Flashcards in Post-MBA Deck (13):
What is your career ambition and what are career goals?
As a teenager, I watched my father start a business that assists the unbanked populations in his native country of Peru. I, too, want to use entrepreneurship as a means to change lives. I have participated in this creative process by investing in and working with a variety of businesses at Warburg Pincus. I want to continue to do high-impact, intellectually challenging work as a venture capital investor.
My short-term goal is continue to refine my skills as a venture capital investor. After graduating from business school, I intend to pursue opportunities at a venture capital firm with a strong presence in the education technology sector. I am certainly open to the idea of returning to Warburg Pincus given my rewarding experience thus far. However, I am also open to starting at a new firm, such as NEA, which has a strong track record of investing in the technology sector, and more specifically, education. I would also be interested in pure-play edtech firms, such as Learn Capital.
My long-term goal is to leverage my unique combination of skills to start a fund of my own. After gaining more firsthand experience, I intend to launch a fund with a mission of investing in businesses that change lives. By identifying and working with many more technology companies, like Civitas, I hope to empower others and help them succeed. I could also see myself starting a company of my own if the right opportunity comes along.
What are you passionate about? Why venture capital? What about working with fast growing companies do you like?
I view venture capital as a form of serial entrepreneurship, giving me the ability to work with many different management teams to grow a variety of businesses. There’s something about working with a young, fast-growing company that is exciting and inspiring.
1) OODLA Loop – Early stage companies are great at navigating a quickly evolving competitive landscape. It is exciting to contribute to a company’s strategy in a fast-moving environment.
2) Fail Wisely – successful entrepreneurs are able to turn setbacks into successes. Tremendous lesson / principle that I hold dear to my heart.
3) Networked Minds – pool together diverse perspectives in order to come up with breakthrough solutions to tough problems. I am a big believer that diversity fosters the foundation for innovation which is one of the things I most love about the HBS Case Method. Exciting to see innovation take place before my eyes.
At the end of the day, I LOVE the work that I do, and I am excited when I talk about companies, like Civitas.
Why are you interested in education technology?
1) Personal interest given childhood struggle with learning disability. Have made it my personal mission to help others push their boundaries and realize their potential, both through hands-on community involvement (KIPP) and through venture capital investing (Civitas)
2) Professional interest given (i) large, growing slice of GDP (8% or $1.5 T), (ii) innovative companies are challenging the incumbents across the value chain relative, (iii) higher ed institutions are laggards in adoption of technology, and therefore ripe for disruption; lots of opportunities to invest in fast-growing and established firms
1) Outsourced services in post-secondary market – increasing pressure to cut costs and outsource non-core functions given tightening state funding ($200B oppty)
2) Data analytics – leverage longitudinal, proprietary data; Education sector produces enormous data sets on students, faculty and schools; analytics can produce demonstrable ROI
3) Student success – increasing focus on student outcomes; state based funding increasingly tied to student success metrics, such as graduation rates, rather than enrollment
1) Highly regulated – need to have deep understanding of regulatory environment to properly navigate the market
2) Slow sales cycle – need to properly account for this when assessing go-to-market strategy and unit economics
3) Cultural shift – there is a bit of complacency unlike many other industries, cultural shift across institution is required in order to see widespread adoption
Why not stay at WP?
It is something I strongly considered. I took a disciplined approach to making my decision, conducting extensive ‘due diligence’ so to speak. I spoke to a wide range of individuals (business school, no business school, etc) in order to gather feedback and form my own point of view. Conclusion I came to is that the benefit I will receive from going to business school far outweighs the added benefit that comes from staying a third year.
I could also pursue the direct path and bypass business school altogether. However, I have never been one to focus on the short game. I am always considering the long-term. I think that the long-term benefits that I will reap from business school far outweigh the benefit of getting a promotion one year sooner or doing one more deal. For example, I see partners call on their business school network daily for deal sourcing, due diligence, and job opptys.
What would your dream job be and why?
Dream job = Steven Starr --> first restaurant would be Biggie Smalls
Why: Dream job because would combine my love for food, my energetic personality, my entrepreneurial drive, and my passion for business.
Constraint: Just a dream though: I know the restaurant business is tough, and I have no experience in the industry. Would need a lot of money and would need to surround myself with experts
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in ten years? How do you plan to get there? What is your career vision? Do you really think it is achievable?
10 years from now I should have sufficient venture capital investing experience to branch out and launch my own fund
What do you want to do directly after B-School? What type of role would you have?
My short-term goal is continue to refine my skills as a venture capital investor. After graduating from business school, I intend to pursue a Vice President role at a venture capital firm with a strong presence in the education technology sector. I am certainly open to the idea of returning to Warburg Pincus given my rewarding experience thus far. However, I am also open to starting at a new firm, such as NEA (D2L, Coursera), which has a strong track record of investing in the technology sector, and more specifically, education. I would also be interested in pure-play edtech firms, such as Learn Capital (BrightBytes, Udemy).
What would your ideal summer internship be?
I have spent a lot of time on the finance side of entrepreneurship, but would love to get firsthand exposure to the day-to-day operations by working at a start-up of my own or someone else’s
When you look back on your life, what will you be most proud of? What do you want people to say about you? What do you want to have accomplished?
Someone who was committed to helping other push their boundaries both through hands-on community involvement and through venture capital investing.
I want to help grow businesses that impact the world in a meaningful way.
How will you know when the pinnacle of your career is?
When I have successfully launched my own fund or started my own company, I will know I have reached the pinnacle of my career because I will have accomplished what I am truly passionate about. Per my dad’s advice, if I pursue what I am passionate about, success and happiness will follow.
Tell me something interesting about your post-MBA industry of choice
Technology landscape is growing fast and evolving quickly. When I return to venture capital post-MBA, I will likely entering a very different market. That’s what is so exciting --> MBA will equip me with the knowledge, skills and resources to navigate a rapidly changing world
Describe what you would do if you had to choose a new profession.
I would likely launch a company of my own. One idea is to disrupt excel as we know it
Or if I wanted to REALLY change it up, I would start a restaurant called Biggie Smalls