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Path to VC?

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Path to VC? [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 10:29
Hey Everyone,

I’ve been doing quite a bit of perusing on various forums and career sites looking for tidbits of information but thought it would be worth crowdsourcing this to gmat club to see some of your thoughts. I always come away with good insight from the folks here!

I’m headed to business school this fall and am interested in pursuing a career in VC post business school. Ideally, I would like to get into VC at a solid firm right out, but with no real work experience in the industry and the scarcity of positions, realistically this will be pretty tough to pull. Its a well-known fact that VC is near impossible to break into. (Would love to hear from anyone who has successfully done it btw!) I will be doing internships, taking related classes and getting involved on campus in VC related opportunities to maximize my chances but also want to make sure I have a solid plan for at least 2-3 years post-business school in the event that I have to take an intermediate step.

As a result, I am trying to scenario play a little bit here and think about what options to pursue post-MBA for those 2-3 years before (hopefully) seguing into VC. Originally I was focused on management consulting (was thinking MBB with a focus on tech consulting) and I still think this is probably the best move if I can’t break into VC straight out of b-school. However, lately I’ve been pondering other short-term possibilities such as tech-banking, asset management or business strategy at a place like Google/Microsoft. The more I hear about MBB (constant travel, at times mundane work, inability to have much say in project staffing, 2 year up-or-out policy, etc.,) the less I feel that I would make a good fit even if just for 2-3 years. Nonetheless, I don’t really know much about the other options or how well they transition into VC careers long-term.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on other paths to VC. Other than entrepreneurship (love the concept just too risk averse for it at this point) what other paths have people taken and with what sort of success? I guess I’m mostly thinking of tech-banking, asset management and corp. strategy at Google/Microsoft but am very open to hearing other thoughts…
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Re: Path to VC? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2013, 09:11
64 wrote:
Hey Everyone,

I’ve been doing quite a bit of perusing on various forums and career sites looking for tidbits of information but thought it would be worth crowdsourcing this to gmat club to see some of your thoughts. I always come away with good insight from the folks here!

I’m headed to business school this fall and am interested in pursuing a career in VC post business school. Ideally, I would like to get into VC at a solid firm right out, but with no real work experience in the industry and the scarcity of positions, realistically this will be pretty tough to pull. Its a well-known fact that VC is near impossible to break into. (Would love to hear from anyone who has successfully done it btw!) I will be doing internships, taking related classes and getting involved on campus in VC related opportunities to maximize my chances but also want to make sure I have a solid plan for at least 2-3 years post-business school in the event that I have to take an intermediate step.

As a result, I am trying to scenario play a little bit here and think about what options to pursue post-MBA for those 2-3 years before (hopefully) seguing into VC. Originally I was focused on management consulting (was thinking MBB with a focus on tech consulting) and I still think this is probably the best move if I can’t break into VC straight out of b-school. However, lately I’ve been pondering other short-term possibilities such as tech-banking, asset management or business strategy at a place like Google/Microsoft. The more I hear about MBB (constant travel, at times mundane work, inability to have much say in project staffing, 2 year up-or-out policy, etc.,) the less I feel that I would make a good fit even if just for 2-3 years. Nonetheless, I don’t really know much about the other options or how well they transition into VC careers long-term.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on other paths to VC. Other than entrepreneurship (love the concept just too risk averse for it at this point) what other paths have people taken and with what sort of success? I guess I’m mostly thinking of tech-banking, asset management and corp. strategy at Google/Microsoft but am very open to hearing other thoughts…

I'd love to help you, but you chose CBS over Sloan! [/kidding] :lol:

Anyways, I've heard that the above, along with consulting, are pretty good platforms for VC. One I didn't see you mention is working at a VC-backed startup. You wouldn't have the same risk inherent to entrepreneurship and you'd most likely make more and be in a better position to pay down debt. Plus, you would also have the opportunity to network with VCs and expose yourself to the culture of firms you'd likely evaluate in the future should you break into VC.
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Re: Path to VC? [#permalink] New post 15 May 2013, 21:57
64 wrote:
Hey Everyone,

I’ve been doing quite a bit of perusing on various forums and career sites looking for tidbits of information but thought it would be worth crowdsourcing this to gmat club to see some of your thoughts. I always come away with good insight from the folks here!

I’m headed to business school this fall and am interested in pursuing a career in VC post business school. Ideally, I would like to get into VC at a solid firm right out, but with no real work experience in the industry and the scarcity of positions, realistically this will be pretty tough to pull. Its a well-known fact that VC is near impossible to break into. (Would love to hear from anyone who has successfully done it btw!) I will be doing internships, taking related classes and getting involved on campus in VC related opportunities to maximize my chances but also want to make sure I have a solid plan for at least 2-3 years post-business school in the event that I have to take an intermediate step.

As a result, I am trying to scenario play a little bit here and think about what options to pursue post-MBA for those 2-3 years before (hopefully) seguing into VC. Originally I was focused on management consulting (was thinking MBB with a focus on tech consulting) and I still think this is probably the best move if I can’t break into VC straight out of b-school. However, lately I’ve been pondering other short-term possibilities such as tech-banking, asset management or business strategy at a place like Google/Microsoft. The more I hear about MBB (constant travel, at times mundane work, inability to have much say in project staffing, 2 year up-or-out policy, etc.,) the less I feel that I would make a good fit even if just for 2-3 years. Nonetheless, I don’t really know much about the other options or how well they transition into VC careers long-term.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on other paths to VC. Other than entrepreneurship (love the concept just too risk averse for it at this point) what other paths have people taken and with what sort of success? I guess I’m mostly thinking of tech-banking, asset management and corp. strategy at Google/Microsoft but am very open to hearing other thoughts…


Work at a VC-backed startup - you will likely develop stronger relationships that way, because they will be collaborating and interacting with you on a regular basis.

VC is a very small and tight knit community, as everyone seems to know everyone. It's based more on relationships than anything else.
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Re: Path to VC? [#permalink] New post 23 May 2013, 01:39
The question is "do you have anything to offer a VC backed startup"?
Startups are small operations they are looking for people with certain skills that can help them.
If you have some of those skills and have the experience you are looking for it could work.
It will still be pretty hit or miss.

Tech consulting would give you good knowledge of the industry and would be a pretty traditional action plan (less risk).
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Re: Path to VC?   [#permalink] 23 May 2013, 01:39
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