Q&A: M&A to PE and the Importance of Mentors
European national living & working in London since 2014., 3 years PE & Special Sits at a US-based fund. Happy to answer any questions.
Provocative thought: I think young bankers have it all. A job without risks (sitting at their desks moving fingers on a keyboard) with a salary almost all new grads can dream of. However, they complain because the privilege does not sink in. I have seen a bunch of new analyst classes and they all make the same mistakes, complain for the same reasons, change job too quickly and end up regretting it. My 2 cents: you need to find a mentor, i.e. a senior professional with whom you can connect for whatever reason (same nationality, same interests, same favourite drink?) and build a long-lasting relationship, ideally a friendship.
I found my 1st mentor during my 2nd analyst year: a Director in the team, he later moved to a corporate; after 6 years we are still in touch on a weekly basis. I found my 2nd mentor during my 3rd PE year: a senior MD. When I wanted to jump onto the buyside, I interviewed with tons of shops: I did not know any of the people but I always asked my mentor's view of the firm and specific individuals. I (and you, junior banker reading this post) are too young to know people's reputation, but your mentor will have a view, they have just been around longer.
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