Venture capital Internship

Hello everyone ,

I am starting my first internship at a venture capital firm (family office) and would like to get a few tips on how to succeed. The fund is focused on digital health investments.
I've been following WSO for several months now and find it to be a very useful resource - however, I don't find much information on the venture capital industry.

First, let me give you a little bit of my background:
I am from Europe and moved to Canada after high school about a year and a half ago. I am a student in my second year of university (finance undergrad).
English is my second language and I sometimes struggle to clearly explain ideas during conversations. I somehow managed to get through the interview process and get this internship.

Here are two specific questions that I have:
1) Are there specific skills that I will acquire throughout my VC internship that will give me an edge over other candidates for internship positions in PE, IB or consulting? (Generally speaking, how can I leverage the experience I will get out of this internship to help me get other internships in later on?)
2) If my boss does not ask me whether I want to be with him at his in-person meetings, is it ok to ask him to join and listen in?
3) This question is very vague, but are there specific codes in the VC industry or the finance industry in general that I should be aware of as an intern?


Comments (8)

Feb 18, 2020 - 4:41pm

From my experience, the things that will always set you apart are whether or not you can speak confidently on the deals you've worked on and what actual work you get during the internship.

Try to get on any deal that you can, always ask questions about calls that you sit in on or about the larger scope of work that you're asked to do. Don't be afraid to ask to sit in on calls, the majority of the time the answer will be yes, given you ask using sense. Also, don't be afraid to ask fundamental questions and try to understand the interworking of things you're interested in (of course, if you can easily google it, don't ask those questions).

Having VC on your resume as a sophomore is impressive enough. If you prove yourself and get some good work during your internship, you'll easily be able to leverage the internship to get other internships in IB or consulting.

Good luck on the rest of your term.

Feb 20, 2020 - 11:07am

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

Also, I know that they will attend conferences in the US to find potential deals and meet with other investors (the first one they will attend is going to be 2 months after the start of my internship).
If the whole team is attending the conference, does it make sense if I ask to attend as well or is it inappropriate as I will be an intern? Should I ask to pay for my expenses (flight tickets, hotels, meals, etc...)?

Feb 24, 2020 - 2:26am

To be frank, I don't think it's likely they'll let you go. If they're scouting for deals, this means client meetings or in the setting of a conference just general networking one on one or the like.

While it would be a great opportunity, to have an intern tag along doesn't make sense logistically/likely gives off an odd vibe to prospective clients. If you end up asking to go, let me know what the verdict is!

Feb 24, 2020 - 5:21pm

Don't ask to go to these events but do great work for the first 2 months and it's possible you'll get the invite.

1. Know your industry, identify trends/opportunities, and listen a LOT.
2. Take initiative but don't be overbearing/annoying.
3. Present yourself well every day. Be on time. Show your team that you can be trusted.
4. MOST IMPORTANT - find a mentor on your team. Bring them a lot of value and build a deep relationship. Having someone to vouch for you will be your biggest asset during your internship and career.


"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
  • 1
Feb 27, 2020 - 1:42pm

No. I mean if you know someone needs help with something, even if it's doing a coffee run or restocking snacks, do it. Attend company outings/happy hours/grill outs. Initiative comes in many forms.

Don't ask questions on calls unless you think the questions will yield real valuable answers that the VC doesn't already know the answer to (which is unlikely).

Again, find an internal mentor. They'll be able to tell you if you should ask questions on calls, or, the mentor can ask the questions if they think it's necessary. That doesn't mean you need approval for everything though. Be bold and take initiative, but be coachable by finding a mentor.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
  • 1
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