Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On Private Equity and Grads

Why MBAs are in hot pursuit of private equity jobs - Feb. 13, 2007

Grads going into investment banking have a fairly mapped out idea of what their job will entail and what sorts of projects they'll be working on. "But a private equity shop has much more of an entrepreneurial flair, which appeals to students enormously," said Julie Morton, associate dean for MBA career services at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

It's common for students to flock to hot sectors that may be on the verge of overheating - consider the frenzy of tech hiring in the late 1990s. But private equity houses have been disciplined about building their teams and are known for their streamlined operations - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, one of the world's largest private equity firms, has about just 90 investment professionals.

"Everyone in the world can want to work for private equity, but the private equity firms are only going to hire who they need," Korb said.

It isn't rare for private equity houses to hire grads fresh out of business school, he said, but 9 times out of 10, the students who nab these jobs are the ones who had private equity experience under their belt before even starting their MBA program.