Help me plan my next steps

I am new to the site and have really enjoyed reading the articles. I need some advice and would appreciate input from people in positions such as the ones occupied by the members of this forum:

Some background:

I started my career with 2 years at a Big4 Audit Firm in the Middle East.
I then did 2 years of PWM at a BB in the Middle East.
In Sep 12, I moved to East Africa and joined an energy company where I have been the lead on 2 separate IPP projects.

I am going to do my MBA at INSEAD starting Sep 13.

Ultimately, I want to do PE with a focus on Africa. I know I have a really strong network both in Africa and the Middle East. I am doing the MBA to shore up my financial skills.

I guess my question is: 1)Would you agree that I need more transactional experience before a PE firm will touch me?
2) If you do agree, do you think I could even get such jobs upon graduation from INSEAD with my background?

I guess my question isnt necessarily whether or not to attend, more so if my plan is feasible or if Im just dreaming and this is an impossible goal.

Any input would be greatly apprecaited. Feel free to sh*t on my life, I can take it. I apologize if something similar has been covered somewhere else on the site.

Comments (4)

 
Apr 16, 2013 - 7:09pm

1) Yes, even with pre-MBA PE experience, landing a post-MBA PE job is EXTREMELY difficult.
2) It's improbable but nothing's ever impossible! I can't imagine many people come out of bschool or pre-mba jobs thinking "i want to do africa-focused PE" so if you are able to land a good summer associate job and excel in your bschool classes, and then find an africa-focused PE that is looking to build their team, i'd say you should have a chance.

If you really want to maximize your chances, i highly recommend getting a good summer associate job in banking or PE. Then once you have the summer offer in hand, find some PE firms that specialize in Africa. Blast an e-mail to people at the company (don't do them all at once or it'll be annoying) and let them know your background, where you are, what you'd like to do, what your goals are, and schedule a call to pick their brains and show interest. Keep in touch with them as you do your summer program and when you're done, shoot them a polite e-mail or call to let them know how your summer went and how school's going. Continue the relationship as you start your 2nd year and start looking for jobs. Let them know once you start the recruitment process early in your 2nd year and i'm sure you'll be in a prime position to be included in any hiring they're thinking of doing.

Good luck!

 
Apr 17, 2013 - 2:03am

Thank you for the insight. INSEAD is only 1 year. So what do you think about getting a summer position after I finish in July and then looking to stay on afterwards. Basically giving them a test run of myself for a few months before attempting to convert to a full time offer.Would that work?

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