Venture Capital Associates
Venture capital firms are located throughout the United States and the world. Many U.S.-based firms are headquartered on the East Coast and in California. Many venture capital firms have fewer than 15 employees. Associates can also find work at corporations that have VC divisions, at the portfolio companies of venture capital firms, and in related industries such as private equity.
Venture capital firms are inundated with requests for interviews and information interviews. The time of venture capitalists is precious. If a VC firm lets it be known they have a single summer internship available, they can expect 300 resumes from people at the top 10 business schools. Now that you’re more aware of what you are up against, here’s a glint of hope—as a whole, venture capital firms are always hiring.
Your chance of landing a job greatly increases if you already have an MBA and have operational or deal-making experience in a related industry (e.g., private equity, investment banking). If you don’t, it helps to develop a strong professional network—ideally, with current associates or other in the industry, since many job leads are obtained through word of mouth and in-house referrals. To build your network, attend venture capital conferences, become active on LinkedIn, and volunteer with venture capital—or general business—organizations. One such organization is the VC Taskforce (http://www.vctaskforce.com), which provides networking and educational events—panels, workshops, conferences, and roundtable meetings—for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs seeking funding. According to its Web site, VC Taskforce is looking for volunteers with one or more of the following skills: writing and editing, public relations and marketing communications, event management, sales and business development, research and interviewing, social media, corporate relationship building, and program development and management. A six-month commitment is required.
Most associates do not make partner because 1) the majority of firms are too small to offer advancement opportunities to their associates, and 2) most managing partners prefer their principals and general partners to have some sort of entrepreneurial experience before being trusted to make investments. As a result, most associates typically work at a venture capital firm for two to three years before being leaving to earn their MBAs, work in operation roles at a portfolio companies, or found a startup.
For associates lucky enough to be on the partner track, the typical advancement path goes from associate, to senior associate, principal, general partner, and then managing partner.
Tips for Entry
Visit https://www.jobsearchdigest.com/private_equity_jobs/career_advice/how_to_get_a_vc_job to read “How to Get a Job in Venture Capital.”
Become active in your school’s business or finance club.
Be willing to relocate to venture capital hubs in California and on the East Coast. It will provide more opportunities.