I apologize if some of the items in the "Asks" below are redundant / can be found elsewhere (I fruitlessly searched for information prior to authoring this).
I am a junior at a non-target. I was somehow able to receive an 2020 SA offer with Centerview Partners in NYC. CVP is certainly among the uppermost names of my dream firms - it always has been. Now, I am in the discommoding situation of having doubts before signing.
1. I understand that CVP is predicated upon hiring people who are, minimally, considering a career in banking. CVP's retention rates (A2A = 90%+) are very high. Does anyone know about exits analysts have / will made / make (I have heard that grad school is very common)? I can find very limited data from scouring LinkedIn. Also, information on whether analysts exit prior to the end of the three years would be very useful. At this point, I simply do not have enough experience to know if I want to be a career banker (advice on how to figure this out would be very helpful too).
I have been told starting in banking affords one optionality later along the road. Once more, I simply do not have enough experience to know if it is IB, PE, or prop trading that I want to do in the long-run. As I consider buyside roles, I am wondering if there are any blatantly obvious issues with starting in a buyside role (i.e. pigeonholing / easier to go IB-HF than vice versa, etc.). Assuming I want to do PE long-term, is there harm in starting my career there? Would you all say CVP < BX / Oaktree / Apollo?
From meeting and speaking with analysts, I understand that personality types there span the gamut. Does anyone know specifics about the culture there? I was unable to get a solid read.
Any advice on how to navigate the SA experience successfully / get the max benefit out of it? Are there things I should be preparing now to be successful there?
Thoughts on the generalist program. I am a fan of the exposure to different industries, but am wondering if, for the future, it is beneficial to have a specialization. I understand that analysts do not develop a specialization in such a nascent stage of their careers, but have also heard that many opportunities post-banking may / may not appreciate the coverage / product group you are in.
I appreciate any help - thank you for reading!