Big Tech PM to PE/VC

I'm a senior at a target studying CS with a 3.8+ GPA. I'll be joining a FAANGMUL as a PM next year after interning at a BB over this past summer. 

The PM offer had the best pay, hours, exit ops, and work content I could hope for. As a result, I chose that over returning to finance.

However, I feel I do want to make the move to investing at some point in my 20s, whether it be through a MBA or directly to PE/VC.

What would be the path to getting there? I have some modeling skills from my summer in finance and some solid connections from school who're going to top BB IB/PE right out of college, but I'm not sure what the path is. Thank you!

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Comments (24)

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in CorpStrat
Nov 15, 2020 - 1:19pm

I think vc is possible if you network right. Try to do product 2 years -> VC associate or do product 2 years - > hot series b start up for a few years -> stanford/harvard mba -> VC senior associate/vp

Nov 16, 2020 - 9:55am

I agree with this. Bear in mind that as a junior VC sourcing is generally your key value add - so make sure to network and build reputation with startups during your tenure (you can't solely rely on your operational knowledge as a PM).

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Nov 17, 2020 - 2:20pm

LinkedIn? 

“How do you measure yourself against other golfers” “By height”
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 16, 2020 - 6:52pm

lmao exactly; trying to assert for no reason. And wtf is FAANGMUL lolol guy needs to chill 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 17, 2020 - 2:01pm

Yep sure still gonna have better exit ops into VC then you. Feel free to hit me up when you get kicked out of your 2 year shitty rotational PM job at a ' FAANG MUL" 

Nov 17, 2020 - 10:36pm

guessing you got it bc you're just attacking and not really contributing. PM does have great exit opps but it's not an intense focus and covered to death like in IB since people actually like the job and try to exit TO it

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 17, 2020 - 5:29pm

Congrats on the PM offer. Let's just differentiate between the different types of PE businesses you'd be able to crack versus not crack with a product background. If you want a traditional LBO Private Equity experience then you will need to do BB/MM IB or MBB consulting (mainly IB is the safest bet here) shortly after your PM role because those types of PE shops are heavily focused on the financial modeling skillset and transactional nature that IB prepares you quite well for...you will have an incredibly hard challenge ahead of you coming into the PE recruiting cycle with a PM background. In most cases a lot of shops won't take you seriously and HH will not engage with you much at all bc of your lack of banking experience. One 10 week summer at GS/MS/JPM in a top group on your resume won't sway their minds too much. Software focused Growth Equity shops are a great match for your type of background in the Private Equity world. These place typically look for the 2 year IB experience but from a quick search on Linkedin you can see that some shops will take people with strong operative positions at early-stage startups, APM from Google/ RPM from FB, Sales/Marketing/Product at a strongly established unicorn or maybe one of their PC or former PC. This will not be easy but it will be a lot more feasible and you can spin your story in a way to make it seem that you have the versatility to get technical and understand how a business works from an operative viewpoint while also developing an investor mindset. The main reason Growth Equity is more feasible is because often times many Growth shops will have the junior guys focus on 50% sourcing and 50% deal work and the technical aspect of the deal work doesn't require an in-depth financial modeling skill set which is why these places would feel comfortable taking a shot at hiring someone with an  APM or PM background or startup experience. VC will be the easiest and most straightforward exit in comparison to the other two above. The only issue is VC junior roles don't open up as much as some of the PE roles do and the recruiting in the VC world is so randomized and lacks complete structure so it will really come down to more of a a "who you know" rather than "what you know" type of situation. If you're at a top competitive APM program, don't hesitate to reach out to the APM classes above you and see where they went after their time at the company and start getting warm introductions with them now for the sake of building out that network so when it's time you can start executing strategically and are not scrambling to learn more about the industry. Also keep in mind in *most* not all of these exits you may experience a pay cut so keep that in the back of your mind as well. I have heard that these APM/PM roles compensate handsomely and finance sometimes lags a bit in the early years but over the 10-year horizon catches up and scales better than Tech salaries with no real cap on earnings.     

Nov 17, 2020 - 7:42pm

From PM you aren't going into vanilla PE, but i doubt that's what you really wanted. VC is possible, but at the same time I'd think would require an MBA like the above mentioned. 

I'm curious why you chose PM over BB which I've seen multiple people from my grow move into VC straight after 2 years of IB without having to do a  2-year MBA. You mention work life balance -- that checks out. Comp... if the difference was under 50K it's negligible. And lastly, work interest -- it's vastly different at PM versus IB but if you're ultimately interested in VC than neither of those are what you do as a junior in VC which is primarily sourcing. 

This just leads me to be a bit confused is all. 

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