Developing value-add for VC/GE

My area of interest is growth equity, but I have been guided that the process for breaking in from undergraduate is rather similar to VC, except from having to know a bit more financial modelling. Looking to break in through an internship next year. If I don't get one, I will either do a banking / startup internship in tech and try break in from a graduate role.

I'm really keen to develop my skillset to break in, but am struggling to get something tangible. I listen/read a lot of VC material (as recommended by lots of people - Axios Pro Rata, 20VC and much much more) and find it interesting, but don't really see how this makes me a better investor.

How can I go about analysing what makes a deal great from a VC perspective? I understand a lot of it is product/market at this stage, so how do I develop my knowledge of that? How about the growth stage?

Appreciate this is an incoherent mess of a post, but thanks for any advice.


To effectively break into growth equity or venture capital from an undergraduate level, it's crucial to develop a comprehensive understanding of the market, the product, and the financial aspects of the businesses you're interested in. Here’s a structured approach to enhance your skills and understanding, making you a more competent investor:

  1. Deep Dive into Market and Product Analysis:

    • Market Research: Start by identifying a sector or technology you are passionate about. Use resources like Gartner, Forrester, and specific industry reports to understand market trends, size, and growth potential.
    • Product Understanding: Focus on understanding what makes a product or service stand out. This could be its unique value proposition, technology differentiation, or how it solves a particular problem better than its competitors.
  2. Financial Modeling and Analysis:

    • While growth equity might require more financial modeling skills compared to traditional VC, the basics remain the same. Familiarize yourself with creating financial models that can help you understand cash flows, growth metrics, and valuation techniques. Online courses and financial modeling competitions can be practical ways to hone these skills.
  3. Networking and Industry Engagement:

    • Attend industry conferences, webinars, and networking events. Engage with professionals in the field through platforms like LinkedIn or specialized groups on Wall Street Oasis.
    • Try to secure informational interviews with professionals working in VC or growth equity to gain insights into their daily work and decision-making processes.
  4. Practical Experience:

    • If direct VC or growth equity internships are challenging to secure, consider internships in related fields such as investment banking or startups. These experiences can be incredibly valuable, providing insights into how businesses operate and scale, which is crucial for growth equity.
  5. Case Studies and Deal Analysis:

    • Regularly analyze past deals in the VC and growth equity space. Understand why certain investments were successful or failed. Platforms like CB Insights, PitchBook, or even detailed case studies on Wall Street Oasis can provide real-world examples of deal structuring and post-investment growth strategies.
  6. Continued Learning:

    • Keep up with podcasts, books, and articles. While listening to VC-focused content like Axios Pro Rata or 20VC, try to actively apply the insights discussed to hypothetical investment scenarios or real-world companies.
  7. Feedback and Mentorship:

    • Seek feedback on your market analyses or financial models from experienced peers or mentors in the industry. This feedback can be invaluable in refining your approach and understanding of what makes a good investment.

By focusing on these areas, you can develop a robust skill set that aligns with the requirements of a career in growth equity or venture capital. Remember, the key is to combine theoretical knowledge with practical insights and real-world application.

Sources:, Q&A: Analyst --> Associate at a VC / Growth Equity Firm, Q&A: 1st year VC analyst (~750M AUM), Got this task during an Private Equity internship interview, how to handle it?, Q&A: Corp Dev > Strategic Finance > VC

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

Incidunt facilis aut assumenda voluptas dignissimos iure velit. Fugiat quae harum natus est vero iure. Labore ea atque voluptates ut sit. Sed explicabo in quia eius maxime magnam sed.


Career Advancement Opportunities

May 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Lazard Freres No 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 18 98.3%
  • Harris Williams & Co. New 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 04 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 18 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 10 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
  • William Blair 03 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 07 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 05 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (21) $373
  • Associates (91) $259
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (14) $181
  • Intern/Summer Associate (33) $170
  • 2nd Year Analyst (68) $168
  • 1st Year Analyst (205) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (146) $101
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”