April 15, 2020 | Noon - 1 PM CST Live Chat: Pursuing a Career in Entrepreneurship, Private Equity or Venture Capital
Home of the #1 University Accelerator in the US, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation bridges the gap between knowledge and practice through education, partnerships, events, and new venture creation. The center offer hands-on learning opportunities that span from startups and acquisition to private equity and fintech. If you’re considering a career or just interested in this space, join our live chat with current students and members from the Polsky Center.
Guest: Thank you all for your time! I am currently in PE, but would like to switch to VC. How hard is that transition? And what are some of the steps that folks take in order to get desk ready for a VC internship?
* Kelly Carlquist: Hi! Nice to chat with you all. In terms of switching from PE to VC, if you have direct investing experience, I think that is a helpful start in making that switch into VC. There are a lot of courses focused on venture capital that you can pursue to gain exposure to the asset class and start to dig into the differences between PE and VC. The Lab courses, taken in tandem with an internship, also provide accelerated exposure. Many (though not all) of the Lab internships roll into summer internships as well, which is good if you get an internship with a fund you like.
Guest: Which quarter do you recommend taking the PE/VC lab?
* J.P. Bowgen: The Private Equity / Venture Capital Lab is offered in the Spring. I'm currently taking it as a first year, but you have the choice to take it either your first year or second year. I'm really enjoying it, so I'd recommend taking it first year if you can!
Guest: How important is previous experience in private equity / venture capital (pre-MBA) for getting a role in the industry post-MBA?
* Jody Becker: previous experience does help, but there are always examples of students with no experience prior Booth being successful in the process. There are many ways to leverage former experience, such as deep industry knowledge or finance skills, and of course many ways at booth both academically and experientially to gain experience and position you well.
Guest: Hi - can you share how you juggle internships during the year and class work. Can you also touch on how you found the internships for the school year? Thanks!
* J.P. Bowgen: Absolutely. Booth's curriculum is incredibly flexible - you have the opportunity to plan your schedule accordingly to fit to the days you need to be in the office. PE and VC internships are usually 2-3 days per week. In my case, I take class Tuesday and Thursday, and work in the office Monday / Wednesday / Friday. There are many ways to find internships - you can use the Booth career portal (GTS) to look at job postings, and I'd also recommend just talking to your future classmates and expressing interest in wanting to take on an internship - you'd be surprised how quickly people will point you in the right direction. Networking, networking, networking!
Guest: Why pursue an MBA if you are interested in starting your own business? (E.g. why not focus time / resources exclusively on the business?)
* Amanda Blank: I actually went into Booth thinking that I wanted to come out doing Private Equity and developed my business idea while at Booth my 1st year- I probably wouldn't have had the risk tolerance to test out a new idea if not without the support of the Polsky center
Guest: Hi Kelly, I am from Mumbai. My question stems around the impact of Covid-19 on the VC environment in the United States (to the best of your knowledge).
* Kelly Carlquist: I am certainly no expert, and there is a lot that's still unknown. What I can say is that Booth's professors are ON IT and today (actually happening right now, I'm planning to listen to a replay) there's a "state of the market" chat that Professor McGowan and Professor Weiss are both doing - one for VC and one for PE. I also know of friends who are still interviewing for roles in VC, so it seems like there's still job opportunities available.
Guest: I am a graduate student and interested in the Booth Scholars Program. With the disruption in testing center's schedule, are there any accommodations in regards to GMAT scores?
* Kate Hoffman: Yes, for applications submitted by June 1, 2020, 11:59 pm CST, we will accept test scores through an extended deadline of July 1, 2020. We will accept the interim online alternative GMAT exam being offered by GMAC.
Guest: Do students that pursue entrepreneurship during the MBA program also usually recruit for internships/full-time jobs?
* Jody Becker: It depends on what your goals are! If you want to continue as an entrepreneur then you may want to be "all in" and pursue various activities, experiences and networking in that ecosystem. We also have many students who pursue activities such as new venture challenge, to gain experience on how to start a business from the earliest stages, how to commercialize a product, etc. and that easily transfers to many other MBA roles within established firms - so parallel recruiting.
Guest: Hi Kelly! Recruiting into VC is obviously very hard. Can you please discuss what Booth resources were available to you, and which of those you found most helpful in securing your post-MBA position? (Congratulations, by the way)
* Kelly Carlquist: Thank you! There are a ton of Booth resources available to recruit into VC. Polsky and Rustandy both have Investors and Entrepreneurs in Residence, which can provide specific guidance through their office hours. These are really seasoned people who have a wealth of experience and are interested in helping Booth students. The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital ("EVC") group is also helpful as you think about building your own an investment thesis. I'd also say to take advantage of the intra-quarter internships, which can give you hands on experience that can be used in interviews and more importantly can help you get a sense of what it is you're passionate about.
Guest: Question for J.P., can you speak a bit more about the EVC Club at Booth and the various opportunities it has exposed you to? Also, what sparked your interest in VC and early-stage companies? Thanks so much for taking the time!!
* J.P. Bowgen: EVC hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from VC "bootcamps" to fireside chats with Founders, to collaborations with other groups around the school. For example, I recently scheduled the CEO of Kitchen United to come speak to us next week about ghost kitchens via virtual fireside chat. It exposes you to meeting a lot of interesting people in the industry (VCs, entrepreneurs, etc.) and gives you the opportunity to mingle and meet other likeminded individuals at Booth. I initially got interested in VC while working for Macy's - we partnered closely with funds like Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Hippeau, and others to see how we could partner with their portfolio companies. From there, I was hooked and have been doing early stage VC ever since!
Guest: What do the PE/VC firms look in a candidate? Is it their grades in finance subjects? Does having a CFA benefit a candidate?
* Katherine Knight: Howdy! PE and VC firms will each look for different things - and depending on what their portfolios look like there will be even more differences from there. PE firms often look for some modeling and deal experience though we have many career changers land in PE each year as well! VC firms often look for deep industry experience depending on their portfolio or ability to do extensive research as well. We have seen some folks benefit from CFAs but it is not a requirement either! Finance classes, the PE/VC lab course, and involvement in the PE and VC student groups will help you with all of these things!
Guest: Can you talk about experiencing the teaching method at Booth? What you like/dislike about it?
* Kelly Carlquist: The teaching method at Booth varies across class, which I really like. There are case classes, lecture classes and lab classes (which provide some hands-on experience). Taking a combination of these classes while at Booth allows you to learn in different ways and also put those learnings into practice well before graduation
Guest: For Kelly or J.P. - could you share some insight on Booth's Private Equity lab? What does that entail?
* J.P. Bowgen: Sure thing. The PE / VC Lab is part internship, part class. You apply to the PE / VC Lab in fall quarter (usually around November) with a resume and your interests. You're then matched with funds that align with your interests and interview with them (exactly like a job interview process). You can then begin interning starting usually end of January / early February. Internships run at least 10 weeks. Then you take the PE / VC Lab class in spring quarter with Professor Heltzer and Professor Weiss, both of which are General Partners at funds in Chicago (Origin Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners).
Guest: Thank you so much for hosting this chat and for your time. I wanted to ask if it is possible to pursue a part-time job as a student enrolled in the Full Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth? Has anybody been able to work part-time at a VC firm while they are studying? To give you some background, I have a 2 years of experience in VC, 1 year in Public Sector consulting, and 1 year in Private Equity.
* Jody Becker: You are very welcome! It is possible to pursue part-time work, although that is a very individual option based several factors, not the least of which is capacity for academics and co-curricular activities. We also have a lab-based course that includes work with a VC firm as a component. And some students pursue project work with VC firms independently.
Guest: Are faculty approachable and willing to provide guidance?
* J.P. Bowgen: Absolutely! They're super helpful and always willing to talk and provide guidance. For example, I'm currently the Lead TA for Scott Meadow's Commercializing Innovation class. Apart from being an awesome experience, I've really found a mentor in Professor Meadow. Many of my friends / counterparts have built great relationships with professors at Booth!
Guest: have you seen internationals get visa sponsorships for PE and VC shops given their small size?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! Yes! We have definitely seen international students land in both PE and VC.
Guest: Do Full-Time MBA students often try launching startups during their time at Chicago Booth?
* Amanda Blank: I think that the environment lends itself well to pursuing a venture full-time because you are more risk tolerant and around very smart and interesting people with a variety of backgrounds.
Guest: For career development, how helpful are the resources and alumni network in pursuing a career in PE?
* Kelly Carlquist: Resources and the alumni network are extremely helpful. I spent a lot of time learning from the experiences of alumni who had built careers in the field, which helped me better understand and formulate the path I was interested in pursuing. There’s an alumni directory available to students that many take advantage of across career interests
Guest: Is it realistic to get into VC coming from a sales and trading background and not banking or PE?
* Nora Mansfield: We have seen students with a variety of backgrounds transition into VC. The Polsky Center provides a range of VC focused programs to support students who are hoping to career switch. These programs include the Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab, VCIC, and access to the Polsky Center Investors in Residence. Additionally, Career Services is an excellent resource to students hoping to pursue VC.
Guest: Hello! Could you provide some perspective on what some resources exist at Booth to support entrepreneurship from ideation phase to seed funding and beyond?
* Hannah Mannino: The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides a wide range of supporting programs, events, courses, and other initiatives to support entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey. These include (but are not limited to) Entrepreneurial Discovery course, I-Corps program, Building the New Venture course, the Collaboratorium event, the Polsky Exchange programming, the Fabrication Lab, the New Venture Challenge, the summer Accelerator Program, the PF3 program, and the UChicago Startup Investment Program. Take a look at the Polsky Center website to learn more details about these and other programs.
Guest: I would like to know a bit more about the Polsky center and the facilities available there?
* Nora Mansfield: The Polsky Center has a few locations. The Polsky Center office at Harper Center is where a majority of program staff manage events and programs for the Chicago Booth and broader University of Chicago communities. Students are welcome to stop by the Harper Center office to connect with program managers at any time. We also have the Polsky Exchange on 53rd Street – a co-working space available to the public and UChicago community. Membership is free to students and it’s a great way to plug into the entrepreneurial ecosystem and unlock additional events, workshops, mentorship and resources.
Guest: Hi all. Thanks for taking the time to chat today. I have a background in the asset management industry, but would like to transition into the private equity space. I know that typically it is easier for people with a banking background to pivot into private equity, so I wondered if you all had any advice for how best to position myself for that successful transition (apart from applying to Booth, of course)?
* Jody Becker: Consider the skills that you have gained as an asset management professional and how these skills transfer to private investing, at whatever level you have worked or at minimum been exposed to! Deep research and industry knowledge and experience, selecting and building a portfolio, analyzing assets and due diligence, pitches, understanding how markets work etc. all can translate to raising investor funds and building a winning portfolio.
Guest: Hi! Thanks for your time and help! I have a consulting background and I am looking to transition into VC; I have heard this is very difficult, and even more so not coming from IB/PE already. Any tips onto what courses to take, clubs to join, where to network, among other?
* Katherine Knight: Howdy! There are skills VCs find very valuable from consulting, especially your attention to detail. Things to get involved in include: the EVC student group, apply to the PE/VC lab, get involved with the Polsky center, attend career services programming around conducting a VC search, meet with Investors in residence at Polsky - and much more! Booth alums in the space/fellow Booth students are great resources as well.
Guest: Hi guys! Thanks for answering questions. Could you comment on how frequently, in your own experience, Booth graduates go into the start-up space?
* Katherine Knight: Hi! In 2019, 3.3% of the class landed at startups full time!
Guest: Thank you for hosting this panel today! Could you share your experience at Booth's PE/VC lab? What part is most helpful?
* Kelly Carlquist: The PE/VC lab is amazing! The professors share anecdotes from their experiences, some incredible investors and operators are brought in to speak and it's also fun to hear from classmates about their past work experiences. It's helpful to have a cohort of people that are interested in a similar professional path, and to have your work experience complemented with learnings in the classroom.
Guest: Can you maybe describe the Polsky center in terms of its support for search funds; I have been following the series on youtube but want to maybe get a better idea around specific details
* Nora Mansfield: The Polsky Center has a suite of resources to support the search fund community at all stages of the search. We have an annual conference organized in collaboration with Kellogg, a podcast series highlighting searchers, owners, operators and investors hosted by Brian O’Connor and additional workshops and events to support searchers and operators.
Guest: What made you choose Booth?
* Amanda Blank: Booth was my top choice- for many reasons. A few being- I grew up in Chicago, have a few mentors that are current professors at Booth, it seemed like a very natural fit/decision for me. I went into Booth interested in Finance and Entrepreneurship and its world-renown for that.
Guest: Hello. While at Booth, what courses have you been able to take that was tailored toward your interest in Entrepreneurship, PE & VC?
* J.P. Bowgen: Great question. I've taken several courses so far: Commercializing Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity, Accounting for Entrepreneurship, PE / VC Lab. I've also heard amazing things about New Venture Strategy, NVC, Entrepreneurial Selling. Short answer is Booth's entrepreneurship, PE, VC curriculum is phenomenal!
Guest: Hi Everyone. for aspiring entrepreneurs, what are those few resources available which can really help in making a transition from being into a corporate job to becoming a full time entrepreneur?
* Hannah Mannino: There are many resources at Booth that support students’ career transitions from Corporate to Startup. The Polsky Center works closely with other offices at Booth (including Career Services), so connect both incoming students and current students to internship opportunities at startups around the globe, which allows students to dip their toes into entrepreneurship and confirm it is the right energy and ecosystem for them to pursue (you can read more about Startup Summer and the Entrepreneurial Internship Program). From there, there are multiple resources to support Booth students in the ideation, problem/solution identification, and customer discovery phases of venture creation (Entrepreneurial Discovery course, Building the New Venture course, the Collaboratorium event connecting Booth students to researchers and scientists, the New Venture Challenge, the Innovation Fund Associate Program, the I-Corps Customer Discovery Program, and various additional initiatives and programs run out of the Polsky Center).
Guest: Hello, thanks for hosting! I am interested in learning more about Booth's private equity program and pipeline. Can you please discuss some of the programming on campus, and conclude with firms that you and your classmates may be joining? Do you think that there is a Chicago-centric bias given location of Booth?
* Kelly Carlquist: While most lab internships are based in Chicago (though not all), classmates of mine have ended up all over the world for summer internships and full time jobs. The advantage to a Chicago Lab internship (or an SF Lab internship through the new Polsky Program) is that you are in an office, working face to face with people. Being in a big city is invaluable as it relates to getting that experience. But just as people come from all over the world to go to Booth, firms all over the world are interested in hiring from Booth. Programming includes classes, talks with the Investors in Residence, modeling interview practice, case competitions, conference, treks and more.
Guest: Thanks for the Q & A. I am applying for the deferred admission this year. I am a final year undergraduate student at BITS Pilani, India and have been running my own company for over 2 years now. We even raised a round of $325,000 and I will be graduating with a major in Electrical along with a minor in Finance. Is there something I should keep in mind while filling out the application? Considering the Chicago booth deferred admission were started this year only I guess.
* Kate Hoffman: You can see specific details and more information about the application process and requirements for the Chicago Booth Scholars on our website https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/chicago-booth-scholars-program. While the Chicago Booth Scholars Program has been around for quite a while, it was opened to undergraduates outside of the University of Chicago this past year. Good luck with your application!
Guest: Hello everyone! So happy to be a part of this chat. Could you tell me a bit more about the impact investing culture at Booth?
* Hannah Mannino: The Rustandy Center leads efforts related to Impact Investing and Venture Philanthropy. You can learn more about their courses, internships, mentorship, and initiatives here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/research/rustandy/what-we-do/social-impact-career-resources/impact-investing
Guest: Do Chicago Booth MBA students organize trips to visit Silicon Valley so they can meet with top VCs to network and be able to land VC jobs after graduation?
* J.P. Bowgen: Yes! A close friend just organized a Trek to Silicon Valley - they met with a ton of amazing funds: GGV, Bessemer, Battery...just to name a few. There are treks to several cities where you get the opportunity to meet funds - I just helped organize the trek to New York City. We met First Round Capital, NEA, and 6-8 more.
Guest: Hello all - Thanks for taking the time to connect with us. I would be curious to hear how students are matched for their internships within the PE/VC lab? Does interest and/or prior work experience factor in?
* J.P. Bowgen: You apply in the fall with your resume and your interests. Then the Polsky Center will "match" you with funds that align with your interests. Funds then reach out to you directly to schedule interviews for the position. If it works out, you land the internship and get started! Interest definitely matters, and prior work experience doesn't hurt. However, many folks in PE / VC Lab use the Lab to get exposure to PE / VC for the first time, so I wouldn't be too caught up in the "prior experience" part!
Guest: How difficult/easy is it to find a place in the PE/VC lab?
* Kelly Carlquist: There are limited number of spots in the PE/VC lab, so the application process is important. It's also helpful to network to get a sense of your interests, which can help guide you to the right place. There's also a small group of students traveling to San Francisco for internships, which is awesome if you want to embed yourself in the Valley ecosystem.
Guest: How has COVID-19 affected VC and PE recruiting?
* J.P. Bowgen: Things have moved virtual and have slowed down slightly as funds think about portfolio management / making sure portcos have enough runway. However, many are still recruiting - we're all learning how to network via Zoom recently. It's been a fun / interesting process!
Guest: What has been the most useful class for interviews and networking sessions, in terms of what material you feel one may talk through with an interviewer/network contact?
* Amanda Blank: For me, this has been essentially every class I've taken because each Professor is very well connected/a great resource for interviews/opportunities/mentorship. I could list all of the Professors, but will inevitably have a typo and/or forget someone.
Guest: Thank you all for your time! Is the VC/PE lab course very competitive to get in? Can this lab help you place for a summer internship/full time position?
* J.P. Bowgen: There is typically a lot of interest in the PE / VC Lab. I would treat it as a job interview process and put your best foot forward! People occasionally do convert their PE / VC Lab internships into summer opportunities.
Guest: It's definitely on my list! Are there any outside resources you'd recommend to get a jump start to becoming more familiar with PE concepts and trends? Sorry if that question is sort of vague.
* Nora Mansfield: I'd suggesting checking out the Polsky Center Private Equity Podcast. Additionally, there is a range of programs available to students with an interest in Private Equity including the PE/VC Lab, SPITC and PECC. These programs provide exposure to internships, project work with firms and case challenges to support students in their pursuit of PE.
Guest: Do you need to have had PE/VC experience to sign up for the PE/VC lab?
* J.P. Bowgen: Short answer, no. Many folks use the PE / VC Lab to get exposure to PE or VC for the first time.
Guest: Hi team, thanks for taking the time today. Can you speak to how Booth and EVC are being proactive with students and what resources there are for students given the COVID pandemic? Curious to hear if your experience has changed much other than more video calls?
* J.P. Bowgen: Great question. I'm currently the EVC Co Chair, so have been neck deep in programming for virtual formats. We're thinking about scheduling mentorship opportunities / fireside chats with alumni from 2008 and 2009 to discuss how they went about recruiting during the last downturn. We're also bringing in amazing VCs, entrepreneurs, etc. to come speak about what they're accomplishing - this provides a great opportunity to network by phone, email, Zoom, etc. Hasn't changed to drastically, other than lots of Zoom!
Guest: Do you see people with non-finance backgrounds involved in PE/VC at Booth & is there a realistic exit opportunity to PE/VC for those people
* Katherine Knight: Hello hello! Yes we do! We have career changers land in both PE and VC every year. They take advantage of a lot of programming from student groups and career services, conduct meaningful networking, and gain hard skills through classes and lab class experiences.
Guest: What kinds of businesses does the PE/VC lab partner with? Can you give some examples of projects that you've done with the lab?
* J.P. Bowgen: The PE / VC Lab is an internship / class with a PE fund or a VC fund. I've personally worked on sourcing, due diligence on numerous live deals, and more!
Guest: Are there specific classes for entrepreneurship and Innovation and is there a concentration at Booth for this?
* Nora Mansfield: There is a wide range of coursework dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Students with an interest in this area can declare a concentration in entrepreneurship. The course offerings include but are not limited to Building the New Venture, Entrepreneurial Selling and Entrepreneurial Discovery.
Guest: What has the PE/VC lab taught you that you didn't learn in your PE/VC role prior to matriculating?
* J.P. Bowgen: You learn a lot of technical skills associated with VC / PE. I would argue that unless you've done VC / PE in the past, the work you learn "on the job" is invaluable. There's a lot of nuance to both functions (as I'm sure you know) and in conjunction with academics, the internship is great. For example, cap tables, waterfall analyses, different methods for conducting due diligence, market sizing - the list goes on!
Guest: Did you apply to booth knowing that PE/VC was the path you wanted to take? or were there aspects of courses/modules/clubs which led you that way as well?
* Kelly Carlquist: I had heard about the PE/VC Lab and was interested in it. It's always important to remember that - regardless of what industry or role you are interested in - some students come in 100% certain of what they want to do, and others don't. Even if you think you're certain, your interests may evolve as you learn more at Booth and about yourself. The internship with Impact Engine and the opportunity to learn from Professor McGowan were two factors that led me to the Lab class.
Guest: Hi! Thanks so much for holding this live chat. My question is about transitioning from a consulting career to a career in VC. Have any of the panelist done so? If so, what was your experience?
* J.P. Bowgen: I transitioned from consulting, to corporate venture capital, to venture capital. The experience wasn't unusual, but does require a lot of networking - many venture capital jobs are found purely by talking to people in and around the industry. I'd recommend doing you best to have coffee chats with VCs to learn more about what they do and to express your interest in the space.
Guest: How flexible is the Booth curriculum towards pursuing entrepreneurship? Are there other options than the PE/VC lab?
* Amanda Blank: NVC! Start up Summer, Polsky accelerator program
Guest: Does Chicago Booth and/or Polsky Center have resources to support its students who are keen on raising funds or establishing a hedge fund in the near future?
* Hannah Mannino: The Polsky Center does not have any formal resources in place to support the raise/launch of hedge funds, however we do have a vast network of alumni and faculty experts who are generous in the time and mentorship they give to our students.
Guest: In terms of the recruiting for private equity, would you be able to share some of your experiences regarding the process, the timeline etc.?
* Jody Becker: Recruiting for private equity is a process that requires professional persistence over a long period of time. Especially if you are a career changer, it takes time to research firms and select those where you may bring great value based on your own experience, skills and knowledge such as deep industry or market knowledge, type of investing strategies, etc. Then you can continue with your research and spend a lot of time networking and relationship building. PE is a sector that does not do much "advance" hiring; it is more timed to when the need arises, such as close to or just closing a new round of funding. It is a very network based search and continuous process, with not a lot of immediate positive feedback on how you are doing. If you are persistent and demonstrate your value as you tell your story, you will be compelling and position yourself for when the firm(s) have needs! Also, you may want to consider an operating role in a PE-backed company. That can be a way to leverage skills as well!
Guest: I've read that you have to apply to the PE/VC lab - What % of students who apply, especially as a 1st year student, get accepted?
* J.P. Bowgen: There were 400 applicants this year, with 160 total seats in the course. ~65-70 first years accepted.
Guest: Are internships typically in Chicago or have students found success doing remote internships through traveling or virtually?
* Jody Becker: Internships can be anywhere geographically. Students may aim for markets where they already have experience, or it is a geography with emerging growth in an industry of interest or experience. So for example energy in Texas or Denver, or healthcare in Boston. Networking can be done in many ways and any location(s.)
Guest: What drove you/ captured your interest towards choosing a career in private equity or VC?
* J.P. Bowgen (Current Booth Student): I'm passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into a reality. The opportunity to talk to these incredible people is what gets me up in the morning. Plus you're always learning about something new.
Guest: I am considering the deferred MBA, and have high aspiration to work in Entrepreneurship. Can you share any insights about how to prepare before commending the MBA program?
* Kate Hoffman: I recommend learning more about our resources for entrepreneurship offered through the Polsky Center https://polsky.uchicago.edu/. You can get a better idea of how Chicago Booth can help you pursue a career in the startup/entrepreneurial space and how you can best prepare for the two years here.
Guest: Amanda, how do you juggle working on your MBA and your startup both full-time? Do you feel like you're missing out on your MBA experience because of it?
* Amanda Blank: Ha. It is a lot. I don't sleep much. It's been a really good bonding experience for everyone on my team because we are all Booth MBAs (1Ys and 2Ys) going through the startup experience together and the broader Booth community is very well connected.
Guest: hi, what's right step we should prepare to enter the vc if without a pervious background? What’s skillset required?
* Nora Mansfield: The Polsky Center provides a range of VC focused programs to support students who are hoping to pursue Venture Capital. These programs include the Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab, VCIC, and access to the Polsky Center Investors in Residence. Additionally, Career Services is an excellent resource to students hoping to pursue VC. Taking advantage of these resources provides students with access to thought leadership and experiential learning opportunities valuable to pursuing both internships and careers in VC.
Guest: What resources does Booth provide for product management roles?
* Katherine Knight: Howdy! There are many different resources for PM roles. Career Services helps by maintaining and developing relationships and opportunities with variety of different firms who hire MBAs into PM roles. The Tech student group also provides support in terms of preparing you to interview and network for those roles as well.
Guest: Hi, in can you please elaborate about the pros and cons of internships in PE/VC vs. in-house at startups (from your perspective of course)?
* Kelly Carlquist: That's really going to depend on your interest. Investing and operating are very different, so it's more of an interest driven choice. Over the summer, I worked with some of the portfolio companies at the fund which was really awesome experience. Getting both is great as you narrow in on what you want to do post-MBA, there isn't a "right" or "wrong" answer here.
Guest: When applying for internships, did your employer ask about your GMAT score?
* J.P. Bowgen: Nope!
Guest: How difficult would you say it is for an international student to be able to land a VC position after graduating from Booth?
* Jody Becker: For international students, I am going to assume you may be implying that you have to start from not having a network if you are interested in a US role. It is challenging! We recommend you identify what you can leverage from your skills and experiences and aim for the firms where you can bring something to them and add value, including knowledge of markets they are interested in growing their portfolios in. For others, you may want to consider gaining internship experience in your home country.
Guest: Is the New Venture Challenge for Finance students or Tech students?
* Amanda Blank: It is for everyone really. You have healthcare startups, tech startups, finance startups, last year there was an airline startup that made it to the finals. etc.
Guest: A bit of a broad question, but what resources are available to students looking to start a new business while in the program?
* Hannah Mannino: The Polsky Center runs a wide variety of programs and courses to help support students on any part of the entrepreneurial spectrum (launching their own venture, working for a venture, or getting into PE, VC, or ETA). You can learn more about all of these on the Polsky Center website: https://polsky.uchicago.edu/
Guest: Thanks for your time, everyone! Amanda - curious to hear more about Bratadah and how your experiences there so far have supplemented your experience in Booth classrooms. Can you share? Thanks!
* Amanda Blank: Running a company actually allows you to implement what you learn inside of the classroom or a case study. It's the best hands on experience.
Guest: Hi - Are there any requirements to get into the PE/VC Lab class?
* J.P. Bowgen: There is an application process associated with the PE / VC Lab, which includes your resume, your interests, and short answer questions that highlight why you want to do PE / VC.
Guest: All - looks like you had PE/VC experience in some capacity prior to pursuing your MBA, and it would seem that all 3 of you intend to pursue a similar career (in some fashion) afterwards. What made you decide to pursue your MBA?
* J.P. Bowgen : To clarify - I worked in corporate venture capital, which is slightly different than VC. While part of my role entailed early stage investments, it was more multifaceted than just that. I came to Booth to pivot into a fund, and to get a really strong data-driven education (something that I did not have coming out of undergrad).
Guest: Kelly, as TA for the lab, what have you found surprises most students during their experiences?
* Kelly Carlquist: Interesting question! We are just a few weeks into the quarter, but I think what students have found most surprising is how awesome virtual learning has been with Professor McGowan. He's still bringing in incredible guest speakers, participation is high from Boothies and we're even DJing during class breaks. He also added an extra bonus class to provide a "state of the market" for COVID, which was outside the normal curriculum
Guest: Could you please describe the Entrepreneurship culture at Booth? What are some distinct characteristics if one had to compare to the startup scene in SF or NYC
* Amanda Blank: It's like its own unofficial club. People who have started companies prior to Booth or during Booth all help each other out and reference other resources.
Guest: Thanks for participating in this session! What classes at Booth have had the biggest impact on shaping your approach to valuing investment opportunities?
* J.P. Bowgen: Great question. I would highly recommend Commercializing Innovation and Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity.
Guest: Do most of the VC funds offer pre-placement offers?
* Katherine Knight: Hello! If you are speaking about Pre-MBA offers for internships, then no. This is not common in the VC space.
Guest: Does Booth have enough opportunities for international's aspiring to work in a startup for their summer internship?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! Yes! We have international students land at startups for summer internships every year.
Guest: Can you get into PE post-MBA without prior Investment Banking experience? Also what's your opinion on the finance concentration at booth? How would you judge it from a practical standpoint - is it mostly theoretical or do you solve real life problems and what are the best courses to take?
* Amanda Blank: YES! I never did ibanking. My background was in public equity investing and management consulting. The Finance concentration is great- it overlaps with accounting at times. A lot of individuals who are interested in investing (either PE, IM, IB) tend to get it accidentally just by the nature of the courses to take.
Guest: Hey! Can you guys talk a bit about the Entrepreneurs/Investors in residence program and if anyone has had any personal experiences with using it what they liked about it? Thank you!
* Amanda Blank: Leverage leverage leverage. I speak to EIRs and IIRs all of the time for guidance/mentorship
Guest: Apart from EVC club, what are the opportunities which give you the exposure to PE/VC's? Are there any corporate competitions?
* Kelly Carlquist: Separate from EVC (which is the student run group at Booth), Polsky provides a wealth of exposure to PE and VC funds. There are a number of case competitions (i.e. OxChi), chances to build an investment thesis (i.e. SPITC) and experienced professionals who can help students. There's also a PE conference that features some of the most prominent leaders in the industry, an EVC conference which is held at 1871 (Chicago's startup hub) and treks that take place throughout the year. Internships are another way that folks can get exposed
Guest: Hi - It looks like many of you spent time in PE/VC pre-MBA. Can you speak to how your MBA experience at Booth has developed your outlook on your career in these spaces for post-MBA?
* J.P. Bowgen: Very bullish on VC. The benefit of the programs at Booth is it gives you the opportunity to formulate your own opinion on if you think VC / PE is for you. My experience so far has made me double-down on building a long-term career in the space. Will be pursuing VC back in New York City upon graduating.
Guest: I previously interned at a VC but now work in retail. I'm looking to pivot back to VC via the MBA route but am uncertain which industry to focus on. Is this something that the Booth PE/VC Lab could help with?
* J.P. Bowgen: It'll definitely give you exposure to different industries and sectors - I think the best way to decide where you want to focus is by getting hands on experience. I thought I wanted to be a CPG venture investor, and then realized it wasn't for me.
Guest: Could you please share how admission committee views applicants from science fields?
* Kate Hoffman: We evaluate all applications holistically and value the diversity we see in our applicants' educational and professional backgrounds. Part of what makes Booth so unique is its diverse range of industries represented, which enrich the classroom discussions and provide broad perspectives.
Guest: Amanda, what support did the Polsky center offer to "test out a new idea"? Thanks!
* Amanda Blank: So I actually got into NVC as an "idea"- I wrote a 30 page business plan last January when we had a blizzard in Chicago and Polsky took a chance on me/my idea.
Guest: Are there any specific PE firms that Booth routinely networks with, or that you've had the opportunity to network with in your time at Booth? Thanks team!
* Katherine Knight: Hello hello! Take a look at the employment report to see where folks have landed most recently! You'll see firms that show up more than once over the years but the firms also change based on where student interest lies: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport
Guest: Hi, from your perspective, what are the pros and cons of internships in PE/VC vs. in-house at startups?
* J.P. Bowgen: Well, one is for a fund, while the other is for a startup. If you have a particular interest in one over the other, I would recommend chasing that option. PE / VC will give you the investors perspective, whereas a startup internship may give you more hands on operational experience of growing a business (depending on your role).
Guest: Hi! Which one is your favorite Entrepreneurship class and why?
* Amanda Blank: Ohh this is a tough one- I'll list a few. DEFINITELY do NVC if you can get in with your own idea or join a team. It's a very unique experience. I really enjoyed EFPE, Accounting for Entrepreneurship through IPO, I took a class at the law school from the famous Kirkland & Ellis professor Jack Levin re-structuring your start up, there's also ETA (Entrepreneurship through Acquisition) which is fantastic because it blends PE and Entrepreneurship. I'm currently in a class focusing on Women as CEOs which has some heavy hitter speakers each class.
Guest: Thanks for hosting. Could you share a bit more on how Career Services helps with students interested in PE / VC?
* Jody Becker: Hello! Career services support is very customized to each student's interests, needs and goals. So, for example if a career changer a lot of focus may be with coaches to create and refine a compelling "why" story. Or how to build your experiences at Booth to fill any gaps or leverage your strengths. Or it may be to show you how you can use many proprietary research databases to build a target list of firms and more about their deals, funding rounds and stages, identify people etc. Career services also actively sources opportunities in PE and VC via our direct relationships and these can evolve in many directions - job postings, resume referrals, networking opportunities through educational programs etc.
Guest: Hi Amanda! Can you please elaborate or give out specific examples of how you have leveraged resources from Booth and Polsky center for your entrepreneurship endeavors?
* Amanda Blank: Sure! Well the one thing I can say, is I'm glad I'm not charged on an hourly basis with leveraging Polsky resources. I've met with mentors/advisors/ experts in the field. I actually have a meeting in 30 minutes with a Polsky advisor who runs her own marketing firm to get advice on a product launch we have coming up.
Guest: What's the thought process behind choosing the firm that's 'right' for you, besides the sector?
* Katherine Knight: Hi hi! A lot of this will come through the different types of networking you will do. You'll be able to get a read on what the culture is like at the firm based on your conversations with the folks you meet during the recruiting process. Boothies who currently work at those firms or who have worked at those firms previously are great resources as well!
Guest: Hello! Thanks for taking some time to answer questions today! For Kelly: I've talked to members of the Government and Policy Club, and it sounds like such a great way to look at the intersection of business, government, and policy. What kind of events and activities does the group normally pursue? Have you been able to adapt the club to the new remote-Booth model?
* Kelly Carlquist : Love the Government and Policy Club question masquerading in this chat! :) In sincerity, you're right in that a lot of the impetus for starting the club was seeing a lot of intersectionality and also recognizing how many incredible Govt/Policy resources are available at the broader University of Chicago. One event we did last quarter was South Side Leadership week, where Booth students went onsite to learn from Entrepreneurs and Leaders on the South Side of Chicago. We spoke with Erika Allen (UGC), Stephanie Hart (Brown Sugar Bakery) and Patric McCoy. These are all amazing leaders - talk about visionary entrepreneurs! And it was a neat event to acclimate students from all over the world more to our surroundings in Chicago.
Guest: Hi! Could you share your experience or some insights on NVC or/and Social NVC? Thank you.
* Amanda Blank: NVC was great! I answered this a bit before
Guest: What about Booth’s entrepreneurial program sets it apart from other MBA programs?
* Hannah Mannino: What sets the Booth entrepreneurial program apart from peer school programs is the vast amount of immersive experiential learning opportunities woven within so many courses and programs.
Guest: @Amanda - What inspired the switch from PE to entrepreneurship?
* Amanda Blank: I honestly kind of fell into it. I just had an idea that I became intellectually challenged and passionate about and wanted to explore it/expand my skillset beyond finance/traditional investing. One of the professors actually gave me the advice that the younger you are, you'll start off being over-worked and under-paid and the longer that you're in your career that will switch and you'll under-work and be over-paid, so the best time to take any type of startup risk is when you're younger
Guest: What actions/steps would you suggest for students interested in pursuing a career VC/PE without prior experience in that field?
* Katherine Knight: Hello! I would suggest you start by engaging in our summer career prep activities that we will have available in May! That will give you a great overview of the space. From there I would make sure you are involved in relevant student groups, attend industry specific career programming, get involved in the Polsky center, and network with folks in the space!
Guest: Are many of the recruitment opportunities in Chicago or are you constantly traveling to NYC and the Bay Area?
* Katherine Knight: Hello! While we have many partners in Chicago - we also have relationships with PE/VC firms globally! We have dedicated employer team members who help to source those opportunities.
Guest: HI, thank you for hosting this chat. What sort of focused research can one do to pivot into a VC career prior to starting a MBA program?
* Jody Becker: There are many open source resources! Identify LinkedIN groups and follow thought leaders in the space; many successful VC entrepreneurs have written books - read them, follow them via blogs and social media. Read about their backgrounds. Listen to podcasts (i.e. Guy Raz - How I Built This) takes it from the founder approach, and their strategies and failures are great lessons learned if you are pitching yourself as someone who can pick winners in early stage startups!
Guest: What percentage of the class goes into PE/VC post-graduation?
* Jody Becker: You can find data here - for several years https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport
Guest: How has Booth prepared you for a long-term career in PE/VC?
* J.P. Bowgen: The academics are second to none. And the PE / VC Lab is a super unique opportunity to work for a fund while being a student. Additionally, the Chicago VC scene loves Chicago Booth, and many VCs are very open to connecting with students for coffee, etc. I'd take full advantage of networking opportunities starting now!
Guest: Hi, while at Booth how can one have a hands-on experience with the VC investment process? Thanks!
* Hannah Mannino: There are a number of ways to gain hands-on experience with the VC process while at Booth. A few programs you should read up on are the PE/VC Lab (https://polsky.uchicago.edu/programs-events/private-equity/private-equity-and-venture-capital-lab/), the Venture Capital Investment Competition (https://polsky.uchicago.edu/programs-events/venture-capital-investment-competition-vcic/), and the Innovation Fund Associates Program (https://polsky.uchicago.edu/programs-events/innovation-fund-associates-program/).
Guest: Do most people who make it into PE from Booth end up in Chicago? Is it significantly more difficult to network and end up on the west coast?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! People who land in PE from Booth land all over world! Take a look at the employment report to see where folks have gone in the last 7 years: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport
Guest: Thanks for your time! I currently work in the medical device industry and interested in VC particularly for the biotech/medtech space. Are their specific groups or classes with that focus?
* Nora Mansfield: Absolutely! I’d suggest exploring joining the Healthcare Student Group to meet other likeminded students with similar backgrounds. Additionally the Innovation Fund Associates Program may be of interest to you as an opportunity to explore the synergies between University research and commercialization. Separate from that, there are a few courses that might be of interest – Lab to Launch and Science and Entrepreneurship for Science and Medicine, to name a few.
Guest: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat! If you could gift a VC-related book to every Boothie, what would it be and why?
* Nora Mansfield: Zero to One by Peter Thiel is a great read! Highly recommend!
Guest: What classes / experiences would you recommend if you are aiming for an operations role in PE?
* Kelly Carlquist: In terms of a PE Ops role, I think any class focused on leadership development will be helpful. This may be Negotiations, Leadership Studio with Harry Davis, and more. You also can't go wrong with a lab class or another class that provides exposure into the investing side, especially if it's something you're less familiar with.
Guest: When do students interested in joining a startup generally try to recruit for this? Is there a timeline as with other professions like investment banking or consulting?
* Katherine Knight: Hello! Students interested in startups begin building their networks when they arrive at Booth! We recommend you start having conversations early so that when startups are ready/decide to hire, you are top of mind.
Guest: Hello! Thanks for the time! I was wondering if you could elaborate more on the structure of the Booth PE/VC Treks? How are organized? What is the agenda? How many people participate? Is there the possibility to interview with the funds during the Treks visits? Thank you!
* Kelly Carlquist : The treks are largely student run and go to many different locations across the world. Last year, I went to one in San Francisco and one in Boston. We met with great firms in both cities and there were groups of about 10 people at each. A few students got jobs through those treks I believe, though the main purpose of them is to learn about the firms
Guest: Do the career services also help with startups as they do with more standardized jobs like consulting?
* Katherine Knight: Hello! We sure do! We will help you in your search no matter what your interest. We have a lot of startup specific programming throughout your time at Booth.
Guest: What is the best way you've found to network at Booth for PE / VC opportunities?
* J.P. Bowgen: Attend events, talk to your classmates, and like Dean Kole says: be very open to sharing your interests. You'd be surprised how quickly someone will connect you when you express what you hope to accomplish.
Guest: Can you provide a breakdown of the industries Booth start-ups are founded in? Data Analytics, Healthcare, Energy, Social, etc.?
* Hannah Mannino: Booth entrepreneurs are launching ventures across all industries. Most of our resources and classes operate as industry agnostic (see: New Venture Challenge), where we see a range of Food/Beverage, Healthcare, AI, Energy, Consumer Products, Fintech, and many others. The Polsky Center works with entrepreneurs in nearly every industry each year.
Guest: Does Polsky center helps one to connect with schools of other domains, intending to build cross functional teams for boosting startups & facilitate entrepreneurship?
* Hannah Mannino: The Polsky Center strives to bring together the broader UChicago community to encourage cross-disciplinary teams with the highest potential to succeed in launching ventures. You can see this effort represented in programs like the New Venture Challenge (where we hold team-building events with all parts of campus, and at times, with other schools like the University of Illinois' engineering school), the Innovation Fund, the Collaboratorium, and all programs and events at the Polsky Exchange.
Guest: Hi, my question is for Amanda this time. How do you manage your hours at Booth to run your start-up while studying?
* Amanda Blank: Short answer is- you're capable of doing anything you put your mind to. It's really hard, not going to sugar coat it. Time management and being as efficient as possible is something you start to get really good at. Any student at Booth though is a high-achieving individual and even if you don't do your own start up, you're probably leading a club or two, or TA'ing a class, or organizing Spring Break etc. So I don't think I'm unique in having to juggle multiple things, I just think everyone chooses what they want to juggle.
Guest: A lot of people I talk to say it's hard to break into PE post MBA without any PE experience beforehand. Do you agree with this? I come from a strategy consulting background and am thinking of transitioning into PE, so I wonder if I should get some PE experience before enrolling in B-School. Thanks!
* Katherine Knight: Hi there! We have career changers land in PE every year! It does take a little more work than it would coming from PE - but we have many resources once you arrive to help you! From tools to help get you up to speed on modeling, to PE treks with the PE student group, to trainings with our Investors in Residence, you'll be supported in your search.
Guest: Hi all! Thanks for your time! If some portion of the fall semester has to start the semester online due to the current Covid-19 situation, would opportunities like PE/VC Lab, SPITC, NVC, PEC C still be available?
* Nora Mansfield: The Polsky Center has transitioned our programming to remote engagement for the spring quarter to ensure that students have access to the same resources during this time. Should distance learning continue into the fall, we are prepared to adapt our programs to the best of our ability.
Guest: Thanks again for your time everyone. One of my fears is that my modeling skills might become stale as I start school and have less reps. Are there activities that allow for modeling reps? Clubs or class recommendations?
* Kelly Carlquist: Do not fear! There are some bootcamps that are put on by outside vendors and are available at a steep discount to Booth Students (I believe it's Wall Street Prep). The PE club also does some modeling training to help people prepare for interviews. The courses also provide chances to refresh your modeling skills (EFPE with Steve Kaplan, PE Lab, and more)
Guest: Are there resources available for individuals who would like to practice VC on a global scale? Perhaps international trips, courses or partnerships for emerging markets?
* Hannah Mannino: VC firms that we partner with through programs like the PE/VC Lab may have global reach. The Polsky Center is constantly evaluating opportunities to scale existing programs globally or create new programs based on demand.
Guest: Hello All, thank you for taking the time to answer questions! How "connected" is Booth in terms of helping students get PE/VC internships and jobs outside of the Chicago area? Is it pretty common for students to land jobs in different areas?
* Katherine Knight: Hello hello! We have dedicated employer relations team members who source PE and VC opportunities globally! You can check out the employment report to see where folks have landed in the past handful of years: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport
Guest: What exposure do VC/PE Funds give to interns? Is it company facing or back office work?
* Katherine Knight: Hello hello! It depends on the firm and the timing of deal flow! You may be conducting due diligence or you may be working on deals, or it could be a little bit of everything! It all depends on where the firm is at during the time of your internship.
Guest: Is it possible to share the Q&A's posted here after this call? Not sure if it's just me but the screen keeps glitching and I'm not able to read all of the posted questions/responses. Thank you!
* Kate Hoffman: Yes, we will share a transcript of the Q&As on the website in the coming week or so!
Guest: @J.P Bowgen , have you ever been in a professor Rajan's class. If yes, can you describe the experience?
* J.P. Bowgen: I have not yet!
Guest: What are the criteria for being selected into the PE/VC lab?
* Nora Mansfield: Participants of the PE/VC Lab are selected through a matching process. Students apply to the program and provide information on their background, prior experience and interests. Host firms receive resume sets based on the firm’s criteria, investment focus and current projects. This criteria for selection is ultimately based on the needs of host firms, but we encourage student to participate in PE/VC focused programs to gain additional experience to prepare them for internships (i.e. VCIC, PECC, SPITC, etc.)
Guest: Do most students live in downtown Chicago or do they live on campus? What are the pros/cons of each?
* Kate Hoffman: While the majority of students live in the downtown Loop, there are many who live in other neighborhoods such as the South Loop; and a number choose to live right in Hyde Park near to campus. It is really your choice of where you want to live. The students have written many blogs about living in Chicago on The Booth Experience blog... you can read more about their experiences here http://theboothexp.com/?s=loop
Guest: For PE/VC lab, could student without PEVC experience but finance experience get admit?
* Hannah Mannino: Every year there are students that do not have first-hand PE/VC experience that still gain admittance into the lab. These students typically put forth a great deal of effort to network and immerse themselves into the PE/VC culture when they start at Booth. They attend EIR/IIR workshops hosted by the Polsky Center, work with Career Services to get advice on how to best frame their experience on their resumes, and meet individually with faculty and PE/VC alums who can shed light on how to best position themselves for success given their backgrounds.
Guest: Hi, could you please share your experience with the Polsky New Venture Challenge? What did you find most valuable part of the experience? Thanks!
* Amanda Blank: Meeting all of the other companies and CEOs and networking with the dozens of VCs and investors each week. It's extremely well produced. I've seen many other accelerator/incubator programs and nothing remotely comes close to what is offered through NVC. Most valuable though: refining our business model, getting feedback on everything (e.g. pitching, presenting, business idea, product market fit) from extremely smart and talented experts and even leveraging their expertise and background.
Guest: How do you feel grade non-disclosure has helped the student body with interviews?
* J.P. Bowgen : Immensely. Grade non-disclosure helps set a precedent that everyone at Booth is at Booth to help one another succeed, and it certainly plays out that way on a regular basis.
Guest: How often do MBA students interact with students from other schools? Does Booth behave as an independent entity within Uchicago?
* Kate Hoffman: Part of the flexibility of Booth's curriculum and MBA experience is that you can take up to six courses outside of Booth within the University of Chicago. Aside from that, students from the various UofC programs team up for competitions such as the New Venture Challenge. And outside of the University of Chicago, Boothies often interact with students from other MBA programs for industry competitions, conferences, and even some friendly social matches like the Running of the Bulls basketball game (Booth against Kellogg at the United Center).
Guest: When first arriving at Booth, did you immediately know that VC/PE was the path to your goals? If not, can you share what major factor ((clubs, students, professors, classes, etc.) led you to realize that this is the fit for you?
* Kelly Carlquist: The answer to this question I think would vary widely based on who you ask. I knew I was interested in investing, but wanted to spend the experience at Booth narrowing in on my interests. Internships, coursework and networking helped me realize the best path for me
Guest: Does career services offer support for candidates exploring VC opportunities in their home country (for internationals)?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! Yes! Career Services has employer team members that serve areas globally including LatAm, EMEA, Asia, and more!
Guest: What happens in case one launches a startup right after school and it doesn’t works out...can the person come back and take some help from the career services
* Katherine Knight: Hey! Great question! Once you attend Booth you have access to Career Services for life. We have a full team of career folks dedicated to serving alumni that are based out of our downtown Chicago gleacher center.
Guest: Hey guys, thank you for hosting such a lovely session. I had a quick question - How does Booth nurture social entrepreneurs?
* Nora Mansfield: There is a wide range of programs and courses offered through the Rustandy Center. I’d encourage you to check out their programs and resources to learn more!
Guest: Are there any experiences you wish you had pursued in your first year looking back? Clubs, classes, competitions, etc.?
* Amanda Blank: I think I spent my entire 1Y of business school always saying yes and getting involved with everything. I definitely don't have any regrets, but by the time you reach your 2Y you start to pick out what you like. I realize that didn't answer your question directly, but my advice would be try everything once.
Guest: Thanks for taking our questions today - a number of current students I speak with mentioned the incredible resource that other students (not just professors!) provide. Have any of you found yourself leveraging or building upon another's unique experiences?
* J.P. Bowgen: Yes. I would argue this is often your most valuable resource. Express your interests to your classmates from day one. You'll be surprised how quickly someone will connect you with a friend, colleague, boss, etc. and you'll be on your way! I personally got my summer internship through a friend - can attest that it works!
Guest: What's been the most interesting or beneficial networking event through Booth and why?
* Kelly Carlquist: During Orientation, Booth hosted a series of panels called Alumni 20/20 which was AMAZING! Booth pulled together a stacked panel of people from across industries with names you'd very much recognize. They were all humble, approachable and moving in their remarks. For me, it was a stark reminder of the possibilities that were ahead in my two years and well beyond.
Guest: How often do Booth students end up doing something different from what they came in for?
* Kate Hoffman: Because of the flexibility of Booth's program and how it allows students to explore new areas of interest, it is not uncommon for them to change course somewhat during the two years.
Guest: How would you suggest leveraging our previous experience in Entrepreneurship, VC, or PE in our MBA applications? Are there any specific points that candidates with these backgrounds should highlight?
* Kate Hoffman: As with any application, it's important to connect the dots between your background and past experiences with your future career goals. Make sure you are clearly explaining how you plan to build off your existing skills and experiences and where the Booth MBA can fill in the gaps/skills you need to achieve your short and long term goals.
Guest: Is it common for students to switch between IB and PE routes between the time they start at Booth and graduate?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! The cycles for recruiting for both of these are a little different so it is possible! Banking is very heavy recruiting on campus in the fall for internships and many firms require you do an internship in banking to be considered full time. PE is a blended approach of a small amount of campus actives paired with a heavy specialized search that involves individual networking year round. Most PE internships do not convert to full-time offers.
Guest: Hi everyone. I am interested in the Booth Scholars program. I currently attend a small liberal arts college and am used to having a lot of access to my professors outside of the classroom for office hours, general help, etc. How available is this at Booth? Thanks in advance!
* Kate Hoffman: Booth professors are very accessible (and not just because their offices are in the same building as classes). When they are teaching, their focus is on the coursework and ensuring that students are a priority. In addition to office hours, etc., Booth faculty also take time to chat with students just outside the regular class/office schedules.
Guest: Do most entrepreneurship students have pre-existing start-ups or start their ventures while at Booth?
* Amanda Blank: Both- it truly depends. A lot of individuals have been one of the first few people at a startup as well.
Guest: As students, do you think that Booth's reputation for academic rigor is justified? How do you think it affected you in your pursuit of careers in PE/VC?
* Kelly Carlquist: Yes, for sure. Booth students have adopted a Grade Non-disclosure policy, but that doesn't mean students don't care about learning. This learning itself helped me grow as a person, which I can imagine helped during recruiting
Guest: How many people are involved in the Entrepreneurship scene but are not planning to found their own company nor join an early stage start-up?
* Nora Mansfield: There is a wide range, but the programs offered through the Polsky Center allow students the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship and gain experience regardless of where they land on the spectrum.
Guest: @Katherine - by pre-placement offers I meant post-graduation full-time offers for interning candidates
* Katherine Knight: Thanks for clarifying! It is not very common that folks are able to convert their internships in VC to full time roles, simply because the need for hiring is so dependent on deal flow and what the firm needs at a given moment. Many of the full time hiring is what we call just-in-time hiring
Guest: What kinds of resources/classes are relevant for quantitative trading/hedge funds?
* Jody Becker: The investment management group includes students focused on quant and hedge. Career Services has several proprietary databases for IM research, including identifying hedge funds and firms that are quant focused. Wealso have relationships with firms in this space that recruit and post, and also we accompany students on treks that include visits to quant and hedge fund firms. IN several geographies - west coast, Boston, NY, etc.
Guest: What advice do you have for people with pre-MBA PE/VC experience as they evaluate the benefits of business school, and Booth specifically?
* Kelly Carlquist: It depends on what you're looking for! One of the benefits of school IMO is the privilege to take a step out of the work force to develop professionally and personally. Also, some people with investing experience use school to pivot into a stage or industry they are more interested in, or perhaps pivot from investing to operations within a PE or VC fund.
Guest: Which channels (alumni, professors, career center, other?) were most useful in finding a mentor for entrepreneurial ventures? Do you find that Booth provides good opportunities to establish those mentoring relationships?
* Amanda Blank: Professors first and foremost. They are undoubtedly one of the best resources at Booth and I don't think/know if many people know that/use them. Mentor relationships/developing those are the same inside Booth as they would be outside, with the difference that at Booth you have an excuse to go pop into their office vs in real life, you probably won't get that chance naturally occur.
Guest: Hi, which society/group at Booth would you recommend to join for hands-on exposure to the VC industry? Thank you
* J.P. Bowgen: I'd recommend the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club. Most programming for VC opportunities funnels through EVC - you'll be in great hands (if I do say so myself)!
Guest: After graduation, what's the typical career path in PE/VC and what are the salary expectations? Thanks
* Katherine Knight: Career path in both PE and VC is dependent on both student interest and type of firm! In terms of salary expectations, take a look at the employment report: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport
Guest: Students whose internships are not converted into full-time at VC do what in the meantime and what kind of support is provided to them by Booth?
* Katherine Knight: Greetings! Students will continue to leverage the networks they have built over their first year and career services will continue to support in terms of identifying firms, contacts, and sourcing full time VC job opportunities.