Wall Street’s Elite Job Hunt Tougher Than Harvard Admission

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Landing a role as an analyst at Blackstone, one of Wall Street’s most highly coveted positions, is a feat more challenging than securing a spot at Harvard, according to the firm’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman. This year, a staggering 62,000 candidates worldwide applied for 169 first-year analyst positions, resulting in a selection rate of less than 0.3%. The role, often seen as a stepping stone to a successful career in the financial industry, has been a launchpad for many notable figures, including Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president and chief operating officer, who is tipped to succeed Schwarzman.

Established in 1985, Blackstone has grown to become one of the largest alternative asset managers or investment firms, boasting over $1 trillion in assets under management. The firm, which traditionally recruited from a select group of Ivy League schools, has broadened its approach, reaching out to over 1,000 schools globally, including historically black colleges and universities. Despite the competition, Blackstone is not solely focused on academic performance. Instead, it seeks well-rounded candidates with leadership skills and diverse academic backgrounds, from finance and math to English majors. The firm is also actively working to increase diversity in its ranks, with 43% of its global analyst class being female and 59% of its U.S. class being ethnically diverse in 2023.

The Race for Blackstone’s Coveted Analyst Role

Blackstone, an original private equity firm founded in 1985, offers one of the most coveted jobs for recent college graduates on Wall Street – the Blackstone analyst role. This entry-level position is fiercely competitive, having launched numerous successful careers, including that of Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president and chief operating officer, who is expected to succeed cofounder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman.

The Competition

In the last recruitment cycle, Blackstone had 169 first-year analyst positions available, attracting a staggering 62,000 applications worldwide. This represents a selection rate of less than 0.3%, making the role 12 times more challenging to secure than a place at Harvard, according to Schwarzman. The positions are open to fresh college graduates and individuals with some experience.

The Firm and Its Evolution

Blackstone, along with rivals Carlyle Group, KKR, Apollo Global Management, and TPG, were among the original private equity firms. Today, these firms have broadened their horizons, identifying themselves as alternative asset managers or investment firms. Blackstone, the largest among them, was the first to surpass $1 trillion in assets under management, with nearly 4,700 employees as of December 2022.

Increasing Diversity and Inclusion

Historically, Blackstone was known for hiring the best from Ivy League schools. However, this has changed over time, with the firm now reaching out to over 1,000 schools worldwide. This move has helped the firm to increase diversity, with 43% of its global analyst class in 2023 being female, and 59% of its U.S. class being ethnically diverse. The firm’s global head of HR, Paige Ross, noted that they look for well-balanced individuals who show leadership in school activities or sports teams.

The Selection Process

The selection process for the analyst role at Blackstone is rigorous, involving multiple interviews and assessments. Applicants initially meet with HR, followed by executives from the divisions they are applying to. Blackstone also uses Pymetrics, an AI-driven game-based recruiting tool, to assess candidates’ attributes like risk tolerance, fairness, and attention span. Notably, the firm does not use recruiters for the analyst position, and resumes are submitted directly through the Blackstone website.

Internship Opportunities

One of the most effective ways to secure a Blackstone analyst role is through their summer internship program. This 10-week stint is a significant feeder for the full-time analyst program. The internship takes place during the summer between a candidate’s junior and senior year. Successful interns may receive full-time offers in August for positions that begin the following year.

Final Takeaways

The Blackstone analyst role represents a golden ticket for many recent college graduates. The competition is fierce, but the rewards and career opportunities are significant. The firm’s increased focus on diversity and inclusion is commendable, providing opportunities for a wider pool of candidates. Aspiring analysts should be well prepared, focusing on demonstrating leadership skills, teamwork, and a well-rounded personality in addition to top academic performance.

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