I was recently told by an MBA admission consultant that applicants with 2+2 backgrounds are viewed more favorably than A2A's by MBA adcoms. When pressed to explain this, her answer was.....
"Everyone wants to do private equity so adcoms view applicants with private equity experience favorably because they've already done it."
Is her perspective correct? If so, why?
It does not surprise me that PE professionals make up a larger percentage of the class at H & W (for example) than Bankers do (H (PE/VC: 16%, Financial Services: 11%), W (PE/VC: 12%, IB: 9%)). If you've been promoted in banking you do not need to get an MBA to progress, you go back because you see value in the experience. However, most PE shops have strict 2 year programs and jettison their Associates after those years are up. Most of those Associates NEED business school in the hopes of land a Post-MBA Senior Associate/VP role. As such, the pool of PE/VC applicants should be larger than the pool of Banking applicants.
The only explanation I could fathom is that adcoms view 2+2 candidates as the "cream of the crop" whereas A2A's couldn't land PE jobs and as such are less desirable candidates. My problem with this is that there have been so many PE shops that have popped up over the last 10 years that IB Analyst classes have been thoroughly raided. At this point, the number of A2A's is probably a minority of the total class while PE has taken a very healthy chuck if not a majority. You cannot possibly be getting the "cream of the crop" if you are taking a majority (or even a very healthy piece) of the analyst class.
As a practical matter PE Associate work and IB Associate work is not vastly different so, given all of the above, is pre-MBA PE really > pre-MBA IB?