VC Analyst vs. Growth Equity vs. Consulting vs. IB

qbp's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 24

I might have an opportunity to work full-time at a medium-sized VC firm I worked at during an internship. I would be their only pre-MBA employee, so training and salary would be limited. I would basically have the freedom to act as a partner, just without the ability to make final decisions on investments. During my internship I had free reign over how I spent my day and had the chance to meet with company CEOs and VPs by myself (even companies that have raised $15 milllion+) and either evaluate the companies for investment or offer strategic advice to current portfolio companies. The fund's partners are all top-MBA's, but the firm is generally unknown outside its main investment area (which is, however, the area I'm most interested in). I would most likely join a portfolio company, create my own, or pursue an MBA after a couple years.

I also have quite a few other opportunities in front of me (i.e. working at a top growth equity firm, IB, or consulting firm).

In some cases, my other opportunities might give me 1.5-2X the compensation, a bigger name, more secure future prospects with jobs or an MBA, and a lot more standardized training. However, I'm tempted to do the VC role because I enjoyed the learning experience so much, and I'm essentially obsessed with entrepreneurship and technology. I want to have a career as a tech founder and/or investor (I've had success as an entrepreneur in the past).

Am I crazy, or is this reasonable? I'm wondering if I'm simply being too impatient and there is value to be gained from consulting/ib/growth equity work before going into VC or starting a company, seeing that almost everyone in the industry does so in the case of VC.

Thanks for any wisdom you have to offer. Sorry for the long-winded post!

Comments (7)

Jul 25, 2012

"I'm tempted to do the VC roll because I enjoyed the learning experience so much, and I'm essentially obsessed with entrepreneurship and technology."

There's your answer.

Jul 25, 2012

^I appreciate your response, sorry about the sp.

Do you think it could really be worth the risk and cut in pay (55-70K vs. 80-100K)?

Jul 25, 2012

Consider it an investment in your future. You're much more likely to be successful at something you're passionate about than something that you're not. Besides your entry level salary means nothing, it's all about the skills you learn to progress towards higher positions/goals.

Jul 26, 2012

PM me. I went through the same decision-making last year, with banking and MBB as the opportunity set, and opted with VC.

Jul 26, 2012

KingPhoenix- thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I can't send PM's until I get "15 bananas", could you possibly PM me instead? I would definitely be interested in learning more from you.

Determined- I appreciate your response as well.

Jul 31, 2012

Speaking as someone who went into VC without IB/consulting/growth equity experience, I'd say that those experiences DO help. In my opinion, having a chance to break into VC pre-MBA is extremely rare and you should take advantage of the opportunity to do so. You'll gain great experience and be set up very well for a MBA and I could easily see someone moving from VC --> consulting or IB, even if it's pre-MBA. You might end up losing some experience making the switch and potentially have to start as a first-year analyst though. On the other hand, if you do want to do IB/consulting/growth equity first for the skills/$, you will still gain some great experience, however it's no guarantee you can break into VC later.

Basically to summarize, if you take VC now, you can always go out and do something and it'll be much easier to break back in, but if you do something else now, it's no promise you can get back into VC.

Aug 2, 2012