Dear VCs

Dear VCs,

I am a 19 year old student studying at what is perceived to be one of the most prestigious Accounting and Finance programs in Canada. I'm not so sure I can see myself doing an IB job or being a hard-working accountant. The reasons being are:

1. I fucking love start-up companies. I love the risk, I love the innovation and the lightning speed they move in that it makes Flash look like the Hulk.
2. I like marketing. I'm working in the Marketing department in one of the Tech giants at the moment as my first internship.

I can't seem to enjoy myself however with just doing one of these things. I want to do them all together. Enter VCs. I was hoping someone could lead me towards any VC opportunities for interns in the upcoming year somewhere in California or NYC. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Comments (11)

Jan 23, 2013 - 1:17am

I don't think VCs would look at you without prior ibanking/corp fin experience.... I'm not even talking about FT experience but at least a summer analyst stint. I know I got an interview from a well-known VC after working for a summer at a tech ibank in SF...

Stop asking for things to be handed to you.

Jan 23, 2013 - 2:01am

Previous experience in IB (or consulting) actually is not a must to intern or get an analyst opportunity in VC. That said, these opportunities are extremely rare. I suggest you continue the networking approach that you're using now to find VC opportunities; you could also look for (eg tech) startup experience now (there's always work around...). If this leads to nothing while in college I recommend you take the MBB route (better training) and go VC when the opportunity comes up. PM me for qs.

Jan 23, 2013 - 2:13am

Sorry i assumed you were in high school... But basically pursue MBB the closer you get to graduation.

Jan 23, 2013 - 2:24pm

From my perspective, majoring in accounting doesn't exactly scream 'big risk taker'.

Hm so you think he/she should major in modern dance? That sure as hell screams "risk."

I prefer underwater basket weaving, but, to each his own.
Jan 28, 2013 - 3:21pm

If you want to work in startups or VC, then switch to computer science or electrical engineering.

Jan 28, 2013 - 6:33pm

First: Don't swear. Even though we all hide behind funky names and pictures, this is a professional platform and you're getting judged by the quality and content of your posts. To give you an example, a guy reached out to me last year. Our exchanges led to him being considered for a position at my VC fund. Any foul language would have been a non-starter. "Oh but I just said fucking once" ... doesn't matter. One word is enough.

Second, good job: You made the right first step -- asking yourself how to get where you want at an early age.

If you love innovation, you gotta beef up your background with some tangible knowledge/skills. And you gotta make a move academically, now.

Two paths for you:

1) Your accounting/finance degree is of little value to VCs or startups for now (they do have accountants/controllers; these are usually experienced CPAs; but that's not a role you'd be interested in I assume). Get a double major, or a minor, in the science that is the foundation of your sector of interest. I would even consider a Master's degree in that field if you're passionate about innovation. Go work for a startup after graduation.

2) Same academic move as #1 (build a scientific background in your field of interest). Go work in investment banking or consulting after your acc/finance degree is earned. Don't listen to the horror stories of banking, it's a fantastic business education. Work there for 2-3 years; learn your sector inside/out (better than your bosses) then head to a VC fund as pre-MBA -- it's very tough to do though, so b-school or heading straight to a startup are options.

I personally had a double major in engineering and finance. The combo kicked my ass, but opened many doors. I went into investment banking (first job out of school), then venture capital. My industry internships were key to secure a VC internship my junior year; that VC internship was key to get the full-time investment banking gig, and the whole combination of experiences was what got me into VC full time... and it basically kept on building like a pyramid from there. See the pattern?

Many doors will open if you're driven, but you gotta arm yourself with the right knowledge and skills.

Good luck.

Aei ho theos geōmetreî
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