Summer Internship: PE/Search Fund in US vs. Venture Capital in China

I'm a rising junior at a liberal arts college, interested in doing PE/VC. I would try to do IBD if I can't get in a buy-side right out of college.
I got two offers for the summer internship:
1. A new/small search fund pe firm at the stage of searching. My role would be doing industry research and sourcing the target companies.
2. A top 20 vc firm in China. My job would be following a director, meeting entrepreneurs with him, and doing some analysis of the companies.
I'm Chinese. Getting an intern in US is not easy, esp. a pe internship. I think the search fund internship is basically sourcing and research in the office. The vc internship is more like meeting with founders at their places. Both are good for me to understand businesses and industries. What do you think?

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Comments (7)

 
Apr 2, 2015 - 5:54am

According to my experience, these two options are really different and your choice depends on your goals and wishes. I while ago I got at the interview with MD of VC fund and he said to me: "looking at your resume it seems to me that you wanna get to IB or PE and I would really suggest you not to waste time on smth that you do not consider as your position in 5 years, for instance". And this advice really helped me a couple of times.
Also, regarding your duty it seems to me that PE will be more relevant, because it's some sort of fundamental. and I cannot say the same about your duty in VC, because next time after this internship when you are trying to get somewhere else you will be told something like this:"we need an analyst not VP". I hope you will understand what I mean. All in all, the main message is PE is relevant, VC is not. Position in PE is analyst, position in VC is secretary (as it seems to me).
Anyway, everything is up to you and think thoroughly.
GL

 
Apr 7, 2015 - 8:19pm

Dilemma: PE/Search Fund in US vs. Venture Capital in China (Originally Posted: 04/01/2015)

I'm a rising junior at a liberal arts college, interested in doing PE/VC. I would try to do IBD if I can't get in a buy-side right out of college.
I got two offers for the summer internship:
1. A new/small search fund pe firm at the stage of searching. My role would be doing industry research and sourcing the target companies.
2. A top 20 vc firm in China. My job would be following a director, meeting entrepreneurs with him, and doing some analysis of the companies.
I'm Chinese. Getting an intern in US is not easy, esp. a pe internship. I think the search fund internship is basically sourcing and research in the office. The vc internship is more like meeting with founders at their places. Both are good for me to understand businesses and industries. What do you think?

 
Apr 7, 2015 - 8:20pm

Having a relevant sophomore year internship is a leg up, and either of these options should make for pretty compelling stories when you go to get your final internship before senior year. So you're in good shape.

Personally, in your shoes, I would probably go top 20 VC in China because (i) you are definitely going to work with institutional quality professionals whereas the search fund guys might just be some ex b-school kids going for it (and they might not have all that much going on during your time with them); (ii) I think it's a pretty unique oppty to be a Chinese person with a US education who can go be at the forefront of the PE/VC industry in China, which is probably a much better market to be a GP in over the next 40 years vs. the US, and getting a sophomore year internship there is a great start.

My 2c.

 
Apr 7, 2015 - 8:22pm
Play the long game - give back, help out, mentor - just don't ever forget where you came from. #Bootstrapped
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