PE Oncycle Recruiting

I am an incoming IB intern for a BB in NYC. Right now my focus is getting a return offer this summer but I wanted to ask here if anyone can clarify what the process is for on-cycle recruiting when you're a FT IB analyst. The process is not touched on well in uni and it seems like a black-box. Given oncycle is said to start approx one month into your job, do you prep during your final year of college? 

My other questions are:

  1. Do you reach out to headhunters yourself to set up meetings? Or will they reach out to certain IBD groups at banks? Where do you get headhunter emails? When should you start reaching out for exploratory chats? 

  2. Do you coffee chat PE firms directly? Or is the process done completely through headhunters?

  3. Do on-cycle timelines differ for mega funds? Or do most funds have it all at the same time?

  4. Can you even take time off work to interview as an IBD? Will your team get annoyed?

5. What advice do ppl have for students to figure out what investment strategy is the most interesting? Given analysts will likely not have that much deal experience, how do we communicate that we want to do buyout/growth/vc/alternatives etc.?

Any information on the process/personal stories would be much appreciated. 

Cheers

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