Move from Consulting to PE with only one year of experience

My background: I graduated from top 15 U.S. university in spring 2015 and began my career as an analyst at [think Deloitte S&O / Accenture Strategy] in fall 2015. I've had a positive experience thus far at the consulting firm and could see myself staying there for a few more years, going to business school, and returning for a few more years before heading into a different industry or to a different consulting firm. However, I'm very interested in private equity (PE) and just received an offer from a local mid-market PE / PE advisory firm.

Major pros of joining PE firm:
- Opportunity to work in the PE space prior to business school, which is quite rare as I understand
- Increased level of interaction with clients and more responsibility over deliverables and workstreams
- Higher compensation (25-40% increase)
- Join a small, tight-knit team of 10-20 practitioners
- Reduced travel schedule and potentially enhanced lifestyle due to less working hours, spending every day of the week in the same timezone, etc.

Major cons of joining PE firm:
- Potentially no financial assistance for business school
- Leaving tight-knit analyst class
- Decreased mobility related to residence (the consulting firm has offices in every major American city and would most likely allow me to eventually move to [think NYC, Chicago, SF, for example] if I wanted to; the PE firm has one office in the U.S. and one in Asia)
- Limited travel perks (say goodbye to hotel and airline status & points)

Should I accept the offer? Did you or do you have friends who spent time in PE after consulting? How do you / did they feel about their experiences?

Comments (4)

Best Response
Jul 15, 2016

Depends on the role (deal vs advisory) but I'd say make the move. If you're interested in PE, move now. With exception of b-school assistance, your cons list is trivial. Also, for b school assistance, you'd be locked into your consulting firm for at least two years, further delaying entry into PE. And you're not gonna move to another consulting firm post-MBA - you'd only consider industry.

Taking a step back, non-MBB consulting to PE is generally rare. Even MBB to PE is limited and typical for post-undergrad, not post-grad folks. IB is strong route to PE but at this point you'll need an MBA and then I point you to what I said above.

Granted it's a small fund but I say get into PE any way you can. Besides, Deloitte and the like will always be there if you want to try to go back. Just leave on good terms and stay in touch with folks.

    • 2
Jul 17, 2016

Can't offer much advise but can you give details about how you landed this offer? I have a very similar background and I am interested in possibly making this move as well.

Jul 20, 2016

Headhunter facilitated the introduction, and, over the past few weeks, I had about 6 rounds of interviews. I'd like to spend a few years at the PE firm and then consider staying or going to b-school. Feel free to PM me.

Apr 19, 2017
Comment