Currently at a valuation focused strategy boutique. Is it possible to transition to PE/VC/HF post-M7 mba (non-HSW)? How hard is it to make that jump and compete with ex-IB/PE candidates?

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Harder. Anecdotally I think people do it but big hustle/networking game and you’d better show you can do the work.

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Possible? Yes. How hard? Extremely. Why should you be picked over people with the desired experience?

In general, the only people who place into the buyside from MBA have pre-MBA buyside experience. Even if you did 2 years at GS as an IB analyst pre-MBA, you're most likely not going to go buyside post-MBA without buyside tenure. Even harder coming from valuations. Not impossible but quite unlikely.

Truthfully my friend there isn't a great answer as it just isn't very common and certainly not guaranteed, but I would say yes, your *best* bet is going to be doing a couple years at a bank, networking and studying your ass off, and performing during the interviews. The importance of networking cannot be overstated. So it is achievable—I know people who have done it—but not nearly as much so as if you walked the traditional IB analyst to PE associate path. Unfortunately, unlike with consulting or IB, you usually have to be on the right path straight out of undergrad. Don't let me or anyone else discourage you though - pursue your dreams, relentlessly. Worst case you get 2 years experience at a bank and have tons of lucrative doors open, whether at the bank or in industry. Good luck!

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