Comments (21)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 4, 2020 - 3:30pm

1) How targeted were you in your buy side process (fund size, location, sector, etc)?
2) What made you go off-cycle rather than on-cycle and what pros/cons do you find with each?
3) Did you do any outbound contact (ex: networking with firms of interest) and is there any merit to doing that?
4) What impact did your sector coverage as a consultant or school/gpa have on your recruiting process?

Thanks for doing this!

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Mar 4, 2020 - 3:35pm

good questions! would love to add: 1) you actually seem smart from the way you wrote your post, would you say you would have had any trouble going IB->PE? With that, how much familiarizing did you have to with finance - e.g. did you involve yourself in finance clubs when younger and know a lot, or mostly we're removed from the field. 2) How many interviews did you get and what would you have done if this offer didn't come through How dedicated were you to the recruiting process? we're you all in or did you do it on the side? Thanks and look forward to hearing.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Mar 4, 2020 - 5:42pm

1) Went MBB -> PE. 100% harder as a consultant. I would definitely do IB if you wanted to maximize your chances. I did a summer internship in IB, but wanted something where I could see strategy in action a bit more. I wasn't a finance club hardo. Business is pretty learn on the fly and imo it's a waste of an education to spend all of your undergrad years learning accounting or modeling.
2) Did 8-10 interviews - I was pretty firmly dedicated to PE. If I didn't get an offer past 8 months then I would take the GMAT and apply to business school with the intention to take firm sponsorship while still recruiting on the side

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  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Mar 4, 2020 - 4:30pm

Responding to IB prospect

1) I had some hard must "haves." E.g wanted to be in a tier 1 city, Wanted to be at a fund with latest fund size of at least $2bn (ofc bigger the better). Sector - I wanted to focus on tech, but the other 2 were much more important factors

2) I actually did on-cycle but didn't get as many looks as I would've liked and didn't close an offer, so I had to do off-cycle. Pros and cons of each:

* Pros: You get an offer within the time span of a 10 hour process, so you figure out if you got the offer the same day. Additionally, the larger funds tend to fill most of their classes with on-cycle (but that's gradually changing with more funds reserving spots for off-cycle)

  • Cons: The process feels too quick and random. You won't necessarily get looks from the funds you want and have to make split decisions about when to leave. And there's no real respect for your time - people will hold you in a room for hours on end

* Pros: You get more time to know a fund -either through netowrking events or one on one calls. If you're interested in the middle market then it's more MM spots recruit during off-cycle.
* Cons: Funds will d*ck you. Imagine this - you did a 3 hour first round over the phone. Came into the office and spent 9 hours talking to people and cranking case studies. The fund will say they'll be in touch. The headhunter says you did a great job in the interview and you'll hear something soon. Next week you hear nothing and reach out to the HH who says you'll hear back soon. Next week you reach out again to the HH and they don't even bother responding. Now imagine this happening 3-4 times, while people in the office know your recruiting and keep asking "how it's going."... My point is off-cycle gets really tiring and its tough to keep yourself motivated.

3) I didn't network too much, but would definitely recommend you doing so. Networking helps you get more looks from funds in a way that you wouldn't normally (e.g. friend's at bottom tier buldges got offers from KKR via networking). Additionally - I've heard of people with offcycle having a contact at the fund when interviews kicked off and even though the headhunter didn't want to give them an interview - they got their friend to contact to hook them up with an interview.

4) As a consultant - I did quite a bit of work in tech which helped me back up my interest in tech investing. I hadn't done a diligence by the time I recruited which might've hurt me, but wasn't a huge issue in the end

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Mar 4, 2020 - 4:44pm

Obviously it seems like you are doing tech buyout pe, but do you know anything/have experience with tech Growth equity on/off cycle recruiting? Less competitive than big buyout funds (more open to non top groups)?

Mar 4, 2020 - 6:22pm

Thanks for the AMA! Some questions for yo:

1) Did all the top HHS (CPI, Oxbridge etc.) reach out to you or did you have to reach out to a few of them to get looks?

2) You mentioned your friends at lower tier BBs networked with PE funds like KKR. By "network" do you mean cold emailing employees there or that they had strong connects?

3) On the off-cycle process, how many funds of your target size were actually still recruiting? I have a very similar goal to you in terms of fund size (UMM/MF) but am worried that the spots are all taken up during on-cycle.

4) Were you a first year AC/BA or a second year? Did this have an impact. I am heading into my second year of IB so was interested

Thanks a lot and really appreciate you doing this


  • 1
  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Mar 4, 2020 - 8:14pm

1) They all reached out except for HSP

2) Cold emailing and reaching out to friends. Try to find someone from your group/firm who went there and start the networking train fro there

3) Honestly a fair amount were. I think cause of on-cycle being so crazy lots of firms held oout on some spots. Firms like Advent & H&F still had most of their class open as of late Jan this year

4) I recruited as a second year AC/BA. It makes a difference in terms of the work your able to speak to. Being in your second year is better as you've had more time speaking business and can better answer a lot of the technical/behavioral questions

Mar 5, 2020 - 11:34am

1) How do you tactfully give your preferences to HHs regarding fund size, location, etc.? Do you need to justify why you're exclusively targeting larger funds?

2) Looking at certain MF/UMM firms (H&F, TPG, Apollo, etc.) it seems they take the vast majority of their class from certain banks/groups. If you're not in one of these select groups, how much harder does it make it to get looks from HHs / how much harder is it to get an offer?

3) Interested in hearing from a consultant's perspective on how to prepare for interviews, particularly cases. Do you have any suggested resources?

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Mar 5, 2020 - 12:55pm

1) You should have a reason for why you want everything. Location - you have friends or SO in x location. Industry - you've done X work in this industry in undergrad or on Y deal. Fund size - I said that I wanted someweher to larger to work on more complex deals / with more complex companies

2) It becomes significantly harder. You got to realize this whole process is highly arbitrary. You can have everything perfectly lined up and prepped a ton - then get blown out by an asinine interview Q. It's a crazy process, but you only need to get luck once, so if you network enough then I think you can finesse an offer from a MF and definitely from an UMM fund.

3) I'll make another response about prep - it's going to be a brick of text... For cases - I would recommend getting Case in point, making an LBO framework (Cash flow generating ability, Industry dynamics, Product, and Deal dyanics). Then get friends to ask you "What do you think about X business" and answer within the framework.

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