Pre-MBA career path / job description at elite Growth Equity Firms (General Atlantic, TPG etc)


What is the job like for pre-mba analysts/associates at the above mentioned firms? I assume they are doing a lot of modeling as well as some sourcing and due diligence?

I've looked at the backgrounds of many pre-mba employees on linkedin and they seem to share similar backgrounds to folks at UMM or MF PE i.e. top undergrad straight to firm or some combination of 2 years banking and/or consulting. Is getting a job at Growth Equity firm such as GA ,TPG, BX etc. just as hard as breaking into their PE groups?

What is the pay like at these growth equity firms compared to PE firms? I assume it's pretty similar. Seems like there are many firms that even do both - e.g. Blackstone starting up its growth unit recently.

What are the main reasons people choose to go into Growth instead of more vanilla PE? I assume the industry is much more heavily focused on tech. Also seems like there would be more to the job than modeling, but I'm not sure.

I'm an undergrad currently considering trying to break into Growth Equity after hopefully securing an ibanking internship. What else should I know about the industry vs standard PE/IB.

Thank you in advance for any comments.

Comments (8)

Feb 4, 2019 - 4:07am

Will just add what I know about GA from a friend. In the past, they only hired at the associate level. These were individuals that finished their banking programs. In the last few years they started a summer analyst and full-time analyst program called the "Thematic Sourcing Program". GA invests billions each year, but wanted to see more early-stage opportunities, so the analysts look for companies that may be a bit earlier than GA normally invests. They start to build relationships with founders.

The analysts are primarily focused on tech, so you can imagine their background is an interest in startups, entrepreneurship, investing, or something similar. If they find interesting companies they bring them to investment committee, then if IC wants to learn more the diligence phase begins. This is where an analyst may get to take a stab at a model, but the associate will probably clean it up.

People are interested in this role for a number of different reasons. It seems like interesting work, talk to founders, think like an investor, evaluate businesses, fewer hours than banking, same/more $. It's hard to break into, but a different hard i'd say. I don't think you have to be a technical beast. Just have the chops to evaluate businesses and be sociable enough to talk to founders. BStone hired away a long-time MD of GA's, so they may build out a similar program, I'm not sure.

Hope that helps

Feb 5, 2019 - 8:51am

Hey - thanks so much for the detailed write up. Provides a lot of color that I wouldn't otherwise have. Can you share how much your friend enjoyed or enjoys working at GA? It sounds like a great opportunity. Also, do you have any insight into how the sourcing model works with analysts? Is it a lot of cold calling or moreso in person meetings / relationship building.

Sep 27, 2020 - 4:41pm


Also, do you have any insight into how the sourcing model works with analysts? Is it a lot of cold calling or moreso in person meetings / relationship building.

Ive seen language like this on these boards a few times and it really confuses me. These are not mutually exclusive items. One is how you establish a relationship and the other is how you maintain it. 

Feb 5, 2019 - 4:50pm

Friend really likes the job and is overall very happy with the work and the people. I'll try to add what I can about the analyst program.

The analyst program is/was known as the Thematic Sourcing Program. You are not explicitly given a list of companies to contact. Instead, you are responsible for finding new companies that GA may not have previously connected with. It is "thematic" in that an analyst may be asked to cover enterprise software and marketplaces. They should get to know the competitive landscape, who is building which businesses, go to conferences, see where earlier stage VCs are investing...etc. You become an expert on your thematic area.

As you find interesting companies you hop on diligence calls to speak to them directly. If the calls go well and you think you have something there, you invite a vp on the next call or trip with you. You also take the first stab at the model which the associates ultimately clean up, but you stay on as a point person throughout is my understanding.

In addition to building up your own pipeline of companies to research and talk to, you may be asked to help on other deals that are further along.

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