Is there any possible path for me to get to PE?

- Graduated from a school at the lower end of semi-target with a degree in Finance and a 4.0 GPA. Also worked ~20 hours a week during school and was in greek life
- Was naive to career options. Got a job working for a local commercial real estate broker while in school and just kept rolling with the real estate career path without doing much research to finance alternatives
- I'm bored in real estate (been an analyst for 2 years). I've been doing more research and would really like to be in normal PE. It sounds so much more challenging and interesting. Not to mention the pay seems to be double for the same hours of work as RE (from my experience, great mid-career comp in RE is 300-400k all-in, late career $500k-$1M. To get this sort of comp you're probably working 60+ hour weeks that get intense when doing deals. Sounds very similar to PE hours)
- I have no interest in MF PE (and also no shot). Would really like to work at a smaller PE shop in SoCal

Is there any sort of path for me to get to PE? I know the typical the answer is going to be "no", but given my high GPA and finance degree I'm wondering if there is any shot.

Comments (4)


You said you went to a semi-target, so (without knowing the school/where you're located) you might have some MM options in-network - I'd start there. Perhaps your school has an IC or another finance-related org that you can leverage? See who in network works in PE.

More general advice is to figure out what you're really good at and market yourself to firms needing that expertise. I know my advice is vague but it's ultimately how I got into PE from a much a background that is much more distant to PE than where you're coming from.

Good luck. Getting into PE (or any other high-demand field) is like dating - for some it's easier than others, but ultimately, there has to be a beneficial match for both parties.

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Sure, start sending emails and meeting with some people from smaller funds in the area where you want to work.


Never say never... but this is extremely unlikely for you. You're going to have work your ass off AND get ridiculously lucky. Your best bet is try and network now and move to a small IB firm that will take a chance on a guy with the wrong kind of experience. Then lateral to a more credible MM IB. From there, again - network and try to break into a smaller PE shop.


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