By some distance, this is the most common question I get asked.
Those asking the question are generally a few years post-graduation, often working in consulting firms where they are getting exposed to private equity clients, M&A, corporate Finance, Transaction Support etc., but don’t know what they need to do in order to get from A to B.
Whilst the advice for every individual differs, there is one skill that you absolutely must have and to a high level.
MODELLING. (Financial… not catwalk)
If you don’t have it then you need to find a way to get it. It’s the reason M&A in an Investment Bank is such a popular hiring ground for PE firms.
Beyond that it’s just perseverance and hard work. It’s still a very competitive space, even if you have the modelling part down.