How is the process of lateralling within private equity any different from the traditional IB -> PE path?
A little background on myself. I am an Pre-MBA analyst at an industry specific PE firm that is well known among those who dabble in the industry. However, the firm is less known to those outside the industry as well as headhunters. In addition, the firm is not located in a major city (e.g. NYC, Houston, LA, etc). My instinct tells me that I'll have to network if I want to lateral given that most headhunters are probably unaware of our firm's existence. If that is indeed the case, should I be focused more on headhunters (who probably wouldn't be that receptive) or professionals at the firms I want to target?
A related question is how soon is too soon and what is the general rule of thumb for a PE analyst to associate lateral timeframe? Do I need to get at least 2-3 years under my belt to make the move to associate?
Would appreciate opinions and thoughts from those who have faced a similar situation.