Breaking into HF/VC

Hi guys - wanted to get others opinions as I am struggling to map out my career.

Graduated undergrad at a school in the nyc (one of two major schools that come to mind) with a BA in a non business related field.

Spent past two years as an IB recruiter. Fell in love with the finance world, but more so the image as I didn’t touch the work. I find the idea of working with really smart people one of my ideal goals in a career.

Have an interest in HF and VC as they are more interesting to me, and have less of the traditional corporate systems and processes associated. I understand my skills are not marketable in these fields, but wanted any insight into what areas within finance might fit my profile if HF and VC is truly a non starter.

Target is a smaller shop willing to take a chance on a kid who missed the traditional IB/PE entry (plus, I couldn’t seen myself working in PE or IB).

If this does not work, do you suggest an MBA to make myself more marketable?

Thanks in advance


Hey there, fellow finance enthusiast! It sounds like you're really passionate about breaking into the finance world, specifically HF and VC. That's great!

Based on the most helpful WSO content, it seems like your background in IB recruitment could actually be a unique advantage. You've been exposed to the finance world and have a good understanding of the industry, even if you haven't been directly involved in the work.

If you're interested in HF and VC, it's important to remember that these fields value diverse backgrounds and skills. For example, in VC, having a non-traditional background can actually be a strength, as it can provide a different perspective.

However, it's also important to note that these fields are highly competitive and typically require some level of finance or investment experience. If you're serious about breaking into HF or VC, you might want to consider gaining some relevant experience first. This could be through a role in investment banking, private equity, or even a finance-related role in a tech firm.

As for an MBA, it could certainly make you more marketable and provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge. However, it's a significant investment of time and money, so it's important to weigh up the pros and cons.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer here. It's all about finding the path that suits you best. Good luck!

Sources: Lesser known MBA career options? Looking for advice on what to do post-HBS., VC to HF?

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

I can try to share my thoughts on this question as someone who has interned in venture capital at a fund founded by a Paypal Mafia member (I don't want to say more). I would say that venture capital is a small world (one would even call it tiny) with how few shot callers can invest in all the prominent startups you hear about, which either get acquired or IPO. I was only able to get into that world by pure luck. 

I recommend that you start reaching out to the local VCs in New York and offer to take them out for coffee. These firms will view your background as an IB recruiter as back-office. However, I do not know how much an MBA will help you. An MBA is primarily used for rebranding and is not highly valued in VC and HFs. It can even be seen as a negative because of the way it teaches you to think. 

I wish you the best on your journey and hope I did not discourage you. Feel free to DM me if you want to talk more.


Honestly, I don’t see myself working in IB or PE because I missed the boat for IB recruiting. I honestly did not learn about IB until I was interning in VC and by that time I missed the boat (it was 3rd year 1st semester).
I was able to intern in Management Consulting and enjoyed my time there (I was on their PE team) but did not get a return offer. However, since I was able to get into Buyside out of undergraduate by sheer luck so I would only go into IB if I feel that I need the skills from IB and because IB/PE cannot match my current comp.

Most Helpful

Mapping out your career path is an exercise in false precision. I've interned in HF for years (SM + MM), started my FT career in ER, moved into VC, and ultimately realized investing wasn't what I wanted to do professionally so I quit to start a venture-backed company. There's no way I could've mapped out where I'd be today when I first started my career.

HF (equity l/s) and VC are completely different personalities and skillsets, even the cross-over funds.  Before even exploring each of those routes you need to ask yourself the following core questions:

  1. Why do I want to be an investor? -- Coming from a different background, it's important to be honest with yourself about why you want to go into investing. it's not for everyone and if you want to be great, you have to define your intrinsic motivations.
  2. What valuable skills have I developed as an IB recruiter? -- These skills will help you determine what tools you have at your disposal when conducting a career pivot.
  3. What types of challenges am I best suited to solve with those skills? -- This should help you narrow down which investment strategy/vertical you might be best suited for.

Once you understand these answers about yourself you'll be able to identify paths and opportunities that are uniquely suited for you own career journey.


Rather than recruit for IB, I think your background would be a great for a sales role in S&T, which you can than parlay into research. I have friends who do tech equity sales, and they have the option to switch into research anytime.

I also just generally disagree with the other poster. It sounds nice in theory, but you're going to be stretching it trying to match HH skills with different HF skills. Much better to try lots of different things and figure it out that way. If you read his comment, that's what he actually did.


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