PE cracked - Networked my way in via Facebook!

Bateman Begins's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,023

After a tense period of 2 months and 9 grueling rounds of interviews, including an 8 hour modeling test, I finally did it! Got my offer letter today!

Background:

Fresher Chartered Accountant, no prior modeling experience. Doesn't sound like the ideal resume, right? I agree. So I thought I'll share how I managed to break in here on WSO. Considering how WSO has helped me over the past few weeks, I thought I ought to share my story here and hopefully help others.

Networking:

I contacted a guy on Facebook who runs a "Business Updates" group with nearly a thousand members. I figured he would be having an incredible network, so I requested his help with networking. He is also a CA and he readily agreed to help. He said he has just one contact in PE, but agreed to send my resume. BAM! Two days later, I got a call.

While this may sound like I got things handed to me while sitting on my ass, this was actually the culmination of nearly 4 months efforts of networking. After having exhausted every other avenue I could think of, I contacted this guy without any real hope of it being useful. But like so many people before me have said, ALL IT TAKES IS ONE CONTACT TO PULL THROUGH.

Interviews:

Mostly fit interviews with some technical questions thrown in. My CA studies and intensive extra research had prepared me well for the technical questions, so no problems there. Hours and hours of practicing modeling at home helped me nail the modeling test. Didn't know I would be having an industry analysis as well but was able to manage that OK.

As for the fit interviews, I think those were what tipped the needle in my favor. My interviewer later told me that they all really liked the passion and interest that I conveyed for the role. So I guess I ought to say that genuine passion is an understated value while preparing for interviews.

So well, finally got the offer letter today and I start next week!

If anyone has any questions, I'll be more than happy to answer them. But I admit I'm a newbie as well as from a developing market, so I might not have some of the answers. Any advice for me would be welcome, too. Thanks WSO!

tl;dr - Contacted a guy on FB for networking help, landed an interview, passion and intensive research helped ace them.

P.S. If you're new to the industry and are trying to get yourself an edge, consider using the WSO Networking Guide (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/wso-networkin...) and the Private Equity Prep Package (http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equit...). I didn't use them at the time but I've taken a look since then and they're good, especially the PE prep pack.

Comments (25)

Jan 10, 2013

Congrats! Thats fanastic news!

Only question, how did you practice your modeling? Can you be detailed when you explain? Any materials you can provide that would help?

Thanks

Jan 10, 2013
yeahright:

Congrats! Thats fanastic news!

Only question, how did you practice your modeling? Can you be detailed when you explain? Any materials you can provide that would help?

Thanks

Thanks, I just googled "sample PE modeling tests" and found three or four relevant pages. One was a website with a huge database of Excel files for financial purposes. Found a basic financial modeling series on a slide-sharing website. Another page provided me a sample financial model and the last was an actual but unsolved modeling test.

The last one was what I spent all my time on. I extracted information, methods and tricks from the rest of the files and applied them on the practice test. I spent so much time tweaking and improving this test that by the time I gave the actual test, I knew exactly what I needed to do and the shortest way to do it.

I'll try my best to locate these files for you. Not sure if I'll be able to do it, I found this stuff months ago and dunno if I saved the links anywhere. Meanwhile, you too could try Google. You'll have to go a lot further than just the first page, though.

Jan 10, 2013
CAinPE:
yeahright:

Congrats! Thats fanastic news!

Only question, how did you practice your modeling? Can you be detailed when you explain? Any materials you can provide that would help?

Thanks

Thanks, I just googled "sample PE modeling tests" and found three or four relevant pages. One was a website with a huge database of Excel files for financial purposes. Found a basic financial modeling series on a slide-sharing website. Another page provided me a sample financial model and the last was an actual but unsolved modeling test.

The last one was what I spent all my time on. I extracted information, methods and tricks from the rest of the files and applied them on the practice test. I spent so much time tweaking and improving this test that by the time I gave the actual test, I knew exactly what I needed to do and the shortest way to do it.

I'll try my best to locate these files for you. Not sure if I'll be able to do it, I found this stuff months ago and dunno if I saved the links anywhere. Meanwhile, you too could try Google. You'll have to go a lot further than just the first page, though.

possibly post links to those sites?

Jan 10, 2013

congrats!

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Jan 10, 2013

congrats bud!

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Jan 10, 2013

awesome man

Jan 10, 2013

Nice! pretty rare story, indeed. Mind sharing a bit about the fund?

Jan 10, 2013
bigmonkey31:

Nice! pretty rare story, indeed. Mind sharing a bit about the fund?

Well obviously its a boutique (AUM

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Jan 10, 2013

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I'm giving you the links of two of the websites which I have been able to find at short notice:
1) http://www.exinfm.com/free_spreadsheets.html
2) http://macabacus.com/

The first is a database of excel files for financial purposes. Not refined enough to be used in an office, but it was a great resource considering that I was starting from scratch.

The second is a modeling tutorial website which is much more advanced and again, very, very helpful.

I had come across a few more resources during my research and will try to track them down again. I doubt I can find the website from which I downloaded the sample test, though. Finding it even the first time was a stroke of luck.

Meanwhile, I again suggest that you should try googling it, I'm sure you can come up with some even better stuff.

Jan 10, 2013

congrats man!

Jan 10, 2013

Congrats! Thanks for the links too.

Jan 10, 2013

Congrats man!

You going to work on any other designations while your in PE?

Jan 10, 2013
damn.analyst:

Congrats man!

You going to work on any other designations while your in PE?

Thanks! Yes, I'm writing CFA L1 this June. Considering how young I am (I'm 21), I think I have lots of time to add a few more letters to my name :)

Jan 11, 2013

How big is the fund? Sub $500mm?

Jan 10, 2013
karypto:

How big is the fund? Sub $500mm?

Like I commented above, it's under $250 million.

Jan 12, 2013

Believe

Jan 10, 2013
Financier4Hire:

Believe

Not sure if I see the connection, but thank you.

Jan 12, 2013

Congratulations CAinPE! Well done, keep working with that passion and you will get everything you want.

Jan 12, 2013

Congrats on the offer and good luck at work. Can you share your background from before the application. What kind of school did you go to and where did you work as a CA?

Jan 10, 2013
Beny23:

Congrats on the offer and good luck at work. Can you share your background from before the application. What kind of school did you go to and where did you work as a CA?

Thank you ATrad.

And Beny23, FYI, CA is similar to CPA both in terms of course, as well as difficulty and prestige value.

School - Since we're not allowed to pursue another regular graduate course while doing CA, I just have a paper degree by correspondence, apart from CA.

Previous work - I've only recently qualified CA and this is my first job (I'm only 21).
However, I should mention that while doing CA, we are required to attend an office full time for training - for almost 4 years. One of the components of my work during training was preparing and analyzing actual and projected financial statements. I focused on the analysis part and leveraged it well during interviews.

Jan 16, 2013

Good job. Keep aiming for the fucking stratosphere.

Jan 10, 2013
SirTradesaLot:

Good job. Keep aiming for the fucking stratosphere.

Thanks, I will.

Jan 23, 2013

good job!! thanks for the links..

Jan 25, 2013
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Jan 10, 2013