Starting Post-MBA Megafund PE - Ask me Anything (AMA)

butcherer's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 283

Have a few weeks before starting my post-MBA PE role so figured I'd try to give back. I've been a long-term lurker and infrequent contributor, and would love to help with any questions you guys might have.

Quick background on me:
1) Undergrad at a semi-target
2) Investment banking at a BB
3) Private equity at a MM firm
4) Business school at H/S/W
5) Starting post-MBA role at a megafund

Happy to answer any questions about decision-making, recruiting, my experience in each of these roles and any advice you might want. I've been fortunate to walk down this path and WSO has definitely been a huge help.

Comments (54)

Jun 27, 2018

Thanks for doing this. Really appreciate it! As someone currently in investment banking, I had a couple questions for you below?

  1. What kind of MM PE shop were you at (fund size, industry)? How did you decide on business school or did you try to get promoted / lateral? Was the fund supportive?
  2. What was the process like in terms of recruiting for post MBA PE positions given the completion amongst business school student students with previous PE experience?
  3. How are you thinking about advancing your career given that the post-MBA job slowly becomes more about sourcing and making relationships as opposed to grinding it out / executing?
Jun 27, 2018

Of course, some answers:

1) I was at a <$5B fund investing across a few industries, though I was an industry specialist. I considered lateraling and the direct-promote path was open, but ultimately decided on b-school because of the network, the downtime and the relatively weak lateral market (e.g. I would have needed to downsize funds). This was especially true given I went to a semi-target where I didn't have a lot of friends go into finance. The firm was very supportive of b-school.

2) Generally you will need to have pre-MBA PE experience to recruit for post-MBA PE, and even then those with "better" pre-MBA experience (larger fund, more deals) do better. Vast majority of people ended up with a post-MBA position but many people had to downsize on funds or compromise on geography. I'd divide it into the summer internship process (<20% of offers) and the FT process (80%+ of offers).

Summer: Handful of PE internships, many aimed at diversity candidates, some of which can lead to FT offers. The process really centers on networking and hustle throughout the first year to prove you really want the job and have what it takes. The people I know who went through this talked to dozens of firms, had multiple conversations & visits, and became fully enmeshed in PE news, deals and language. I didn't go through this so can't speak to the tactical steps but sounded like relatively standards technical + fit interviews at the end. This is also the main path through which candidates without pre-MBA experience break through.

Full-time: Open only to people with pre-MBA PE experience or at least a summer internship. Similar to the pre-MBA process, you meet with recruiters August/September, the MFs kick it off in September, then the MMs come in October or so, and everyone else trickles in after. This is a bit more formal than the summer process so less emphasis on networking, but definitely helps to know. Lots of fit, technical and case study interviews, with some take-homes as well.

Broadly, the less impressive your pre-MBA experience (smaller fund, fewer/no platform deals), the more networking matters. Often firms & recruiters will email people directly instead of posting a position on career services, so you need to do some legwork to get on their lists.

3) I'd say this is an ongoing process. My initial thought is to start experimenting with repeatable ways to source deals and build/maintain relationships (industry conferences, coffee chats, etc.), and start building some industry expertise to have investable POVs. These are long-term plays and I fully expect nothing to come out of it for a few years, but important to have that pipeline.

Anecdotally, I have heard post-MBA PE professionals often underweight the importance of execution--at the end of the day you are still a deal quarterback and need to be able to diligence a business and get to signing without any hiccups and minimal supervision. This is a skill as well--project management, team leadership, delegation, prioritization, etc. So I wouldn't "drop the ball" on execution so to speak--for the first few years that will be your moneymaker.

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Jun 29, 2018

Thanks for the comprehensive answers. Did your pre-MBA private equity firm help you with business school applications at all?

What were your typical compensation ranges for the pre-MBA position vs. post-MBA position?

Aug 11, 2019

Bit late but saw this. If most people aren't doing a PE summer what are they doing? HF/AM? Corp dev? Or operational experience? Doubt its IB/MBB which would be seen as a step back?

Jun 27, 2018

Hey man, thanks for doing this!

I had a few questions -

1) This site often mentions that "trading up" in PE does not happen. Clearly, you are an example that it does. Would you say it is rare to trade up and, if so, how did you go about standing out during recruiting?

2) What made you decide to go to a MF vs. staying in MM? I am in headed to MM PE and would love to know your rationale

3) Plenty of advice given to PE associates here but not a lot about keeping doors to other PE funds open. Would you be willing to share how you decided about approaching other PE funds? What were the tactical steps and what was your answer on specifically why you did not want to return to your previous fund, which (I assume?) you were asked.

Thank you so much!

EDIT: Apologies in advance if my questions overlap with chicagoPE - looks like he/she slotted in right before me

    • 5
Jun 28, 2018

1) It is rare to trade-up, though a bit easier as PE firms have recently broadened the candidate pool for a lot of processes.

Differentiation really comes before the process, including (a) having good closed deals, (b) having strong references from your prior PE gig, (c) interning at a PE firm for the summer, (d) getting a post-MBA offer from your prior PE gig, (e) having an investable thesis you can bring to the interview, (f) networking. Obviously you need to prep for the interviews and crush them, but a lot comes from just getting your foot in the door.

2) Three reasons:
(a) In a peaky market, I'd rather be at a platform that has a ton of capital, a great track record and will be able to invest through the cycle. By and large these are the megafunds.

(b) Like it or not, it will always be easier to downsize than upsize when you lateral. Most post-MBA PE guys last less than 4 years with their immediate post-MBA firm so I want to maximize optionality if I do need to move.

(c) Finally, I think the headwinds against PE generally (lots of capital, LPs going direct, long-dated funds, family offices) are weaker as you go up the stack. There are just few investors able to write megafund-size checks, and megafunds continue to have competitive advantages (brand name, access to capital, talent) that MM generally does not.

3) You should figure out before recruiting starts if you want to return to your pre-MBA firm. Oftentimes that's your highest yield opportunity. If you decide not to, let them know quickly, firmly but with good positive reasons. Generally the reasons that work best are geographical, whatever the real reason may be: e.g. "I want to be with my partner in NYC" or "I want to be closer to family in SF".

    • 3
Jun 28, 2018

Super helpful and left a lot of food for thought for the upcoming years as I begin PE. Thank you for your thoughtful response - really appreciate it!

    • 1
Jun 28, 2018

Thanks for doing this! Really appreciate your time.

1) What resources / pointers have been helpful during your recruiting processes? What do you think has been your edge?

2) What keeps you in the world of classic buyouts, as opposed to other types of funds (L/S, distressed PE, growth equity, etc.)

3) From your POV, is there a meaningful difference in how much the juniors get to actually think and share opinions about a company's fundamental prospects in MM vs. MF?

Jun 28, 2018

1) There are a couple of interview guides that all the business school PE clubs have which are very helpful. I also had a small group of students where we traded interview questions and gave each other case study prep which helped. For me, I had a good resume, good closed deals and great recs from my former PE firm which helped. Preparing early and often helped me differentiate early when a few people were caught flat-footed when recruiting hit. I also prepared two PE investment ideas I could pitch, but that didn't come up frequently.

2) It's a fair question. I think L/S is the fastest path to money if you're good; liquidity is easy, there continue to be pockets of mispricing, and if you have a good process things seem to work out. Growth equity is getting squeezed on both ends from what I can tell (small firms getting bigger, larger firms going smaller). Obviously has not been a great environment for distressed recently but that should change. And everyone is getting hit by the same forces of lots of capital, LPs going direct, etc, with L/S arguably also getting hit by the shift to passive.

For me, I like the control part of control investing. There's less day to day stress vs public investing, and I feel I develop a broader set of skills (team management, project management, selling, etc) that's applicable outside of work too. Returns are pretty good as an asset class still.

Longer-term I think there's a path to transfer buyout skills to family offices, direct LPs, etc that's easier than say going from L/S.

3) It varies much more fund to fund and manager to manager than MM vs MF. Even at my old firm different deal teams had vastly different approaches to how much they care about associates' opinions... Some teams would not even let the associates join for management dinners, as an example. You'd have to diligence that yourself by talking to former associates and friends.

    • 3
Jul 6, 2018

Hi Butcherer, thanks for doing this. Also recruiting for post MBA PE positions, and don't have prior PE background. How did you go about developing an investment idea for pe interviews? Thanks!

Jun 28, 2018

Hey congrats on role!

What do you think were the key things that made you stand out as a pre-MBA associate that got you the direct promote option / offer back?

Most Helpful
Jun 29, 2018

Thanks!

Every associate is expected to crush financial modeling, business analysis, and work hard. What partners want to know is always, "if I hire this person as a post-MBA, could I see them here as a partner?" Via that prism, I think what differentiated me was (a) the infamous "investor mindset", (b) communications, and (c) visible growth towards the partner skillset.

Investor Mindset: Everyone talks about this, but post-MBAs are the first line of defense against bad deals. This means you must be able to identify what the investment thesis will be, the key drivers, diligence those drivers and support conclusions with data. A lot of the associate job will force you into the minute detail and so being able to abstract all of that data into what truly matters for a business is differentiating.

Communication: As a post-MBA you'll be the funnel through which diligence data goes in and investment recommendations come out. You must be able to do this in a succinct, clear and logical way while remaining data driven and correct. This means being able to simplify, summarize, connect disparate analyses together into a narrative, etc. This is true both in written and verbal communication so it's important to be comfortable speaking up, thinking on your feet and doing so in a way that creates credibility (the infamous "presence")

Visible Growth: The post-MBA role is really about potential... no one is a sourcing engine and deal execution master right out of the associate program, so the chief hiring criteria is "does this person have the potential to become a partner at this firm". You want to give them a data-driven "YES" to that question. On the sourcing front that means starting to develop new investment ideas, creative approaches to deals you're already on, ways you might be able to add value to your portcos, attending conferences and beginning to build industry relationships, etc. Your first few will probably not be great but this is a muscle that you're going to exercise and get better at. On the deal execution front that means asking to take on more of the process, becoming the go-to point for more advisors, etc. Again, you're going to lean pretty hard on your process partners initially but this is another muscle you need to exercise.

Lastly... be likeable and liked at your firm, hopefully by everyone but especially by powerful people. No associate or post-MBA is good enough to be an asshole.

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Jun 29, 2018

Thanks again for doing this. Always good to see professionals give back to the forum.

2 questions on my end, as a lot of the questions on my mind has been asked already. Will be sure to drop in a few more questions if I think of any other ones if you're still answering by then.

1) The standard IB->PE->B-school path is well trodden. For H/S/W (through arguably more so for H/S), what are your thoughts on standing out as a PE associate applying for b-school. I get that a lot of the applicants end up looking the same from this pool, and there's only so many PE associates H/W can take on in one class. And also if you have any thoughts on semi-target getting to H/S/W as well.

2) For a post-PE role, what are your thoughts on family offices based on your interactions or experiences in b-school? More specifically the larger end of family offices that have more structure and certainty in risk-taking that would require and welcome PE talent. Is this something you would consider down the line as a "longer-term" path than the current post-MBA megafund PE role you've taken?

And lastly, congrats on the post-MBA PE role. There seems to be more spots for these than in previous years, but still not an easy feat by any stretch of imagination. Best of luck with it!

    • 2
Jun 29, 2018

Thanks!

1) Standing out for B-School: First, let's establish the baseline... every PE Associate will have great grades, a great GMAT score, decent enough community service, decent letters of recommendation, decent essays and will pay $3k-$5k for an admissions consultant and interview prep, so by and large most people will interview decently.

How to stand out? Some things are out of your control--being a diversity candidate helps. Working for a firm where one of the partners is a big alumni giver (= lots of pull) helps. Having some kind of differentiating work experience (e.g. two years of TFA) helps.

What you can control, in my opinion, is how strongly your firm goes to bat for you. That means doing great work, building good relationships with partners and VPs, making it known you want to do b-school, and taking on whatever it is to stand out among your peer associates and historical associates.

It's not a very PC answer but from what I've seen that's what works.

2) Family Offices: Great opportunity generally, hard to break into. The big family offices don't hire often and when they do it's more of a lifetime hire type of thing. Pay is not as good but still very decent. Lifestyle is better and obviously you've got both co-invests and a lower cost of capital to help you do deals. Family offices are also insulated from most of the private investing headwinds. I know people who've turned turn post-MBA megafund offers for those larger family offices, which is a strong indicator.

Definitely would consider it longer-term... especially as I start thinking about kids and what not.

    • 1
Jun 29, 2018

Thanks for doing this. Very helpful. Re: "obviously you've got both co-invests and a lower cost of capital to help you do deals. Family offices are also insulated from most of the private investing headwinds," would you be able to elaborate? On the first point, I've read that FO's like MSD still target and by and large achieve returns in the high teens, low 20s.

Aug 11, 2019

TFA? Sorry what does that stand for?

Jun 30, 2018

Again, thank you for doing this, always nice to have people in the WSO community give back. Just a few questions for you:
1) For individuals who go straight into a buy-side analyst program (private equity/private debt) rather than pursue 2 years at a IB -> 2 years at a PE/Credit fund, how is that career progression viewed in the H/S/W community?
2) Did you have any classmates that were at a credit fund prior to their MBA? Is it possible to move from the credit side from a firm that also does minority equity co-invests as well think (THL Credit, Ares Direct Lending, Golub) over to the buyout side?

Thanks again

Jun 30, 2018

1) Honestly too early to tell, virtually no one in my class had done a buyside analyst program. I would guess a PE analyst gig would be viewed favorably as its even more prestigious / hard to get in than a traditional banking analyst gig, and H/S/W loves selective jobs. I don't think they have the same level of respect for private credit gigs.

2) A handful, I can think of 1-2 who were able to make the jump to growth equity / VC investing but they had worked a bunch at tech operating companies as well. I think it's been hard historically as well. You're just competing with so many highly qualified candidates who did do PE before and so are just less of a risk. Not impossible but will take a ton of hustle.

Jul 9, 2018

Thanks for doing this AMA! Re. 2nd, could you speak more to what kinds of funds did these folks join? Was this more VC or tech focused PE? And I'm assuming these funds didn't do formal OCR?

I'll be attending HSW this fall, have operating experience at FANG and am interested in pursuing a similar path hence the questions.

Jul 5, 2018

If one attends Wharton but wants to work in Boston, would it matter at all? Would you be looked down upon because of all of the Harvard students?

Big bodacious goals will get us to another galaxy.

Jul 23, 2018

Doesn't really matter. Theoretically the HBS kids could go downtown to network like crazy, but hardly anyone with pre-MBA PE experience does that. Chalk it up to ego or something.

Jul 5, 2018

Thanks for doing this - what do you think your work / life balance is going to be like at the MF?

Jul 23, 2018

Not great... I'll keep you posted but I'm imagining 10-12 hour days for a while as I ramp up. I do think after 1-2 years post-MBA people generally become more efficient.

Moreover, even outside of work you're constantly thinking about the portfolio, your deals, etc. so there's a mental drain to that too.

    • 1
Jul 5, 2018

If you are willing to opine on my situation, I am in major need of some advice.

Currently I'm working at a second tier shop that places well into PE generally (think OW or LEK). I've been engaged with HHs but they haven't been giving looks my way. I've learned modeling but it's still not so fluent for me - I can make the model and do the brain teasers or paper LBOs, but it doesn't really all click. I got a final round at a good shop and it was down to me and one other but they said that they wanted to go with a banker because of his modeling background. Oh well.

I'm going to try to recruit through a connection - a close someone who works at a HNWI that writes 8 digit checks to PE firms pretty routinely - just to get a foot in the door for interviews. I honestly think that's my best bet at the rate interviews have been going from HHs. That said, I am less than a year in, and will try to recruit on cycle. I didn't really push hard to recruit on cycle last November, so I'm wondering if I'll have better luck now, since I've worked on nothing but PE DDs (>12) in an effort to place well.

I know this isn't necessarily a question specific to you, but you clearly have had success and I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you so much.

    • 2
Jul 5, 2018

To add a little more depth, my plan is to continually model for a few hours a week (or extra if I get time between projects), and then blow all my money and free time on practice interviews with NYU grad students or whatever the WSO live interview prep offering is, and the resume review service to boot.

Jul 23, 2018

I'm not the best person to answer this, but I will say the people I know who succeeded from your position did a few things:
1) Focused on firms that hire consultants regularly (Berkshire, Bain Cap, Golden Gate, etc.)
2) Got the modeling down pat very quickly--not even a question by the interview stage
3) Had people in their consulting shop pulling for them as well

Good luck. Have you considered lateraling to MBB as well?

Jul 5, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to do this!

I currently work in consulting (non-MBB) and am in the process of applying to business
school. In the long term, I'm looking to work in PE - distressed debt in specific (working with some clients currently who have had debt issues sparked my interest in the area). I realize that finding a PE job straights out of business school without any IB or PE experience is very tough, so what would you recommend as the best stepping stone to shoot for in the short term?

Would a short stint in IB make sense (particularly in a financial sponsors or leveraged finance group)?

Jul 23, 2018

I might try to lateral to MBB or IBD before business school. I think any group besides ECM/DCM will help. IB will just get people more comfortable with your financial acumen, and MBB just has a good brand name and network.

Either way, when you really apply and get into b-school, I'd try to get some pre-MBA PE internships under your belt so you can credibly enter summer internship recruiting. I don't know of a few cases of people who did MBB or IBD before school and were able to parlay it into a PE gig post-MBA so its definitely possible, you just have to be ready to hustle hard.

    • 2
Jul 5, 2018

Hey Man, Thanks for your valuable time and support to the community members those who are actively seeking valuable inputs.

Brief Background :
profession : Civil Enginner
work ex : 6 years ( Belgium- 3 yrs & India - 3 yrs)
industry served : Energy and Infrastructure
job profile : risk management, Due diligence study, lenders engineering
education : Masters from one of the reputed Institute in INDIA

First of all, I believe it will be very difficult to change career path to PE industry from a Civil Engineering background. While I go though different forum on PE, almost everyone speaks better to have prior experience in PE domain to work in this industry. So I am thinking to pursue an MBA which can help me at some point to get into that. Post MBA, I want to make a prominent career in PE industry that works in above said domain. I dont know whether it will be a right decision or not. So if you please give some advise on that it would be great help for me or what are the skills I need to acquire to work in this industry.
Thanks in advance, Tammy

Jul 23, 2018

Absolutely it's very tough to do. I think an MBA probably makes sense to get closer to finance--I'm sure you could get an investment banking job out of business school. I imagine that given the India PE market is less mature, there's a path for you to go from post-MBA IBD to some kind of India IBD coverage, to India PE.

I wouldn't expect to be able to break into PE immediately though.

    • 1
Aug 8, 2019

My $0.02 - there are good MM PE firms out in India (ChrysCapital, Evercore, etc.) that have portfolio mgt. divisions. Placement for engineers is v. good

Jul 6, 2018

Thanks so much for doing this. I'm really interested in learning more about your time as an associate in MMPE especially for us who will be entering this space in the future as well.
- how much of your time was spent on transactions vs. working with portfolio companies, sourcing, diligencing potential ideas, responding to LP requests. i know this varies a lot by fund, but interetsed what you experience was like, especially over a 2 year span.
- how often did you travel over your two years and for what purposes?
how often were you late in the office/weekends? was it mainly while you were working on an investment that you guys were very serious about, or for other reasons as well?
- what the working relationship is like between you VP Principal and the MD? how do each person's role differ?
- what would be the biggest pieces of advice you'd give yourself on day 1 when you started as an associate?
- what were the hardest skills/things to learn when you first started as an associate and what do you think ultimately differentiates you from other associates?

Jul 23, 2018

1) Time Spent: 60-40 new deals vs. portco work, and even then most of the portco work was around add-on deals. Very little time spent on LP requests, most PE firms of a certain size will have IR functions. Little time spent on sourcing given how junior I was.

2) Travel Time Probably 3-4 times a month between management meetings and portco board meetings.

3) Late Work I'd say 80%+ of my nights ended after 8pm and I worked more than half a day on 30% of weekends. It was worst my first year and got better. Weekend work is almost always due to a deal we were excited about, many of the late nights were just trying to catch up on work after a day full of meetings and calls. Generally I had much more flexibility as to when I did my work, but the work was all still there.

4) Working Relationship I do the grunt work (model, data analysis, expert calls, slides), VP makes sure I and all the other deal partners (accountants, lawyers, consultants, bankers, etc.) are doing what they need to do, as well as thinks about how to differentiate us, how to better diligence things, and manage portcos, Principals / Partners focus on sourcing, deal tactics, and selling both internally & externally. From what I saw there was not a clear cut in role between Principal & Partner but an evolution over time as people became more senior.

5) Advice for Day 1 You'll hear lots about being humble, hard-working, etc.... but most important is to intentionally become thoughtful about why you're doing what you do. Why are you doing this analysis? How do the results impact the story and thesis you're trying to build? What other analyses might make sense?

The other thing is to be more communicative, including speaking up, connecting with people for feedback frequently, etc. In IBD analysts are best seen and not heard... that changes in PE.

6) Hardest skills to learn / Differentiators I think it's the above two skills on thoughtfulness and communication. Sounds easy in theory but hard when you've got dozens of things on your to-do list and it's already 11pm.

    • 3
Aug 1, 2018

Thanks a bunch for this!

What are the primary differences between platform vs. add-on acquisitions from how it impacts/affects the work, analysis, lifestyle at the associate level. Are add-on acquisitions just as intense?

How many deals would you say an associate is generally going to be heavily involved in / close during their 2 years? Like how many platforms vs. add-ons? This must vary a lot but interested to hear from your experience and those you met during business school.

Do you have a sense for differences in mm pe associate experiences for those that joined banking heavy pe funds vs. consultant heavy pe funds from those you met during b school? Interested to know if the learning or experiences were actually very different. Thanks!

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2018

Do you have any advice on how to do well in the Pre MBA recruiting cycle? Is there anything you would have done differently were you to repeat the process over again. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

Jul 23, 2018

Not anything different than what's been said on the site--practice models early & often, go through interview guides, have a good story for why PE, know your deals, network if you can.

One thing I'd change is realizing its a two-way interview--get a sense for your fit with the firm and people interviewing you. I have friends who joined firms and hated their two years for reasons they knew were red flags even as they were signing the offer.

Jul 7, 2018
  • What's your advice for second-year full-time recruiting at H/S/W? What should you be doing over the summer to prep for recruiting?
  • What % of your classmates got jobs during the Sep/Oct rush vs. Nov-Apr vs. right around graduation vs. still looking?
  • Do you know how people that came from tangentially related PE experience (credit / mezz / co-investments / etc.) in your class and wanted to do buyouts fared in full-time recruiting?
Jul 23, 2018

1) Summer Prep: Start practicing interview questions again... fit, technicals, etc. Really mine your experience for good examples. If you can, find a small group to practice investment cases with, and freshen up on your modeling and mental math. Plan to build 1-2 investment ideas you can have in your back pocket. Also try to relax a bit because recruiting can be incredibly stressful!

2) Recruiting Split I'd say of everyone looking for jobs when 2nd year started, 20% found one during the rush, 50% during the rest of the year, 20% right around graduation and 10% are being picky.

3) Credit / Mezz / Co-invests Not great, most of them are going back into the industry they started in.

    • 1
Jul 9, 2018

How competitive did you find PE recruiting coming out of business school? I've met a decent amount of guys with similar backgrounds to yours who also went to top 5 programs and some had a difficult time getting back into PE afterwards.

Jul 23, 2018

Very competitive, there's just way fewer seats post-MBA. Everyone I know eventually found a spot but many had to give up something (fund size, geography, firm, etc.). I know several people who swore they'd never go back to their old fund, spent a few weeks on the recruiting cycle, and then begged their way back in because of how taxing the process is. (P.S. Don't burn bridges!)

    • 1
Jun 18, 2019

You might not see this thread anymore, but now that you've been in your role for a while, how has the experience been (compared to what you've seen of senior people at your prior firm)?

  1. Would you have chosen to lateral without an MBA / why did you decide on a MBA?
    1.5. As a follow-up to this, were the costs worth it?
  2. What are the day-to-day work differences between your MM PE firm and a MF?
  3. What were the interviews like for your post-MBA role?
    • 1
Aug 7, 2019

1) I would have still chosen to go to business school, but the decision is less obvious today. I had a lot of fun, found a lot of great friends and have benefited a lot from having a network outside of my current firm, especially compared to some of my peers that have been at one firm their whole career. However, the lateral market has opened up even since I decided to go to business school, with many more firms open to non-MBAs. So the business school decision is harder to justify today.

2) The biggest difference is that associates at my MF firm are much better than the associates at my MM PE firm--they have better modeling skills, better business / investment judgment, better attitude, etc. You can lean more on them which does wonders for your life. Chalk it up to banking analysts continuing to prefer larger firms.

Aside from that, group-to-group, and role-to-role differences are vastly greater than the firm-to-firm differences. Being at a larger firm means easier marketing, access to more resources / portfolio companies, and slightly more bureaucracy, but the day-to-day job is very similar... you get CIMs, you rip apart data rooms, you get third-party advisors lined up, you talk to partners and ICs.

3) Behavioral, technicals, case studies... not a lot of magic to it. I think there is more emphasis on trying to put you in "stress" situations to see how you react, and more weight on your investment judgment overall since that is more fully formed post-MBA than it was when we were bright-eyed banking analysts.

    • 2
Aug 14, 2019

How big of an advantage does an HSW MBA candidate have in an interview process vs. a non HSW MBA candidate (assuming they even get an interview)? Surmountable or no?

Aug 29, 2019

Surmountable, once you have an interview it's a pretty even playing field.

However there are many firms that either (1) recruit only from HSW or (2) recruit at HSW first and only go to other schools if they need to.

So overall going to HSW still has a huge advantage in recruiting.

Aug 25, 2019

I know the thread has been more than 1 year already but still thanks so much for this!

I'm from a BB IB background and have received deferral MBA offer from H/S.

  • For post-MBA recruiting, is PE more competitive compared with other jobs? (AM, VC, Corp Development etc.)
Aug 29, 2019
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Sep 10, 2019
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