How To Get A Job In Venture Capital

One of my favorite VC posts of all times was my partner Seth Levine’s post titled How to become a venture capitalistI regularly get emails from folks looking for a job in the VC industry and I almost always point them at this post.

Seth has followed up with a new post titled How to get a job in venture capital (revisited).  It’s updated with some additional information for those that respond to the first post by saying "I get it that it’s hard, but what should I do over the next five years to position myself for a VC job.

Both make up the great VC post of the day.  Enjoy.

  • These are good reads. The most interesting part is that Seth seems to be conflicted about his recommendations- seemingly because he knows lots of good VCs who didn't get there through any of these paths, and maybe because he also knows some not-so-good ones who did. The suggestions increase the odds, though. Fair enough.

    I have never had any desire to be a VC, but I've done a lot of career networking and I realized a long time ago that when you ask most people how they got to ___ position, the answer is usually “well, it really happened by chance. I was doing XYZ when I met ABC and . . . ”

    My takeaway was that it is *really* hard to pick a destination and get there within a specific timeframe. At the same time, fortune favors the well-prepared. I guess that's where the B-school, banking and startup experiences come in.

    • sethlevine

      Jay – I thought I'd respond directly to your comment. There are perhaps two real questions here: 1) what can you do to increase your odds of getting a VC job and 2) what will best prepare you for a VC job. I was answering #1 and while there's clearly overlap there with #2, there are also plenty of ares that don't, which is the ambivalence you're picking up on. Ultimately it comes down to a little luck and being in the right place at the right time (which you've also pointed out); my suggestions at their core are all about maximizing both. As they say – luck comes to those who work hard… Thanks for the comment. seth

  • Jason Mendelson

    I will point out, however that only Brad has a (sorta 🙂 ) MBA of the group. That is why Seth is clearly conflicted as 4 of the 5 partners here found “other” ways to become VCs

    • Dude – my MBA is better than your ordinary run of the mill MBA. It included a thesis which turned it into an SM (or MS for those of you out there from liberal arts schools). At MIT, we call them SM's to emphasize the pain we go through to get them.

      • Jason Mendelson

        Especially better since I don't even have an ordinary run of the mill MBA.