Harvard | Mr. Low GRE
GRE 314, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Do Little
GRE 335, GPA 3.6 (High Distinction)
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tier 2 Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
Columbia | Mr. Brandless
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Decision Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Ambivalent Applicant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. Reinvention
GMAT 780, GPA 2.3
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Green CPA
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Harvard | Mr. Infantry Commander
GMAT 730, GPA 3.178
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Latin International
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Indian Deferred
GMAT Will take next month but expecting 750+, GPA 8.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
NYU Stern | Mr. Media Tech Hopeful
GRE 321, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future MBA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
Wharton | Mr. Biotech Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Indian Data Guy
GRE 325, GPA 7.06
NYU Stern | Mr. Beer Guy
GRE 306, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. HR To Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 7.65/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Social To Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5

Private Equity & The MBA Degree

Doubt that to be the case? Well, take a look at this graphic from PrivateEquityCompensation.com that shows the diversity of backgrounds from hundreds of private equity pros prior to entering the field:

Myth Busted

Bottom line, growth is expected to continue in the private equity space as larger funds look for stable and attractive places to allocate cash in a time of great uncertainty. Firms will continue to reflect the longer-term focus by adopting strategies based on building portfolio companies rather than just shuffling balance sheets for resale. This will continue fuel industry demand for talent with diverse backgrounds for years to come.

Granted, breaking into private equity won’t get any easier, as entry will remain ultra competitive. As demonstrated by the lack of professional development provided by most firms in the industry, they simply aren’t interested in training. They much prefer paying for talent that is capable of hitting the ground running and delivering measurable returns from the get-go.

Hopeful candidates need to prepare in advance if they want to be taken seriously. A big consideration for individuals seeking entry is that of pedigree. Where you’ve worked is as important as what you’ve done. Same holds true for education. Those who have earned MBAs from schools offering private equity coursework or curriculums or, alternatively, those focused in areas directly relevant to the specialization of the firm, will have an edge when it comes to landing coveted positions.

The good news is that talented MBAs hailing from industries outside of investment banking now find themselves in demand in an area that was largely off-limits in the past. Those willing to roll up their sleeves inside of portfolio companies will find no lack of career options within private equity today and in the future.

David Kochanek is the Publisher of the Private equity & Venture Capital Compensation Report  and the Private Equity Jobs DatabaseHe brings over 20 years of professional experience including mergers and acquisitions, company turnarounds, executive recruiting and nearly a decade with a top 10 consulting firm.