Private Equity and Venture Capital: MBA Application Danger Zones

Okay folks, we have had some requests that we talk about Private Equity and Venture Capital.  But as always, I’m gonna try to keep everyone on their toes.

Lots of clients last year (and a few this year) are VERY excited about Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC).  It is their short term goal, their long term goal…and everything in between.  Well, I am here to tell you that often times, this is a BAD idea.  Let’s avoid PE and VC.  Why?  I’ll tell ya.

Top Three Reasons why PE/VC is a bad idea for your MBA goals

1)      It is impossible to get a PE job.  There are fewer and fewer of ’em out there, and if you’re counting on a job in PE after your MBA, schools will worry.  Why?  Because they are judged (in fact they judge one another) on their JOB statistics.  If you say you’re gonna get a job (that they don’t think you can get) they won’t let you into their MBA program.  You will present a risk, and risks from the adcom’s perspective are bad.

2)      Everyone’s doing it.   So many people are making this mistake, folks; 1 out of every 4 essays I read talks about PE.  So…why follow this trend?  Not only is it hard to sell (see #1 above) but even if you DO sell it, you are now in a VERY competitive pool!  Even among the guys who CAN get a job in PE, now you have to prove…that you’re better than THOSE dudes?  That’s hard, man.  Instead, what about general management, banking, trading…SOMETHING to make yourself stand out…

3)      Do you have the background for it…really?   Most people do not.  Sure you have traded stocks and bonds. Perhaps you have even done a start-up, or raised money for some companies on the side.  But…those things are NOT PE.  And you won’t get credit for ’em, no matter how hard you try, on the PE front.  If you don’t have the PE background, you are fighting an uphill battle—perhaps impossibly so.

See what I’m sayin’?

The Tuesday Q&A: How To Overcome a Low GPA