IB analyst vs buy side analyst role?
Hey everyone, rising senior having a bit of a career crisis:
I recently got a FT offer from a top growth equity firm as well. One of the pretty clear leaders in that industry- if you look up a list of the top 5-10 GE firms, this firm would be on that list.
Finally, have a super day coming up with a MMPE firm (latest fund size ~1B). It's a pretty solid shop with good historical returns and reasonably prestigious, but definitely not Blackstone or anything close to that tier.
Here's my dilemma- I have no clue what I want to do. This banking internship is my first finance work experience, and it kind of sucks, but it's also a virtual internship so I don't know how much it is indicative of an actual analyst stint.
Here's my current thought process- the growth equity firm is probably the best brand name and it ranks higher in its industry compared to the PE firm or IB. That being said, it's a sourcing heavy model so I'm a little nervous on missing out on some technical experience. On the other hand, past analysts have had pretty solid exits looking at LinkedIn.
The PE firm seems to have a great culture, and I think it would be a pretty good experience as an analyst. They don't have as structured of a program though, so it's harder to know where analysts end up. It's also not as big of a name brand firm.
On the IB side of things, my group places pretty well into MMPE and growth equity but analysts rarely end up in UMM/MF PE, so realistically if I did my banking analyst program I'd probably end up at a pretty similar firm to the ones I'm currently looking at. Also, worklife balance in my group is awful and comp is mediocre, so not super excited about spending two years there, having to worry about re-recruiting, and ending up at a similar place to one I have an offer too right now. Also, I feel like there's so many kids in similar positions to me from non-top groups recruiting for the same PE jobs in 2 years, whereas I at least differentiate myself a little bit by starting in PE or GE.
Anyone have experience as someone in a buy side analyst program, either in growth equity or MMPE, and later recruited upstream to a better firm? Is that possible? Am I being lazy and should just suck it up, go do banking, and give myself more time to make a career decision?