Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New [Superlative] Mentor!

During my Stanford interview, my alumni interviewer, a young private equity VP, explained his challenges moving to the geography in which we both currently live, a "tier-2" city with a very small business community. Given my desire to move back to this area in the long term, he recommended networking as much as possible in my desired post-MBA field before leaving for business school because so much business here is conducted in person.

To that end, I have reached out to a few leaders in the local venture community over the past couple months. And this morning, I felt like I hit the jackpot: I met a young, bright, HBS-educated VC. Yes, I'm sure there are many of those floating around, but I connected with this person and have a feeling (hope) that we will stay in close touch. She is smart, "balanced," friendly, doesn't have a tech background (like me), and has lots of ideas on who I should talk to in the area and possible ways for me to get into the local start-up/venture capital community. She has already offered to make two great introductions.

Plus--and this is huge--her firm hires MBA interns! Obviously, she didn't offer me a job, but I imagine I will at least be able to interview with her group in the fall. She didn't have a lot of great ideas for how to combat my tech/engineering deficiency, and acknowledged that that has also been a major challenge for her. However, she make me feel like it will be an additional challenge, NOT an insurmountable obstacle. Readers: any thoughts on how to tackle this deficiency?

4 comments:

paragon2pieces said...

I am still struggling to tackle this deficiency myself. Are you open to sharing the ideas that your new mentor provided on this topic?

On the entrepreneurial side, I find that as long as you have a capacity to quickly understand underlying technologies on a higher, but still detailed level, you can still assist in the opportunity identification process in a meaningful way. But can this be true in the VC space when it is already filled with so many folks with advanced technical degrees?

PS - I am new to your blog and I hope that you'll love Stanford. I was an undergrad there and found the resources fantastic on that level. I can only imagine how impressive the resources must be at the GSB!

Anonymous said...

You can perhaps tackle two internships during the summer between yr1 and yr2. Say, spend 1.5 months with a tech startup or established tech firm such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and then 1.5 months with a tech oriented VC firm. Just an idea....

On Track to an MBA said...

Welcome to MBA networking...isn't it wonderful? I posted a link to your blog on my page.

Palo Alto for a While said...

One thing that worked for her was to do a project for each of two VCs that she wanted to work for while she was at HBS.

The other thing she suggested was to be a consumer of as much social media/tech services as possible.

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