Q&A: Non-Target -> BB ER -> BB IB -> MM PE

There are many Q&A posts from various ex-IB analysts who have "made it" but I have had a pretty unique career path to get to where I am today. I've covered multi-billion dollar market cap stocks, worked on a number of M&A transactions and IPOs, and involved in sourcing, due diligence and working closely with several food-oriented portfolio companies. Wanted to provide some light for those non-target monkeys or someone looking to make a career change. I'm also happy to discuss the consumer space and/or being a female in the industry. Hoping to provide some new perspectives.  AMA

  • Bio
    • Associate at MM PE Firm in NYC
    • Only Female at firm 
    • Focused career in Consumer / Retail 
    • Have lived in NYC whole career 
  • Background
    • Non-target undergrad in northeast (BS in Finance) 
    • BB ER internship and post-grad covering Retail Sector 
    • BB IB - Global Consumer / Retail (A2A) 
    • MM PE focused in Consumer   

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    Comments (15)

    • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
    Aug 10, 2021 - 9:07am

    Can you share how you transitioned from IB to PE? What's your salary range in IB vs PE? Thank you!

    Aug 11, 2021 - 9:21am

    The transition from IB to PE was very similar to other analysts - however I was recruiting off-cycle because I was a lateral 2nd year analyst with less deal experience under my belt. I didn't end up recruiting until I was promoted to associate (A2A) and had a full year of banking experience. I was targeting specifically firms with a strong consumer / retail strategy given my background from ER.

    From a salary perspective, I went from a post-MBA role ("stub" associate in A2A) to a pre-MBA role as a PE associate. The pay is therefore less (I'd say ~$50-$75k less all in). That's consistent with what you'll see around WSO - you get paid less in PE than you do in BB IB up until you get carry / are more senior. I consider my very hands on PE experience as a part of my compensation and I am happy with my decision.

    Aug 11, 2021 - 9:23am

    During my internship in ER we attended a "morning call" meeting every day - we listened in as analysts presented on their latest research notes and sales asked questions. I would target speaking to senior analysts and even associates about their morning meeting call note, actually read their research and have a thoughtful conversation with them about their sector (or try my best to).

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    Aug 11, 2021 - 9:28am

    The bank where I was in ER had a track record of allowing laterals switch over groups if they were top performers - the transition makes a lot of sense given depth of sector and company specific knowledge. However when I wanted to switch the bank had a hiring freeze and it was going to be a good amount of time before I was allowed to switch over. I then recruited at other BB banks for analyst positions and explained the situation with the freeze. I did really well in banking interviews as I was able to blow them away with my company specific knowledge, which was a huge differentiator.

    • Intern in IB - Gen
    Aug 11, 2021 - 4:46am

    Did being from a non-target hurt you in PE recruiting?

    I am from a non-target/semi-target school but in a top group (MS M&A/GS TMT/EVC M&A), will that hurt my chances?

    Aug 11, 2021 - 9:36am

    Some of the mega funds do mainly recruit from target schools - the alum network at these schools are obviously very strong. However having strong gpa at your non-target is probably more important. I probably got passed over by some larger firms during recruiting due to my more unique / untraditional background including a non-target college and not the strongest gpa. MM firms are more flexible about your background and fit / culture is important. Frankly being able to talk about your deal experience is the most important during interview process.

    Most Helpful
    Aug 12, 2021 - 12:13am

    Good question. ER was steady ~60 hours per week with earnings season and investor conferences a bit heavier, but never worked a weekend. I also had very good visibility for when these were so could plan my life accordingly. I was honestly bored at the end but that's my personality. Banking was ~90 hours a week on average with peak of live deals running 100+ but had almost every Saturday pretty strictly protected. PE hours on peak of deals honestly worse than IB because I actually have to use my brain, but the deals ebb and flow much much more so average is definitely better than banking (~80 hours). I like PE the best even if hours aren't much better because (at least at my firm) I can dictate when I work and how I work - I don't have a VP breathing down my neck asking where stuff is and turning comments is usually meaningful and not for formatting / PowerPoint. I also can wake up at 6am and finish stuff instead of working until 3am - as long as it gets done everyone is happy. It also lets me plan my life a bit better.

    I purposefully joined a firm that would allow for internal growth - I don't want to go to b school so a career path oriented firm was ideal during recruiting. I'm really enjoying my work in PE - my firm is very operationally focused and I have a ton of independence. That being said, I'm not sure what my end game is - regardless I'm learning a ton and could see myself going to a growth or vc oriented firm in the future.

    Aug 13, 2021 - 8:38am

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