Is taking a sourcing/cold calling job at a PE firm out of undergrad a good way to break into the PE field?

nbburna's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I'm interviewing at a PE firm (not TA or Summit) for a predominately sourcing/cold calling position. I recently graduated from undergrad, and am interested in getting involved in the PE field. Since I've read throughout the forum that its pretty difficult to break into the PE field, especially without IB experience, I was wondering if taking such a position would be a good way to break into the PE field.

The company said its about 80% sourcing to begin with, and then drops off later on. Does anyone have past experience or knowledge of whether these type of jobs at PE firms can lead to anything substantial, or are they mainly a dead-end kind of thing?

Theres no concrete or set career progression line in the firm, and when I asked about career progression they said it just depends on if they see you're working hard or not. The position is salary, no commission-based at all. I'm also interviewing for a Sell-Side Equity Sales position for a bank; In the long run I want to do PE, but I just want to make sure I'm not letting go of the Equity Sales position for a bogus PE position that might not help my chances at entering the field.

Thanks for your help everyone!

Comments (10)

Jul 27, 2011

Tough times dude....if it is your only option take it for the short-term. With that said, I would start using that to leverage networking/interviewing opportunities at investment banks or smaller PE/VC funds.

Jul 27, 2011

Yes this is a fine way to break in. No commission for this type of position is very strange. Obviously just try to get involved on the deals you source and ask to take part in the diligence.

Jan 23, 2015

What you doing now ?

Jan 23, 2015

I assume a smaller shop? If you have moxie and are entrepreneurial, I'd say do it. Build your network through these cold calls (a network that will be yours for life), figure out how to find, distinguish and structure good deals, after you've seen a couple LOI's volunteer to rough draft future ones which will force you to understand deal structure, etc.
Good luck

Jan 24, 2015

much better to go to banking first, get proper training and then move to a role that is much more focused on deal execution

Jan 25, 2015

I would say that it greatly depends on the model of the PE firm at which you hope to eventually work. If you are interested in traditional buyout shops where associates are primarily focused on deal execution (modeling, running the deal process, etc.), then I would say that a more traditional investment banking background would be the better path. However, if you are interested in shops that have a larger deal sourcing component to the associate's role or are more towards the growth equity end of the continuum, then I imagine this route would be more viable.

Jan 26, 2015

Having known guys at a shop that only does PE deal sourcing it seemed like the only exit was business development for PE firms

Jan 27, 2015

Just to clarify - this shop you're talking about that only does PE deal sourcing is not a PE firm, correct? Is their business model like a broker? OP is talking about an actual PE firm where he would just be on the BizDev/sourcing side.

Jan 27, 2015

Yes you are correct, and I understand the difference. I think there is potential, but I still think OP will be typecast in within the actual pe firm. 80% sourcing at the start basically sounds like "We are hiring you to source deals" to me.

Jan 31, 2015
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