Preparing for the buyside


I am currently a consultant (MBB) and have accepted an offer to join as a Pre-MBA associate for a lower middle market PE fund next summer. What do you you think is the best way to prepare for the modeling component for my new job? Since I am a consultant, this is what worries me the most; I still have a ton of time until next summer though. Are there any websites / modeling guides you all would recommend?

Additionally, if there's any other advice you all have for preparing for a job on the buyside as a consultant, it would be most helpful. Thank you!

Comments (17)

Oct 11, 2018 - 7:39pm

Wall Street Prep( is pretty good.…

A good book to use - get the course pack and go through everything.

Read a few books about the industry just as a whole, Kings of Capital, Barbarians at the Gate and Masters of PE and VC.

Learning the lingo and whatnot will help you hit the ground running.

Are you going to be on the deal team or more supporting the portfolio companies?

Feel free to PM me if you want to take offline.

Oct 11, 2018 - 7:44pm

Hey, would be interested in hearing a consultant's experiences. Why did you accept the offer you did? Fund AUM / comp? Was it a modeling-heavy job or do your responsibilities vary? Industry focus? Thanks!

Oct 12, 2018 - 10:24am

Wanted to get into the buyside any way I could - AUM is not very large (under 1b) but thought the opportunity was good; lean deal teams, opportunity to work with portcos, heavy client/management interaction, etc.. It's a generalist firm which I'm not terribly excited about (would rather be an industry specialist) but I'm fine with it. Was a no-brainer in the end in my opinion

Oct 12, 2018 - 11:22am

Agree wholeheartedly. I'm no modeling whiz now but I started with ME and it got me the foundations. There are many things they do not cover, to give a list of odds and ends "skills" to learn: Cash vs. GAAP accounting (for tax schedule), Modeling div recaps, Depreciation schedule, More complex purchase accounting (e.g. when you need to calculate % identifiable intangibles), Retire existing debt, TSM for purchasing a public company, etc... This is only to say that ME is great to start but it teaches you the basics.

Oct 12, 2018 - 4:57pm

Hi there! I'm an undergrad senior with an offer for MBB after graduation who's also interested in PE down the line. If you don't mind me asking,

  1. What sort of industry/functional project experience did you have in consulting? Did any specific projects help you stand out in the PE recruiting process, or prepare you for your coming job?

  2. What was the PE recruiting process like for you? Did you get outreach about these opportunities, or did you have to be more proactive in finding these positions on your own?

Appreciate any insight you could offer!

Most Helpful
Oct 23, 2018 - 11:23am

Congrats on new job! Really only way to prepare is to practice, find some resources and thoughts below:

  • Shameless plug for the WSO PE materials, this will be all the preparation you need
  • Go read a 10-K for a company you like then model their historical numbers + add your own forward projections, build a DCF, build an LBO, etc.
  • [has EVERYTHING]
  • MI [more banking focused, but they have PE materials and a Youtube channel with lot of model walk throughs...also since you skipped IB, you should get a feel for M&A since you might be working on add-ons]

Honestly, please don't go through all of those, it'll get redundant, but I hope that helps!

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