I'm Torn...Do I need to do IB to get a FT VC Role?

Background: I'm currently an undergraduate and master's student in finance, enrolled in an unconventional program. I'm on track to graduate from a target school in about a year and a half. At the moment, I'm interning at a VC firm that's in the process of closing its third fund, and I know theyll be looking to hire around the time I graduate. The GPs are super helpful and willing to assist in any way finding jobs (and have extensive VC networks), but I don't think I would be hired here.

Now, here's the dilemma I'm facing: I've got around 1.5 years of school left before graduating with my masters, and I'm unsure about my next steps. Should I follow the common advice and kickstart my career in IB before making the leap into VC? Or should I focus on networking and seek out a paid role while wrapping up my studies?I'm truly invested in my current internship and hesitant to step away only to try and find my way back in later. They have a few other MBA interns that I believe they'd hire over me, but I have shown that my value add comes from knowing some programming languages.

If any of you have navigated a similar situation, I'd greatly appreciate your insights.

Most Helpful

Just depends on what you wanna do. I think “breaking into VC” is different than “staying in vc”. If you’re sharp, work hard, network right, and stay patient, you’ll land at a firm. I’ve seen lots of people break into VC who aren’t nearly as sharp as others who have tried—but they just stayed persistent.

As for “staying in VC”, the biggest 2 cents I’d have is to narrow down what kind of VC you’d want to work for or start/run. The difference between the folks Ive seen break in vs stay in is the ability to be an expert in something—top 1%ers. Could be in having relationships with top family offices and endowments in a certain area. Could be know and are well respected by founders and builders in EdTech. Etc. they found their niche in VC and became great it.

For example—with your scenario. Say you want to do eventually do a PropTech VC, then maybe going the real estate investor route makes a lot of sense because you’ll get a lot of exposure in that sector. But if you want to do SaaS or generalist pre-seed/seed, then startup operating will be vastly more relevant. Narrowing down to the sector/stage/or maybe even geo of what excites you will make it a lot easier to concentrate your networking efforts, jobs/employers to target, and what to build a domain expertise in.


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