Monday, September 04, 2006

How to find out how to find a VC internship

No. My english isn't that bad. I just thought that it was a funny title for a blog entry.
A geek like me can find 10 girlfriends (at the same time) easier than find a VC internship. Not a great analogy and probably an exaggeration. That said, it is "hard" to find a VC internship.
But hard is relative. Its harder than finding a McKinsey gig or harder than finding your IB gig. But easier than starting a successful startup. The trick is to commit to finding a VC internship. If you are hellbent on finding one, you probably will. The way I structured my search was as follows:

Step 1. Talk to all 2nd years who did anything related to Venture Capital
This is the best resource that us Bschoolers have and we usually dont use it well enough. Find people who previously worked in VC or did something related to that in their summers and talk to them. They have gone through the phase you are going to go through and they know the drift.

Step 2. Find mentors/people who will bat for you (among your peers/2nd years)
I found Arif Janmohamed, Mukul Chawla and Sandeep Lodha. Arif now works at Cisco M&A, Mukul is at Warburg Pincus and Sandeep crossed the border to Bain. But all of these had VC related summers or had recruited at VC firms. I got to know them and they mentored me on everything from my resume to the process to the pitch. They gave me contacts and opportunities. And then coached me on how to make the best of those opportunities.
Find people like that and hang on to them. Its a small world, if you are good, you will cross paths with your peers. So don't be afraid to ask for favors. You will get an opportunity to return it. But most of all, don't waste people's time. If you are not commited or are just testing waters, be upfront about it.

It's kind of like life right? There are usually people who know more about things than you do. Your options are to bumble along and find the path yourselves, or to be open to learning the path from others. Some paths are to be forged individually and some are more apprenticeship-model based. VC is more latter than the former.

Anyways, at the end of these steps, I had a clue as to the process that awaits me.


Prashant Sachdev said...

Well thanks for sharing information on internship. I am doing in the same way as you have suggested but still not lucky enough to find one.

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