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Question about career goals

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Question about career goals [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2007, 03:25
I'm a software developer by trade but have taken on extra responsibilities at work as a program managers 50% of the time.

I stated that my post-MBA goal is to go into product management to transition into an operational/business role to learn the business landscape and then move into a corporate strategy/development role some years afterwards. however, I also stated that my "dream" would be to get into venture capital, not as a stepping stone but as the ultimate career.

i know many people go straight into VC after an MBA but from my encounters many people do not obtain permanent positions as they are told to get more operational experience.

1. my question is... is going into product management then corporate development/strategy and maybe/ultimately onto VC too long of a road in the eyes of the adcoms?

2. would they ask "why not just go into corporate dev/strategy straight from an MBA?"

due to my lack of business background, i thought that a slower transition into a business role would be ideal. since product management has more of a technical/business overlap it seemed like a good place to start before launching myself into more of a pure business role in corp dev/strategy.

i would appreciate your feedback, thank you.
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Re: Question about career goals [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2007, 22:05
gmatnoob wrote:
I'm a software developer by trade but have taken on extra responsibilities at work as a program managers 50% of the time.

I stated that my post-MBA goal is to go into product management to transition into an operational/business role to learn the business landscape and then move into a corporate strategy/development role some years afterwards. however, I also stated that my "dream" would be to get into venture capital, not as a stepping stone but as the ultimate career.

i know many people go straight into VC after an MBA but from my encounters many people do not obtain permanent positions as they are told to get more operational experience.

1. my question is... is going into product management then corporate development/strategy and maybe/ultimately onto VC too long of a road in the eyes of the adcoms?

2. would they ask "why not just go into corporate dev/strategy straight from an MBA?"

due to my lack of business background, i thought that a slower transition into a business role would be ideal. since product management has more of a technical/business overlap it seemed like a good place to start before launching myself into more of a pure business role in corp dev/strategy.

i would appreciate your feedback, thank you.


gmatnoob,

Your reasons for the post-MBA plan you mentioned seems well thought out and that's half the battle: convincing the adcom that you have though about a post-MBA path. The path you describe makes sense to me not only because of the relevance of product management to VC, but also because VCs are also advisors, not just investors, so they have to bring some operational savvy or at least more-than-finance skills tp the table. It seems like a career track that would welcome "late arrivals" who've gathered some expertise elsewhere. So your plan makes sense to me.

Good luck,
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Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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Re: Question about career goals [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2007, 22:06
gmatnoob wrote:
I'm a software developer by trade but have taken on extra responsibilities at work as a program managers 50% of the time.

I stated that my post-MBA goal is to go into product management to transition into an operational/business role to learn the business landscape and then move into a corporate strategy/development role some years afterwards. however, I also stated that my "dream" would be to get into venture capital, not as a stepping stone but as the ultimate career.

i know many people go straight into VC after an MBA but from my encounters many people do not obtain permanent positions as they are told to get more operational experience.

1. my question is... is going into product management then corporate development/strategy and maybe/ultimately onto VC too long of a road in the eyes of the adcoms?

2. would they ask "why not just go into corporate dev/strategy straight from an MBA?"

due to my lack of business background, i thought that a slower transition into a business role would be ideal. since product management has more of a technical/business overlap it seemed like a good place to start before launching myself into more of a pure business role in corp dev/strategy.

i would appreciate your feedback, thank you.


gmatnoob,

Your reasons for the post-MBA plan you mentioned seem well thought out and that's half the battle: convincing the adcom that you *have* thought about a post-MBA path. The path you describe makes sense to me not only because of the relevance of product management to VC, but also because VCs are also advisors, not just investors, so they have to bring some operational savvy or at least something more than finance skills to the table. VC seems like a career track that would welcome "late arrivals" who've gathered some expertise elsewhere. So your plan makes sense to me.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2007, 23:54
Thank you Paul for your insight. I'm currently using your book "Great Application Essays for Business Schools" and it's a great help.

I have one more question. I have heard from some other people that Stanford is sometimes into unique or spectacular candidates who show lots of ambition. That got me thinking if I should be shooting straight for corp dev/strategy then to VC or if the approach I took will be seen as a more well thought out and realistic "dream". I'd prefer not to aim for the moon but I'm not sure what Stanford prefers.

I'm also applying to UCLA and Berkeley. Which of these schools have the best connection for a VC future? I know that UCLA has a fellows program that seems to land a handful of people in that field. I haven't seen that kind of presence from Berkeley, although I know Berkeley is a great school, academically and professionally.

Thank you so much again for your feedback.

John
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2007, 11:45
gmatnoob wrote:
Thank you Paul for your insight. I'm currently using your book "Great Application Essays for Business Schools" and it's a great help.

I have one more question. I have heard from some other people that Stanford is sometimes into unique or spectacular candidates who show lots of ambition. That got me thinking if I should be shooting straight for corp dev/strategy then to VC or if the approach I took will be seen as a more well thought out and realistic "dream". I'd prefer not to aim for the moon but I'm not sure what Stanford prefers.

I'm also applying to UCLA and Berkeley. Which of these schools have the best connection for a VC future? I know that UCLA has a fellows program that seems to land a handful of people in that field. I haven't seen that kind of presence from Berkeley, although I know Berkeley is a great school, academically and professionally.

Thank you so much again for your feedback.

John


John,

When it comes to goals, you want to avoid the "unique" and "spectacular" in favor of the plausible, well-investigated, and feasible. However, I honestly don't know whether there is any downside to stating that you want to go directly into VC after the MBA rather than get some other experience first. I suspect that MBAs from schools like Stanford, Haas, and UCLA face no huge hurdles in entering the VC world directly after the MBA and so those schools would view that as a plausible path.

I also have to believe that Stanford and Haas would be better bets for breaking into venture capital than UCLA, as fine as their program no doubt is. Haas is renowned for its finance and technology management resources and is of course situated near Silicon Valley.

Good luck,
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