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# Rhyme's Guide To What To Expect From Recruiting

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07 Jun 2008, 16:34
Great, now i'm terrified.
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08 Jun 2008, 11:17
bherronp wrote:
Great, now i'm terrified.

Dont be, just go in understanding what the time commitment is and you'll be fine.
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08 Jun 2008, 13:55
I`m looking forward to it.
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09 Jun 2008, 06:47
rhyme wrote:
bherronp wrote:
Great, now i'm terrified.

Dont be, just go in understanding what the time commitment is and you'll be fine.

I was mostly kidding/being over dramatic. However, I am not the world's greatest at networking/schmoozing/whatever you want to call it. Its definitely something I am trying to work on.
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12 Jun 2008, 07:07
great stuff as usual rhyme. I guess going for VC/Start-ups will be slightly different (since most recruiting starts around April, after everyone else already has a job)?

thanks also to pelihu and lepium for the info too! Kudos to all!
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12 Jun 2008, 13:20
kryzak wrote:
great stuff as usual rhyme. I guess going for VC/Start-ups will be slightly different (since most recruiting starts around April, after everyone else already has a job)?

thanks also to pelihu and lepium for the info too! Kudos to all!

VC/PE recruiting means having two big ones. You have to have a pretty massive appetite for risk and be willing to watch almost everyone else land a job.

To give you an idea, one friend was interviewing last night. Classes end tomorrow.
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12 Jun 2008, 13:56
[quote="rhyme]
To give you an idea, one friend was interviewing last night. Classes end tomorrow.[/quote]

You have time to make friends with your schedule!!!
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12 Jun 2008, 14:30
yeah, that's what I heard. I might interview for a product manager job during the Fall just in case.

If all goes well and I can get one of the Fellowships in VC or Entrepreneurship, that will definitely mitigate the risk.
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12 Jun 2008, 16:12
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rhyme wrote:
kryzak wrote:
great stuff as usual rhyme. I guess going for VC/Start-ups will be slightly different (since most recruiting starts around April, after everyone else already has a job)?

thanks also to pelihu and lepium for the info too! Kudos to all!

VC/PE recruiting means having two big ones. You have to have a pretty massive appetite for risk and be willing to watch almost everyone else land a job.

To give you an idea, one friend was interviewing last night. Classes end tomorrow.

So is it not possible to interview with a few select banks, and then wait and interview with one or two VC/PE firms? Or will you have to accept an offer from the IB firm before one can interview with a VC/PE firm?
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12 Jun 2008, 17:05
89nk wrote:
rhyme wrote:
kryzak wrote:
great stuff as usual rhyme. I guess going for VC/Start-ups will be slightly different (since most recruiting starts around April, after everyone else already has a job)?

thanks also to pelihu and lepium for the info too! Kudos to all!

VC/PE recruiting means having two big ones. You have to have a pretty massive appetite for risk and be willing to watch almost everyone else land a job.

To give you an idea, one friend was interviewing last night. Classes end tomorrow.

So is it not possible to interview with a few select banks, and then wait and interview with one or two VC/PE firms? Or will you have to accept an offer from the IB firm before one can interview with a VC/PE firm?

Unfortunately, no its not possible. The IB firms will make offers before everyone else (at the GSB, mid to late January) -- PE/VC firms don't even recruit until April/May/June. This isn't quite like say, corp strat vs consulting - where the difference in timing is maybe a week or two. IB is the FIRST on campus and PE is DEAD LAST. Of all the two industries to try to recruit for as a primary and backup plan combination, the IB/PE combination is the most incompatible of all.

Really what it comes down to is making a decision between the IB offer or rejecting it and rolling the dice.
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12 Jun 2008, 17:33
Or go for corp strategy and PE?

In other words, timeline wise, do other industries/functions recruitment schedules cross over into the PE/VC window?
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12 Jun 2008, 19:54
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If you have nerves of steel, what you can do (for the summer, full time is a different story) is:

- Ignore the scheduled recruiting except for the few things you really like. If it's Hedge funds, PE, VC or the few other "buzz jobs" (Google comes to mind) expect every other kid at your school to submit a resume and a few of them to land interviews. The odds won't be in your favor.

- In the meantime, network yourself into off-campus, off the beaten track positions. Get advice from classmates, alumni, professors, etc. If someone is in a bind, they might take you for the summer. But these leads are typically less welcoming of career changers. Address these issues (your lack of experience in a specific industry) in cover letters, try to get profs on board with putting a nice word in for you (eg: your Finance prof if you have a non-Finance background but want to change careers into Finance), and be prepared for a lot of rejection.

- Come April or May, if you still don't have a job, call it a day and start applying to everything and anything as long as it can be spun into a coherent story come 2nd year. Companies who recruit late in the game, really need you to get a specific job (aka summer project) done. Those companies who just want you to experience the job for the summer to evaluate you as a full time candidate typically have their acts together on time for scheduled recruiting. Those that show up later do so because they have recently decided they want to do something specific. Expect your pre-school experience, regional expertise (if you are an international, speak another language, etc.) and undergrad to be major factors in landing interviews. And be prepared to get weird looks from people when you mention that you still don't have a job.

Hope it helps. L.
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12 Jun 2008, 20:28
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89nk wrote:
So is it not possible to interview with a few select banks, and then wait and interview with one or two VC/PE firms? Or will you have to accept an offer from the IB firm before one can interview with a VC/PE firm?

At many schools, recruiters are required to leave offers open for about 3 weeks, but in reality some start putting pressure on you to accept immediately. I can't recall anyone who was able to hold out for longer than 2 weeks. PE/HF firms come months later, and of course you run the risk that that will not come at all.

If you are interested in PE, and perhaps HF, the risk-averse way to do it would be to land an IB job at one of the top banks, kick ass on the job for a couple of years, then make the leap when the market is good (markets are cyclical, so eventually they will be good). A job in a hot group at Goldman would be best, but traditionally, people at Morgan and Lehman have had similar opportunities to jump over to PE. It would be a little tougher from Merrill, Citi, CS or JP, and extremely rare from BofA, Wachovia or the mid-market firms. Another choice would be to try to make the leap after a couple of years at Big 3 consulting, preferably Bain.

Another factor that people seem to universally ignore is that many PE/VC/HF firms out there are very small and can hardly be considered more desirable than top banking jobs. People always seem to think PE/VC/HF = \$500k starting salaries, the potential to make millions, 40 hour work weeks and fun-loving environments. The reality is that few PE/VC/HF firms offer such advantages - the ones managing many many billions of dollars with stellar track records (your Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle, Sequoia, etc.). The multitudes of others are not like that. So while certain PE/VC/HF jobs are among the juiciest around, most such jobs do not provide compensation and benefits that are the stuff of legend.
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12 Jun 2008, 20:41
One question I have to the current students is, why is VC lumped with PE/IB? From talking to students interested in VC so far, all of them have told me that financial background is nice, but an engineering background is more desired (at least at Haas) for tech VCs, since the job you'll most likely do is evaluate companies and not really crunch the numbers. They also hire at the same time as PE/IB, but it looks like the backup plan would be some sort of startup or product manager position. I'm not sure when those are offered.
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12 Jun 2008, 21:19
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Well, the way I look at it, VC is just a form of private equity. Let's start from the basics of private equity. Essentially, you raise private money to invest in something. Because it is equity, you get certain tax benefits (maybe not for long of Obama is elected) and because it is private you avoid certain filing and reporting requirements. Without going into too much detail, in order to sell securities they need to be registered, sold through broker-dealers (who are fiduciary requirements) and must be accompanied with a prospectus, and a whole bunch of other stuff. There's a limit on who can buy certain securities, and how they can be marketed. With private equity, investors with a certain level or wealth are assumed to be informed investors, and disclosure requirements are relaxed or waived. A key feature of private equity investment is that there is usually a lock-up period, perhaps 5 years where investors cannot get their money back, and after that period they can withdraw their share of the investment at certain intervals (every 6 months or something) by giving written notice in advance. This allows a private equity fund to invest in different, illiquid stuff, making it different from a mutual fund or something like that.

In recent years, private equity has come to equal leveraged buy-outs (LBO), but really, a private equity fund can invest in anything it wants to. It might market a certain strategy to its investors which will guide its investments. LBOs were all the rage for several years.

But a hedge fund is essentially private equity as well. It's money from private investors, held in a fund with a lock-up period, and invested in almost anything, from public equities to real estate to hard assets to whatever managers can think of.

And venture capital is pretty much just a type of private equity fund that focuses on start-up companies. They might take a more hands-on approach, provide connections, give advice, and things like that, but at the root they are basically establishing investment funds with private money and investing using a certain strategy. For tech VCs, an engineering background is probably very nice because it allows you to understand their business, but also because, quite frankly, engineers are more likely to listen when approached by one of their geeky brethren (just kidding to all you engineers that just blew your tops). It's the same reason why a fund investing in the defense industry might want a former politician on their staff.

Certainly, there are differences in the three types of funds, but it's not unusual for a HF or late stage VC fund to be set up very similarly to PE funds.

So, getting back to your original question, the three types of firms are similar in many ways; but I agree with you that people interested in PE/HF fall back to banking, while people interested in VC fall back to entrepreneurship or some other role. I believe the reason why they are grouped together is that people view they as very similar in terms of the potential for outsize pay, risky and difficult recruiting, as well as other things related to job hunting. Tech might be what comes to mind when we think of VC, but really, there is venture capital in every industry. If I'm running a VC fund focusing on entertainment companies, am I really going to favor geeky-fresh engineers (don't hate me )?
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12 Jun 2008, 21:26
great post pelihu, thanks for the insight!

Yeah, VCs will favor people looking for an entrepreneurship career (or have the background). VC in tech will favor engineering background in the entrepreneurship career, but I do see that all of them are pretty much the same thing, just in different stages of a company.

The good thing with VCs is you don't really need to have a heavy financial background, as compared to PE/HF, where it's a huge plus to have the background. I guess I'll be looking for internships in VC or start-ups, so either way, I'm doomed to wait until April to do my interviews.

The good news is, my Fall Semester might be less stressful than my classmates
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13 Jun 2008, 06:14
Pelihu/Rhyme or anyone else who has any idea- what about Equity Research jobs/careers? I am looking at either Researc or IM and would like your inputs on how easy/difficult it would be for a career switcher to get in? The hours and the pay? I have read some guides on vault etc but would greatly appreciate some first hand feedback.
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13 Jun 2008, 06:48
I'd love to do VC, but I don't have the background to be confident that I could land a gig or the balls to wait and potentially end up with nothing. I don't even care about the money, I'd do it for the average starting b-school salary (I said this at a Seattle happy hour for Ross admits, and they looked at me like I had suddenly changed species or started speaking in tongues). I just think the combination of the tech industry, finance, new products, operations and strategy would make for fascinating work for me. It would also give me a good look inside early stage tech companies and help me realize if that is something I want to do down the line.
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13 Jun 2008, 07:52
bherronp wrote:
I'd love to do VC, but I don't have the background to be confident that I could land a gig or the balls to wait and potentially end up with nothing. I don't even care about the money, I'd do it for the average starting b-school salary (I said this at a Seattle happy hour for Ross admits, and they looked at me like I had suddenly changed species or started speaking in tongues). I just think the combination of the tech industry, finance, new products, operations and strategy would make for fascinating work for me. It would also give me a good look inside early stage tech companies and help me realize if that is something I want to do down the line.

what would you bring to the table ? How can you add value to the job with no exposure to VC industry?
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13 Jun 2008, 21:37
VC in tech is another area I'm looking at as well. Funnily enough http://www.sbcvc.com/english.html have been recruiting at HKUST this year, so there is potential for it.
Re: Rhyme's Guide To What To Expect From Recruiting   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2008, 21:37

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