Venture Capital Jobs Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘careers

Finally getting started on the VC Careers eBook

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Image by Feuillu via Flickr

Here’s the first stab at the forward for the VC careers eBook. I’m going to build the content around this, so please let me know if there are topics that you think I missed or that you want to make sure are included in the chapters I’ve outlined here. Comments are very welcomed and appreciated.


It’s no surprise that it’s not easy to get a venture capital job when you consider some of the factors at play:

  • There are very few VC jobs to begin with
  • People tend to stay in a VC job for a long time
  • Venture capital is not a growth industry; The number of people employed in the field does not typically increase annually (in fact, it may start decreasing going forward)
  • VCs only hire through trusted referrals
  • VCs are generally well compensated
  • VCs work with entrepreneurs who are trying to change the world, or at least the industries in which they operate (which is no small feat, either!)
  • Bottom line: VC is a great industry and the jobs are great, too

The combination of scarcity and quality of the jobs makes for a big labor supply/demand imbalance that works mightily against the venture capital job seeker.

The goal of this eBook is to share what I learned during my venture capital job search process with the hopes that you can leverage some of the strategies and tactics that worked for me during your job search process.

Chapters and topics include:

  • Acknowledgements and thank you’s (A shoutout to everyone that I can remember who helped me or met with me during my search)
  • What’s the job of a junior VC? (A discussion of the day-to-day work of an analyst or associate)
  • Onramps to venture capital (Discussion of the feeder jobs and industries to the venture capital industry)
  • Do you need an MBA?
  • What makes a good VC? (Discussion of skils that can help you be successful in this industry)
  • Where are the jobs? (Finding/creating venture capital job opportunities)
  • Where are the internships? (Finding/creating internship opportunities as an undergrad or grad student)
  • Introductions and followups (The lifeblood of a VC job hunt)
  • The Informational Interview (Once you get it, how to get the most out of it)
  • Offer negotiations (If you’re fortunate enough to have offers to join multiple firms)
  • Exit options (If you’re not a VC lifer, some thoughts on careers that might make sense post-VC)
  • Final advice
  • Online information sources (Sites and blogs that I found useful during my job hunt)

If you are interested in careers in venture capital, think about subscribing to my mailing list. I promise not to spam you and will only send information related to venture capital jobs and careers. Please input your email address in the field (and click ‘Submit’) below if you would like to subscribe.

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Written by John Gannon

May 10, 2009 at 9:33 am

New kid on the block: How a junior VC can contribute to portfolio companies

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(This post is one in a series of posts and third-party resources related to careers in venture capital.)

As a junior staffer at a VC firm, I think its important to understand where and how you can be helpful to portfolio companies.  The advice I received from my venture capital teachers Stuart Ellman and Will Porteous of RRE Ventures (blog) has stuck with me, and I’ve tried to operate using that advice since starting my VC career.

I’m paraphrasing here (it’s been about a year since the class where we discussed it) but in essence, the advice was to simply be helpful and humble.

Here are some examples of ways that a junior VC can add value:

  • Business development: Introducing the company to potential customers and partners in their network.
  • Fundraising: Introducing the company to other VCs during the fundraising process and helping the company develop their investor pitch materials.
  • Recruiting:  Portfolio company is looking for a couple of engineers?  Get the job description, post it on some boards that might be relevant and forward it out to your LinkedIn network.  Maybe make some phone calls to folks in your personal network to see if anyone would be interested in the roles.
  • Strategy: If you have an interest in corporate strategy and/or a background in strategy consulting, and the company is looking to explore new markets or the competitive landscape, see if you can lend some of your experience by helping crunch numbers, helping to put together the board presentation, etc.
  • Listening and learning: Learn as much as you can about the company and the industry in which it operates.  Attend board meetings and listen!  VC is an apprenticeship business, so in many cases, the best approach is to sit down, shut up, and open your ears!

Company management, the VC partners who have invested in the company, and the founders will be adding the most value and steering the ship.  As a junior staffer at a VC firm, your job is to be ready to help out wherever they identify a need they’d like you to address OR to identify a need and then socialize it with your boss(es) at the firm to see if its something they’d like you to pursue.

You definitely don’t want to go off half-cocked, ginning up initiatives and projects without making sure that they are viewed as value-add by the partners and company management.

If there are any other junior VCs out there (I know some of you are lurking!), it would be great to hear some of your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t related to working with portfolio companies.

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Written by John Gannon

April 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

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Any interest in an eBook on “How to get a job in venture capital” ?

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I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a short (< 50 page) e-Book about how to get a job in venture capital.  All proceeds from the eBook would go to charity.  To gauge interest, I’ve created a couple of polls.  I would appreciate your input if you’re someone who has interest in venture capital careers.  I’ll share the results in a couple of weeks once there are a good number of responses.

Thanks for your help!

Written by John Gannon

March 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm

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