Comments (35)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 31, 2021 - 12:51pm

Current Stanford senior here. I will say that breaking into VC out of undergrad is very possible. The most notable recent alumni that did this is Gaby Goldberg '21 who who interned at Bessemer but is now at a crypto native fund. Sequoia, a16z, and Kleiner Perkins all have offices ~5 min. away from campus (on a bike at that) - so with the right networking it would be very easy for your cousin to intern in VC multiple times before graduating.

However, I would not advise starting out in VC because there really isn't a path to seniority. Most partner-track VCs come in as associates/junior partners (Sequoia lol) post IB+PE or IB+GE gig OR they come in after successfully exiting a startup of their own (probably at a role more senior to associates). If your cousin is dead set on VC but not to interested in the heralded IB pathway, Stanford does offer the opportunity to start out in a PE role out of undergrad. That way she could start out on the investing side and after 2 years end up in VC with some quality reps under her belt. As far as I know, KKR (OCR), Bain (OCR), Warburg Pincus (OCR), Spectrum Equity (Internship w/ ability to convert), JMI Equity (Internship w/ ability to convert), General Atlantic (Internship w/ ability to convert), Audax, and Altamont Capital Partners all recruit out of undergrad at Stanford.

Edit: Removed false information about Gaby Goldberg.

  • Analyst 1 in VC
Dec 31, 2021 - 1:20pm

Great points above; Although I would argue that there is a path to seniority if you can get into the right program out of undergrad. For example, there are multiple current partners at Bessemer and Insight who started off as analysts at those firms and got promoted all the way through (no MBA). Another data point, is that close to 40% of analysts from Bessemer's analyst program are now partners at VC firms (including Benchmark, CRV, as well as two of the founding partners at Lead Edge). Some programs are definitely more of a two and out and at smaller vc firms there will be literally no path to seniority.

Dec 31, 2021 - 3:24pm
drippydrippy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Gaby Goldberg's mom doesn't work at Bessemer...can't be assuming things like that just because she and Talia have the same last name lol

  • 2
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 31, 2021 - 3:34pm

apologies for my ignorance, I heard that from other students here and didn't do my diligence lol. All the other points still stand

Jan 2, 2022 - 8:46pm
dapp43758, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Her aunt or relative works at Bessemer, Talia Goldberg[https://www.bvp.com/team/talia-goldberg]. It was a factor in how she got selected into the role for Bessemer. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 31, 2021 - 3:32pm

This shouldn't be made to seem like Stanford is the only place this is possible. GA, JMI know for a fact they recruit from my semi target (which considering how semi of a target my school is they definitely recruit at better schools too)

Funniest
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 31, 2021 - 3:36pm

Please take your semi target insecurity elsewhere because nothing about my reply suggests this is only possible at Stanford. OP's cousin is a Stanford student so I obviously emphasized the recruiting experience at this school.

  • Analyst 1 in VC
Dec 31, 2021 - 1:03pm

Look at Bessemer Venture Partner's analyst program. Arguably one of the best analyst programs for people interested in early stage vc. Most analyst programs out of undergrad are going to be focused on growth investments (either at typical GE firms - Insight, Summit, GA, Lead Edge, etc...  or the growth arms of VC firms - Accel growth, Norwest growth, etc...). Majority of roles will be sourcing based out of undergrad. However, sourcing is an extremely important skillset to have in VC, so ideally find a program that lets juniors participate in the dilligence process alongside sourcing (I know Bessemer works like this).

Going to Stanford will open a lot of opportunities in this space. I'd recommend interning at a startup her summer after first year (one that has raised a Series A or B). Second year summer, I'd recommend getting an internship at a local vc firm like you mentioned. It shouldn't be too hard to find a vc internship from Stanford during that summer at a smaller shop. This is ideal  because it would let her know if she's really interested in this space. If she still is, she will be set up perfectly for junior year summer recruiting at top firms in this space. If she's not as interested as she thought, she can explore other finance or consulting options for her junior year.

I'd also recommend trying to get into Dorm Room Fund or Contrary Capital - these programs are great learning experiences for those interseted in VC and will be a great resume boost.

Dec 31, 2021 - 1:22pm
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's doable. I went to the statiest of state schools. Absolutely no placements into IB or other front office roles.

Made it through 7 interviews for a VC deal team role. Was narrowly beat out. If you go to a target school, you'll have no trouble.

Jan 1, 2022 - 11:14am
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah it was basically the whole team since they're a small shop. They're currently raising their 3rd fund at around $75m. They promised to get back by a certain date then ghosted. Then 2 months later reached out and apologized. Said they went with someone else and were trying to work a 2nd associate seat into their budget but couldn't make it work.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 31, 2021 - 3:25pm

Very do-able more and more firms hiring. 
 

I thought about this a lot too and ended up not doing it. My reason being you could very well be joining at the top of the market at the least value add / most fire-able position. Plus, what tangible skills are you building for other roles? Obviously you'd be set up well for other investing positions, but if the market tops and you get canned I'm sure other firms aren't looking to hire. Just a bear case hypothetical but something to think about. I'm risk-averse (and not sure that I want to be a career investor) so it also made sense for me from that perspective. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Dec 31, 2021 - 4:50pm

Could you please elaborate more - attempting to understand why and what a better alternative would be?

  • Prospect in CorpStrat
Jan 1, 2022 - 9:06am

Hello!

Undergrad intern at a VC here, and let me tell you that breaking into VC as an undergrad is very feasible, especially if you've had a couple of ib/pe/vc internships under your belt. I've seen plenty of colleagues do that. However, what i'd say is that I think it's better to go for IB instead of VC directly as it helps build your foundations better, and you'd have a more structured learning path as opposed to working with a VC

  • 1
Jan 1, 2022 - 7:08pm
teamryan15, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As someone in the space I think it's the worst idea to go directly into VC straight from undergrad. My firm recruits from undergrad and I think the folks that come IB consulting or a startup are better positioned 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 1, 2022 - 7:45pm

Thanks for sharing. Do people from PE place in VC as well and have the skill set to succeed ? If so, trying to place in PE out of undergrad may be a better route to take.

  • Intern in Consulting
Jan 2, 2022 - 1:00am

Working in VC as a new grad is like being a baseball coach when you've never played the game. It just doesn't make any sense because you can't evaluate a startup without experience. And because of that, it makes sense most junior VCs are sourcing because that's the only place they're capable of adding value.

I'd suggest your friend intern/work 1-1.5 years at FAANG (for a brand-name employer, though since they're at Stanford this matters less), then join a breakout Series B/C startup backed by top VCs as a PM/SWE. This is the path I'm taking. You'll learn way more about what it takes for a startup to succeed, your equity may become worth a ton, and you'll become a great candidate to work at a VC after.

Jan 2, 2022 - 8:50pm
dapp43758, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This 1000%. It's a bad sign if someone wants to be a VC, but has never founded a startup or was an operator an early, high-growth startup. 

Mar 10, 2022 - 2:50pm
BuyTheDipShortTheVixFBitcoin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wondering what your thoughts are on types of positions to go after with early stage VC backed start ups to get a role in the company that will give you a real understanding of the business and would help with developing skills to bring to VC?

  • Incoming Analyst in PE - Growth
Jan 2, 2022 - 2:24am

I worked at a VC over my covid gap year, was pretty easy to land the role since they are fairly major and term agnostic compared to IB/HF/PE. Just get ready to network hard.

I'd second the above advice - working in VC is a really cool gig but Analysts are shut off from rising into management and there is an unbelievable amount of material to learn.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jan 2, 2022 - 4:10am

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