I have a crazy background, but how do I now break into PE?

throwaway21212's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

Writing this on a throwaway account.

I have a very non-traditional background for investment banking. In short, I somehow ran the gauntlet and went from Community College -> Non-Target -> Mid-Level NY BB (Specialised Group). I'm set to graduate with a ~3.94 GPA and am planning on taking the GMAT (aiming for 720+) since I never took the SAT and feel silly studying for it at this age considering GMAT is a similar test but will apply to B School later on. While I don't exactly mind, I'm not sure that I'm in love with the idea of committing fully to a specialised MM PE fund just because it feels a little too early in my career to be making those calls. Instead, I preferably would like to transfer to work at a megafund as I believe it will give me the best opportunity to learn how a well-established investor goes about executing a systematic investment process on the big stage. I realize that I have yet another impossible needle to thread, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. I am writing this post in search of specific insights on how someone with a background such as mine would best go about executing on the "whatever it takes" bit from people who have done it before (successful and unsuccessful).

I really appreciate you all in advance and stay safe!

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (2)

Apr 3, 2020
throwaway21212:

I preferably would like to transfer to work at a megafund as I believe it will give me the best opportunity to learn how a well-established investor goes about executing a systematic investment process on the big stage.

While I can't specifically comment on your background or buyout PE recruiting processes, I do want to caution you against this line of thinking. I've worked with funds ranging in size from <$200M to $20B and there isn't a great correlation between brand name and quality of processes / investment judgment (just look at Softbank). Many MM funds have a long track record of successful investment outcomes, and you will likely have a more big picture view at these places (as opposed to say, being one of three associates staffed on a deal at Apollo).

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Apr 3, 2020
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