Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate

What are some options after a 2 year pre-mba associate program at a middle market PE fund in a 2nd tier city? Can I lateral to a different fund in a different city? What level would I expect to join at? Do I need to get an MBA after the 2 years or can I advance with the PE industry without an MBA if I'm able to lateral?

My fund doesn't offer direct promote opportunities. What are some other things people do after programs like this?

Private Equity Interview Course

  • 2,447 questions - 203 PE funds. Crowdsourced from 750k+ members
  • 9 Detailed LBO Modeling Tests and 15+ hours of video solutions.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring private equity professionals just like you.

Comments (29)

Apr 21, 2018 - 6:57pm

Hi curious_monkey, the silence is deafening, sorry about that.... Any of the threads below helpful?

  • From No-Name College to Buy-Side Out of Undergrad to me that I accepted. I will be working as a private equity associate. Without WSO none of this ... me. 4 Years ago I was a no-name at a no-name university and had nearly failed out of High-school. ... Equity. I really like their work, and aced all 6 rounds of interviews. They eventually extended an offer ...
  • Question to current pre-MBA buy-side analysts (who did 2 years in banking) more advisable to just finish my 2 years, try to get a pre-MBA buyside gig, and then do bschool? I had ... post-bschool are if I don't do a complete analyst stint. Are opportunities still available? Does it make ... a difference whether I complete my current analyst year and then go to bschool versus quitting after (and if) ...
  • Banking vs. The Buy-side: 10.5 considerations 8. The grass is never greener For years I dreamed of moving from banking to the buy-side believing ... plenty of people who hate their jobs on the buy-side as much as they hated banking... Again, it's ... sides of the street. Here's 10.5 things I wish I knew earlier in my career: 1. Buy-side envy Many ...
  • Experienced IB Associate Looking to Break Into Buy-Side ER/CR years ago from university and am currently an associate as a generalist at a boutique investment bank ... a more laid-back culture. Secondly, the amount of vacant positions publicly available is small. A strong ... time at some points. In the end, networking is king and that is the thing I should be putting a lot of ...
  • Wanna Jump Straight to the Buy Side? buy-side right away, there's a few things you need to be prepared for. I'll try to highlight ... question gets substituted in buy-side interviews for a slightly different question, "tell me why ... our top content from the past, click here. Deciding to Recruit For the Buy Side Most of my friends are ...
  • MUST READ! What makes a good trader, fund manager, hedge fund manager, salestrader, and buy-side trader to the number of variables involved. One former trader tells of a large bank that used a jigsaw ... Reserve or the Bank of England has decided to raise the base rate higher than expected: hear all those ... Morgan Stanley. "In sales, the person on the other end of the phone has to want to talk to you- so ...
  • Strange Success Story: from Philosophy Major to the Buy Side in 4 years private bank as an MD and we got to work on some PE deals because of that. But, after a summer where ... of this job as an apprenticeship in private equity. My job is to source deals, but I can get as ... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/its-all-abou...) I got really lucky and ended up on a desk of a former investment banker who had gone
  • Sell Side Trading (not prop) vs Associate PM on buy side role on buy-side. I have some sell side research/strategy experience. "I am not sure why a stint ... because I am confused between sell side trading (not prop) and a portfolio associate/ associate PM kind of ... .wallstreetoasis.com/forums/private-equity-interview-questions-a-complete-guide">Interviews in Private
  • More suggestions...

Maybe one of our professional members will share their wisdom: Michael-Morgan1 gr0191 skschneier

You're welcome.

Best Response
Apr 24, 2018 - 9:40am
curious_monkey:

What are some options after a 2 year pre-mba associate program at a middle market PE fund in a 2nd tier city?

Sort of depends on what you want to do next. I'm assuming from the rest of your post you want to stay in PE - from here, your options are to lateral (probably to a smaller firm) or go to B school. If you want to do something else, then you can ... go do something else. The world is your oyster.

curious_monkey:

Can I lateral to a different fund in a different city?

Sure. I doubt you're lateraling to a fund that also has a pre-MBA associate program, but you could take a look at smaller teams looking for experienced talent.

curious_monkey:

What level would I expect to join at?

Really depends on the firm. Could be an associate, could be a sr. associate that credits your experience, could be a VP if you have great deal experience and the team is small.

curious_monkey:

Do I need to get an MBA after the 2 years

Not necessarily.

curious_monkey:

or can I advance with the PE industry without an MBA if I'm able to lateral?

Sure, you could. There are plenty of people at VP-level and above positions at PE firms that never went to b-school. But a lot of this depends on your own capability set and what kind of firm you see yourself at.

curious_monkey:

My fund doesn't offer direct promote opportunities. What are some other things people do after programs like this?

Shit man, get creative. You could work at a portco, you could join a mezz / minority equity fund, you could be a mailman, you could do corp dev. If you're really struggling, and you can get a decent GMAT, pull the b-school ripcord and go figure it out.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
  • 3
Apr 24, 2018 - 10:44am

Well put, Layne!

Do you think this same advice would stand for an Associate with a non-traditional background (state school, no banking experience)? Would a well respected fund in NY even consider hiring someone like this with 2 years of PE experience or would that be unlikely?

Apr 24, 2018 - 10:54am

I couldn't say, honestly. I've never been super interested in the classic NY firms, and I don't think my background would be very interesting to them, so I don't know what they would consider.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Apr 26, 2018 - 11:58pm

After banking I did 2 years at a PE firm in NYC with a fund size of several $bn. I didn't want to do MBA and got a senior associate job at a smaller fund and am on a track to be VP after 2 years. So if things go well I will be a VP basically at the same time I would have been starting as a VP after b school. If you have decent PE associate experience there are a lot of funds that hire out of 2+2. No need to follow the herd to MBA if you aren't into it

May 10, 2018 - 9:44am

active corp dev! Or check into a Fund that has very active portfolio companies.

  • things that will hurt you:

2nd tier city
Small fund
No desire to go to NYC

What is your banking pedigree?

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
Sep 23, 2018 - 2:25am

PE firms that promote pre-mba associates (Originally Posted: 05/25/2014)

Are there any PE firms that are known for promoting their pre-mba associates to Sr. Associate/VP? In other words, firms that increase the likelihood that I will be able to skip the B-School step.

Sep 23, 2018 - 2:28am

A good portion of the MFs have started entertaining more direct promotes, which is a trend I suspect will continue.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (7) $694
  • Director/MD (18) $575
  • Vice President (65) $371
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (66) $270
  • 2nd Year Associate (133) $256
  • 1st Year Associate (273) $223
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (24) $164
  • 2nd Year Analyst (60) $136
  • 1st Year Analyst (177) $118
  • Intern/Summer Associate (19) $70
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (206) $59