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Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?

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Intern
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Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 3
Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2018, 20:24
Hi All,

I am a private equity associate finishing up my first year at a middle market (<$5Bn AUM) fund after spending two years at a bulge bracket investment bank. I am planning on applying to MBA a schools this upcoming cycle with the goal of returning to private equity. I'm only interested in the top 5 or so schools (and really focused on HSW) but it seems like I'm in an incredibly competitive pool of applicants and there seems to be a lot of randomness with admissions, especially at the schools I'm focused on. How can I stand apart from the 1000s of other PE associates out there? My stats are competitve -- 3.8 GPA, 770 GMAT, top 20 (non-ivy school) with some generic extra curricular activities / leadership roles.

Thanks!
Ivy Groupe Admissions Consulting Representative
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Status: Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting from a Harvard Business School graduate and MBA admissions expert
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Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 05:56
Hi there,

Thanks for sharing a little bit of your background. With a finance background myself and having worked with many finance/PE applicants successfully, the way to distinguish yourself is to assess who you are beyond just being a finance professional. In other words, your unique, authentic story is what will distinguish you (this will require looking more deeply into who you are).

I hope that helps - if it would be helpful to explore further, feel free to let me know.

Best,
Shaifali
(HBS Grad/MBA Admissions Expert)
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Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 07:32
Hello,

This is pretty impressive and if I was your parents I would be really proud!

Don't think you will have any problem getting anywhere you want! I would strongly recommend getting knowledge in philosophy and literature as most of the people with your background lack of that!

good luck!
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Farrell D Hehn: MBA
Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 07:35
1
fakaymba wrote:
Hi All,

I am a private equity associate finishing up my first year at a middle market (<$5Bn AUM) fund after spending two years at a bulge bracket investment bank. I am planning on applying to MBA a schools this upcoming cycle with the goal of returning to private equity. I'm only interested in the top 5 or so schools (and really focused on HSW) but it seems like I'm in an incredibly competitive pool of applicants and there seems to be a lot of randomness with admissions, especially at the schools I'm focused on. How can I stand apart from the 1000s of other PE associates out there? My stats are competitve -- 3.8 GPA, 770 GMAT, top 20 (non-ivy school) with some generic extra curricular activities / leadership roles.

Thanks!
Interesting, what do you mean by randomness? How have you come to that conclusion? I will say that good stats are not enough, I've worked with people who had been rejected with a 780. Nobody is pounding the table for a statistic, but for a person. It's extremely important to make an emotional connection with the reader.

And, it's all about articulating the unique contribution that you will be bringing to the program. The level of diversity is measured in the number of different ways and the more diverse it is the greater value add the program is.

Generic extra curricular activities / leadership roles?.....will need to transform into something clear, substantive powerful and in alignment with your overall narrative.



http://MBAPrepCoach.com
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Farrell Dyan
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"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

Admission Consultant
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Status: Application Consultant
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Schools: Yale (A)
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V44
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Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 23:19
1
MBAPrepCoach wrote:
fakaymba wrote:
Hi All,

I am a private equity associate finishing up my first year at a middle market (<$5Bn AUM) fund after spending two years at a bulge bracket investment bank. I am planning on applying to MBA a schools this upcoming cycle with the goal of returning to private equity. I'm only interested in the top 5 or so schools (and really focused on HSW) but it seems like I'm in an incredibly competitive pool of applicants and there seems to be a lot of randomness with admissions, especially at the schools I'm focused on. How can I stand apart from the 1000s of other PE associates out there? My stats are competitve -- 3.8 GPA, 770 GMAT, top 20 (non-ivy school) with some generic extra curricular activities / leadership roles.

Thanks!
Interesting, what do you mean by randomness? How have you come to that conclusion? I will say that good stats are not enough, I've worked with people who had been rejected with a 780. Nobody is pounding the table for a statistic, but for a person. It's extremely important to make an emotional connection with the reader.

And, it's all about articulating the unique contribution that you will be bringing to the program. The level of diversity is measured in the number of different ways and the more diverse it is the greater value add the program is.

Generic extra curricular activities / leadership roles?.....will need to transform into something clear, substantive powerful and in alignment with your overall narrative.



http://MBAPrepCoach.com


fakaymba,
As Farrell has excellently put, will strongly suggest you to be more patient with the statistics you have seen, and go deeper to understand the complete "person", not just the numbers. Engaging a counselor helps you do precisely that.

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Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 04:54
Hey fakaymba

Great stats, which will help you in some places but may not in others where you will still be one of many candidates with great stats. (Although certainly there is a small pool with 770s.) Wharton likes stats. HBS likes leadership/impact. Stanford likes "Change lives/change organizations/change the world." (So saying you're a PE guy who wants to go back to PE might not cut it. It's fine to go back to PE BUT what will it look like and what will be "Stanford-y" about it.) Add Booth and CBS to your list for sure. Also possibly MIT. Personally, I recommend going all R1 (none of this "Dream schools in R1, backups in R2 drama) because there is no shortage of applicants like you. Get in there first. (Also, do you really want this process to drag out til March of 2019 or would you like to be done by Christmas?)

Differentiation is hard to discuss without knowing more about who you are, where you come from, and what you do in your spare time. If you're not already involved in your community, start something/go back to something you did before. An easy way to do this is through your PE firm. Take a leadership role there. BUT -- again hard to advise without knowing more. It's a great topic for a free consultation. Set one up at your convenience! Free and easy. (Link in my signature. You do not have to wait for me. Just pick the day/time that works best for you.)

Krista
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Re: Differentiating oneself as a private equity associate? &nbs [#permalink] 08 Mar 2018, 04:54
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