If you want to work in private equity, the Blackstone Group is an obvious target. Needless to say, the recruitment process is incredibly competitive. We’ve looked at the analysts being hired into the firm this year. What makes them so special?
You need both buy and sell-side internships
An internship at Blackstone wasn’t a prequisite, but most analyst came armed with multiple internships on both the buy-side and sell-side.
For example, Carmen Gota, a New York University alumnus, joined Blackstone after interning at KKR and Merrill Lynch and working as a summer analyst at UBS, Candlewood Investment Group, an independent credit-focused alternative asset management firm, and Vox Clara Group, a venture-capital company focused on investment, incubation, restructuring and advisory.
The range of experience across various types of financial services firms helped them to get in.
An Ivy League degree helps
Not surprisingly, given that private equity firms only let in a fraction of investment banks’ analysts and want to see evidence of academic excellence, the Ivy League was prominent in the class of 2016. Sarah Farrell, who went to Harvard, became a private equity analyst at Blackstone after working as an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan. Prior to that she worked as an equity research associate in UBS’s investment banking division.
Janice Zhang, who also went to Harvard, came to Blackstone from Evercore, where she focused on M&A as an analyst. Charles Zhou joined Blackstone after graduating from Princeton University. He interned at BNY Mellon, UBS and the Princeton University Investment Company, worked as a summer analyst at the P.E. firm and was the founder and CEO of Tiger Capital Management, a student-run investment fund.
Alice King joined Blackstone after working as a summer analyst there and interning at Colony Capital. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Also a Wharton alumnus, Andrea Lin was hired by Blackstone after working as a summer analyst there. Previously, she interned at Deloitte and Prince International Corp.
If you didn’t go to an Ivy League, you need something else impressive
Lindsay Khoury joined Blackstone after graduating with a B.S. in finance from Fairfield University. She was in the finance club, leadership workshop series and the Investopedia.com stock simulator. During that time, she interned at Pathstone Family Office and UBS and was a summer analyst at the P.E. firm.
Abigail Harman was hired by Blackstone after graduating from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, where she won EY’s “Your World, Your Vision” competition, participated in the alternative investments club, the student activities budget committee and Goldman Sachs’s Global Investment Research Insight Day and was the chief development officer of Smart Woman Securities.
Focusing on real estate asset management at Blackstone since graduating with a double degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brianna Bai previously was a sales and trading summer analyst at UBS. She won an award at DataFest 2014 and was a UNC Kenan-Flagler Global Perspective Fund Strategist, co-chaired the Carolina Microfinance Initiative and participated in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School consulting club.
Private equity loves athletes
Yep, you need to be a ‘winner’. A varsity tennis player at Colby College, Molly Feldstein interned for two different U.S. senators and at Hamilton Zanze & Co. before working as a summer analyst at Blackstone, which she joined full-time after graduating.
A national karate champion and a CPA, Ryan Portenoy joined Blackstone after working as a transaction services senior associate at PwC, where he had interned while finishing off his B.S. in accounting and finance at Providence College.
PE firms hire from the Big Four too
Alisia Cedarholm, a CPA and an alumnus of Wake Forest University, joined Blackstone after working as an analyst at Summit Rock Advisors and a banking and capital markets senior associate at PwC after interning there and at Ameriprise Financial.
Julie Marks, a Lehigh University graduate and a CPA, joined the P.E. firm after working at EY for three years.
Sisi Liu was hired by Blackstone after working as an assurance senior focused on the financial services sector at EY and an assurance associate at PwC. She got her M.S. in accounting from Seton Hall University and is a CPA.
Ya Ma, a graduate of the University of Virginia and a CPA, joined the P.E. firm after worked as a risk assurance experienced associate at PwC, where she also interned.
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