Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Rice Jones | Mr. ToastMasters Treasurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Public Health
GRE 312, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Admit
GMAT Waived, GPA 4.0
London Business School | Mr. Indian Mad Man
GMAT Have not taken yet, GPA 2.8

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.