I am worried that I made a decision around this time last year that will have permanent consequences on my career... First, I will start with a brief overview of my background.
I came from a pretty small town in the mid-west, and was admitted to a Big 10 university. Originally planning on going into the medical field, a full academic scholarship to a solid school was too good to pass up. When I would ultimately decide to pursue a career in finance, I knew this would be a headwind. Long story short, through relentless networking, cold calling, and trips to NYC, I landed a summer analyst role at a top BB (GS/JPM/MS). I excelled in my program and secured an offer to rejoin the firm. However, momentum was strong and I figured I would explore my options for buy side analyst programs. At the time, I believed any buy side job directly out of school would non-controversially give me the best chance at landing a top-tier pre-MBA associate role. I accepted a job at a smaller MM firm in NYC as an analyst, where I have now been for a little over three months. To give an idea of size, we are less than 10 IP's and seek to do 2 or 3 deals a year in the ~$100mm range. I am only one of two junior IP's and have been told that this is not a career track opportunity; I was aware of this going into the program. With on-cycle recruiting having come and (almost) gone, I am starting to worry that I shot myself in the foot.
All of my former colleagues are placing into amazing roles for 2020 starts. On the other hand, the headhunters I reached out to over the last couple of months have given me radio silence during the on-cycle process. I am starting to think that my role as an analyst is not that attractive to the upper MM / reputable MM firms I was hoping to target for 2020 PE roles. I am wondering if anyone has any advice for getting myself in an ideal position to land something in the off cycle recruiting process. I am getting great exposure to deals and believe I would perform well in a process, but I just need a way to get my foot in the door. I know there are plenty of great opportunities in the off cycle process, so I have not completely lost hope. I am, however, worried that my background has somewhat closed the door.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (FYI - I created this as a "burner account", if you will, to keep my identity off the radar). This website has been infinitely helpful in the past, so I am optimistic that some great advice will come of this. Thank you ahead of time.