How to get my foot in the door of Private Equity

PipEvangelist's picture
Rank: Monkey | 44

Hi, all,

I'm a freshman from a non-target school who is really interested in pursuing a career in private equity. I have had coffee/phone chats with people from sell-side firms. Generally, they advise me to get into an IB for a few years then go to PE...

My first question is that, in your experience, is it possible to get a job at a PE firm such as BX or Appollo as an undergraduate who's fresh out of the college?

Also, what would you suggest me to do now as a freshman besides focusing on getting a good GPA, so that I would have a better chance at landing an internship/full-time job at PE industry?

Thank you!

Comments (18)

Oct 14, 2018

It's very difficult to land a private equity job out of undergrad, especially at a megafund like BX or Apollo.

If you want exposure to PE, I would recommend looking for an internship at local PE shops and search funds.

PM me if you want to talk more.

Oct 15, 2018

You forgot to mention impossible for some of those firms. I've never heard of an undergrad anywhere (target or no target) getting Apollo outright. BX is doable, but still a beast to get

Oct 15, 2018

I know some people from a target who went through Apollo's sophomore programs, unsure if they offer FT positions out of those programs. But you're definitely right to say that it's effectively impossible coming from a non-target.

Oct 14, 2018

PM me

Oct 14, 2018

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear more about the industry but I have reached my PM limits.

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Oct 14, 2018

PMd you, I think you should be able to respond

Most Helpful
Oct 15, 2018

I met one guy who made the jump to a Megafund PE as an analyst, I sat beside him during my summer at a BB bank.

Basically his path was

  • Ivy League undergrad with a Quant Econ/Comp Sci Degree
  • Multiple banking internships starting after his freshman year. He worked during the year part time at some banks as well.
  • Traditional BB internship at a top bank in a top group after his junior year

So yes it is possible, this kid had basically already done a full 2 year IBD program given how much time he had spent in banking(3 summers and part-time during the year for a couple of years) combined with strong grades from an Ivy and I'm sure he networked pretty hard as well.

Coming from a non-target(unless you transfer) it'll be tough to do and probably won't do much for you. You'd be better off just trying to get into banking in a good group and recruit like everyone else.

    • 3
Oct 15, 2018

Holy jesus

    • 1
Oct 15, 2018

Easiest and most viable path would be to do banking for two years and then switch over. Most private equity analysts have to go downstream after their analyst stint anyways

Oct 15, 2018

Since you're coming from a non-target networking is key. You're less likely to get a seat at a mega fund so concentrate on LMM and MM funds. Right now I would focus on getting a summer internship in IB or PE. Start reaching out to alumni and also to folks with whom you have some shared background e.g. sports, fraternity. I'd also reach out to alumni in adjacent areas like SBIC/BDCs, accountants and try and leverage their connections.

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Oct 15, 2018

This isn't possible unless you have insane family connections. You are going to have grind like everyone else. You come off as sounding pretty entitled.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2018
InVinoVeritas:

This isn't possible unless you have insane family connections. You are going to have grind like everyone else. You come off as sounding pretty entitled.

He does.

But he's a freshman, he should shoot for the moon and reach as high. He'll learn the hard way how hard it is, but rather reach high than settle like most of today's shit.

If his goal is PE Megafund Analyst out of school, but that drive gets him an analyst role at BB that's great coming from where he's at.

Oct 15, 2018

Coming from a non-target, getting a BB analyst position is a reach enough as it is. This is completely unrealistic. Plus, many of the IB's are starting to scale down.

Oct 15, 2018

As a freshman? Learn finance in school and focus on getting decent experience. You will not go straight into BX as a freshman from a non-target. Look for local PE shops that are small and reach out to them.

Oct 15, 2018

Network, network, network! As previously mentioned, seek out alumni at PE shops. Pick their brain. Work for them for free if need be just to get the experience. Hard to overcome not having the natural target pipeline but it just takes more effort. Do what is necessary and it will work out.

Oct 16, 2018

Leveraging the laws of "Six Degree of Separation", I would focus on talking to anyone who can get me at least a coffee chat with anyone related to private equity. You might not get into the top shop but it is possible. The key is find someone who has strong enough relationship with the prospective employers to give you a shot. If you knew basic financial modeling you should be fine. Venture Capital is a sub-set of Private Equity so if you really want to get into PE but don't really care specifically like a growth fund, there are many other doors that you can knock on. Similarly, family office also do principal investments, not the PE as we know it but you can still find your way to wiggle into it. So my best advice to you is 1) network with as many people as possible, and 2) study interview materials and learn how to build basic models so that people can't call you bluff.

    • 1
Oct 16, 2018
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