed of this situation by HR and would like to discuss a way to work around this situation since the team is focused on keeping me on.

One solution to this would be to go to business school and re-set the clock on the Visa so I get several additional years on it and can continue working in the U.S. I’ve wanted to go to business school regardless of Visa issues, and want to message to my group head that although I would love to stay on with the team, the Visa issue could be an obstacle and I’d like to get an MBA to work around it. However, I also want to message this in a way that leaves the door open for me to come back. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m using the Visa situation as an excuse to go to business school and never come back. The fund does sponsor green cards, but only for VPs and above, not for associates. They may make an exception for me if the head of my group pushes HR, but I would much rather go to b-school. So in summary, I’d like to ideally solve for 2 things from this conversation:
1) Express my interest in business school, without making it sound like I want to go just as a work-around to the Visa situation
2) Have the option to come back to the firm post-MBA
How would you guys approach this conversation? Would love to hear from former PE associates who had sit-downs about b-school / future trajectory etc. I want to make sure I’m not messaging anything the wrong way. Thanks..

Comments (3)

Jan 18, 2017 - 3:17pm

Plenty of top performers go to bschool with a return offer in their pocket (some funds even do tuition reimbursement, although they are rare) so it's not like going to bschool means you need to sever all ties to the fund. From your description, it seems like you are in a great situation with a fund that seems to be willing to be flexible with you so I would just be very open and transparent.

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