P/E Private Equity & Minorities - Successful and happy

A little background info....So I'm from a non-target, did a summer at BB in IBD. Also I'm a minority (asian), I was born and raised in America, speak english perfectly as mother tongue. however I've never been your "all-american" type of kid. My family doesn't eat turkey on thanksgiving, my dad never played catch with me, I don't follow football religously, i wasn't in a fraternity, I don't crave "steak" for dinner....I know these are extreme stereotypes, but I think these examples give a little color. I grew up hanging out with a diverse crowd of white/minorities/international kids, who are down to earth, and middle class, grew up in the suburbs, have parents with typical middle class jobs, and aren't obsessed with money/image.

Well a few weeks ago I interviewed at boutique PE shop in Greenwich, CT. Lets just say I felt very out of place. The couple of guys who I interviewed with all went to wharton or columbia, and they introduced themselves by not only their college, but their prep/boarding school that they attended!! One kid even told me he was born and raised in on the upper east side of nyc. All of them were white. I never felt so awkward and out of place in my life. Just by the 5 interviews I went through you could tell how these kids grew up was completely different than me. By nature, PE shops are small and hire few investment professionals, thus the culture/personality fit is extremely huge when it comes to PE recruiting. Regardless on how I interviewed, I already knew there was a clear issue when it came to culture and fit.

....I'm just curious on other experiences, is P/E almost impossible for minorities, or should I rephrase this to say that minorities are generally not happy or won't fit in well with the "PE" community. At the end of the day you want to be happy where you work, and feel like a part of a team....should minorities just cross PE off their list?? I can't imagine spending 60+ hours a week around these same people. At the BB bank I worked at it was like working at united nations, every ethnicity, asian MD's, indians, latinos, even a black female VP, and a guy from greece...literally still had greek accent.
(i know tons of minorities on this forum "talk" about their PE dreams/plans, but how many are actually successful & happy, keyword:happy?)

Comments (10)

Jan 17, 2010 - 10:15pm

nah most of these guys are pretty chill... just be confident in who you are. you dont have to mold yourself to become like them, but at the same time, the reality is it doesn't hurt to have common interests. try logging on to espn.com once in a while and before you know it it'll become second nature

Mar 10, 2010 - 2:21am

No... PE is not almost impossible for minorities. This is ridiculous... go to SilverLake's website, or Summit Partners... or Audax Private Equity... list goes on and on... tons of Asians. It might be harder with a small shop where there's like 6 people, but they are probably extremely selective of who they want anyway (not just white, but coming from a particular school, particular fraternity, family connections, etc.)

Mar 10, 2010 - 3:51am

I don't want to elicit some sort of perverted dick swinging contest to see which race/background has it worst, but how do URM fair at the junior levels in PE from your guys' experience?

Only the ones that know the difference between fair and fare.

Mar 10, 2010 - 12:20pm
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