Q&A: 1st year VC analyst (~750M AUM)
Have been using WSO as a source of info for quite some time (soph year of college... now 3 years out of college) and decided to see if I could contribute in any way. I will try to be as responsive as possible to any questions you may have. See my story below:
Joined a consulting firm after undergrad
Graduated from a non-ivy school studying finance and statistics. While in school, I discovered early on that I'd want to do management consulting (for a lot of the typical reasons people go into consulting for). After graduating college I joined a consulting firm and worked there for roughly 2 years. Frankly I did not enjoy the role as much as I thought I would - felt that a lot of my work was quite frankly bs - always felt that 80% of my tasks/projects were 'check in the boxes' and things that needed to be done to get a deck together, and 20% of my work actually made an impact on my clients. Maybe this was because I didn't work at MBB? My favorite part of the role often was the first couple weeks of a case, where everything was completely new and, in cases where partners didn't know the 'answer', there was actually something to solve.
Ready to leave consulting
Towards the end of my stint, I decided consulting wasn't for me and wanted to break into PE/VC (buyside roles that focused on operations or market more so than financial engineering... so ultimately felt earlier stage was a better fit for me). In terms of industry focus, I was pretty agnostic - I was a generalist at my consulting firm and had a wide variety of experience. I personally was more interested in life sci / healthcare as I enjoyed learning about science behind products / technology. I felt that if I found the right firm, I could flip that 80/20 ratio and do high impact work at a high frequency. I reached out to recruiters. I went through the traditional recruiter network path and relied much more on that avenue than I think most folks in VC do (i.e. didn't spend nearly as much time networking with professionals as maybe I should have).
Opportunity at a healthcare VC
The recruiting process was brutal for me, I kept getting to final rounds and bounced out for a variety of reasons - much of the feedback i received was "they just liked the other guy's IB background better than a consulting background". I'm sure my technicals were not as sound as the IB competition I faced at later stage buyside shops, and a combination of bad luck didn't help. I was recruiting for about 6 months and there were many times I felt like giving up. Finally an opportunity came across me from a healthcare vc that seemed like a strong fit given my natural interest in the industry. Got the job and have been here for a little under a year.
Activities at my current role
So far it's been fantastic. The role itself is a non-sourcing role with a heavy emphasis on diligence (reading newco pitches we get from our pipeline and presenting anything interesting to the senior team, and conducting deep diligence for opportunities we take a liking to). Conducting diligence includes a wide range of activities: financial diligence (building cap tables and returns/waterfall analysis), market / competitive diligence (conducting primary research), direct interactions with the c-suite of the company, building market sizing models and in later stage opportunities building out projections, working with outside counsel on legal strategy for voting rights, protective provisions, etc.
Anyways, there's a lot more info I've left out of here, but hopefully this gives you some background and am happy to answer any questions for folks that have them.