Breaking into VC out of Undergrad

I haven't managed to do this myself, but I've spoken to a lot of people who have, and I have noticed a pattern. There are really only two routes to breaking into VC out of undergrad. 

1) Get a job at Insight or Bessemer

2) Intern at a smaller firm (small can still be prestigious in the VC space) during your senior year and prove yourself. (as well as get somewhat lucky with your internship lining up with fundraising and success)

Everyone I have spoken to who gets a job in the VC space directly out of undergrad has done either one of those things. There are articles about domain expertise, and differentiating yourself, and while that definitely will help, I'm yet to meet someone who has successfully used that strategy. If a top firm wants to hire someone differentiated they will look for industry expertise or a Ph.D. Undergraduates can't compete with those profiles. However, undergraduates can get their foot in the door by working for free/cheap as an intern and making themself seem indispensable by filling in talent gaps that the current team has. This is usually done by doing bullshit tasks and simultaneously being a workhorse. 

Comments (7)

theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think it is a mistake to break in after ugrad tbh. You auto handcuff yourself for advancement. Get into the real world and grind in more traditional roles and get your feet wet in startup community.

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theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

VC is a reverse pyramid, barely any juniors with more seniors at the top. It is more likely to be hired at the top after succeeding in a ops role, high finance, or startup. If you have no experience growing companies it is hard to rationalize advancing you into a position where you would advise someone on how to do something you have never done.

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