On-Cycle Backup Plan?

Seeing how this current cycle is going so far, for those of you who were planning on going to PE but haven't had too much luck landing something you're satisfied with, what are your plans if it doesn't go well? Will there even be many off-cycle opportunities, considering the 2 years ends next summer? 

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Comments (10)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 15, 2021 - 7:36pm

There are always plenty of spots at UMM and MF throughout the year. Many firms don't go on cycle. Many that do hold spots for non-on-cycle candidates. There are lots of great candidates just not caught up in this on-cycle rat race who come to decide later in their analyst program they want to do PE. I took an UMM offer off cycle and never once got contacted on-cycle across two on-cycle seasons.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 15, 2021 - 7:48pm

Did you have to do any networking with PE shops for off-cycle or is it just through HHs again?

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 15, 2021 - 7:58pm

I landed interview opportunities both ways. I ultimately took a job through a headhunter. But I also got on phone calls with alumni of my school for informal chats and found myself interviewing the next day.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2021 - 9:52pm

That makes sense. I thought it might be different this year because of the delay in timeline, so that on-cycle right now is happening for 2nd years. Hopefully off-cycle works out better 

Sep 15, 2021 - 9:56pm

I agree with Assoc 2 in PE.  There are many fantastic firms that will run Associate processes over the next months.  Some will be firms that are adding to the Associates they hired during On-Cycle.  But many are firms that choose to recruit on a timeline that they control and can plan, rather than feeling pressured to rush to market because another firm tipped the overall  On-Cycle frenzy.  I know it feels like "Every Firm" is interviewing now, but that is far from the case.  

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Sep 15, 2021 - 11:55pm

On-cycle recruiting is rough and every year there are Really Solid Candidates that are not successful in their early interviews.  Conditions are stressful and you likely went through your first "official interviews" as a potential buy-side candidate.  It can take a while to truly be prepared for modeling tests, case studies and the broad array of interview questions that will be thrown at you.  Don't give up.  Just step back and try to take an objective look at what went wrong. Be self aware and even ask your Head Hunter for feedback.  While they may not have specifics they can share, your openness to receiving constructive criticism shows commitment to improving the outcome of future processes.  Interview reps are kind of like deal reps....the more experience you have, the better equipped you should be for the next one. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 16, 2021 - 1:28am

Many give you second chances. They understand that there is a fit component too. I took ~6 mos. to find a job, probably across ~20 interviews spread across ~6 headhunters. Finally landed in large cap.

Sep 16, 2021 - 2:51pm

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