Focus and take a shot

, originally uploaded by GaryTumilty.

Tasting sangria – check
Partying with a friend who just left a deadpan job – check
Hear Dennis Crowley speak about Foursquare once again – double check
Getting to talk to him – negative due to a badly timed frickin’ midterm (which I was, by that time, in half mind, to skip but the remains of once-a-good-student tag pulled me back)
And yeah, first MBA mid term – check

Three weeks gone and I think I’ve made a decent start towards my original goals. I got both (and also the only) club positions I applied for. I got into IMI with Time Warner, which more than the learning, is a way to experience how big Media conglomerate function from inside. But, coming from Citi, the big offices and sexy conference rooms and views don’t attract me on their own anymore. What my take away from this program would be is to see what direction these companies are taking to tackle technical challenges and how has increased role of technology redefined their strategy. NYU applicants interested in career switching should check this program out.

But most excitingly, I got into InSITE Fellowship program – which is the best and most hands-on way to get involved in the startup-VC ecosystem in New York. After just two meetings, I can safely say that this is the most effective thing I could get involved in to realize any VC aspirations I have harbored over past one year. Why? Because:

  1. VC internships are rare and jobs rarer than a white tiger.
  2. Further, its a vicious circle where you need VC experience to get a VC job in first place.
  3. You need a super rich angel grandma or dad to show you an inside gate.

And yet, I’ve wanted it – or I’ve at least wanted to explore what VCs do while I am at B school. No kidding, this is my second highest priority (first being an intern at Foursquare!). After all, this is the best time to try it out and see what its like. So, getting into InSITE is dream come true and an achievement most relevant to me. It hasn’t been easy either. They just took 20 candidates from 240 that applied from NYU and Columbia Business, Law and other schools.

And now, I know whats my schedule like and the journey begins. At this point, I do think that keeping focus has helped me immensely. I started from scratch with no VC background and small startup understanding to boast off. But instead of randomly trying everything and joining every frickin’ club and going to every corporate presentation, I filtered everything that looked entrepreneurial and VC relevant only. Actually, I’ve been doing it since right after I got admitted to Stern and I think it helped. I had volunteered at StartUp2010 conference and attended various VC panels in Media & Entertainment and PE conferences earlier this year. Laying this groundwork helped and this just re-emphasizes my belief that knowing what you really want is the key to moving ahead in right direction. Additionally, I am not fretting too much over assignments and exams and whole GPA business – I just don’t think it matters.

InSITE promises to be a fun and intensive journey – it is a 2 years commitment but so worth it. Actually what precipitated this blog entry was that I came across this book review for Jeff Bussgang’s ‘Mastering the VC game’ by Brad Feld himself. Jeff is going to be a speaker at InSITE soon and so is Fred Wilson and I am so looking forward to meet all these legendary VCs in person.

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to understand how venture capital works, how VC’s think, and read some great stories about entrepreneurial arcs, this book is for you.  When Jeff told me about this project a year or so ago, I gave him lots of encouragement, made a few introductions, and offered to do anything I could to be helpful.  I did two meaningful proofreading cycles so I’ve effectively read this book twice – it’s just spectacular.

So, as you can see, B school is a fun journey – the more you invest, the more you get. I dont think I could get more ROI anywhere else. The only pre-condition is you know what you want out of your investment. Again, going back to my earlier point that location matters – NY is an awesome place to be in. Stay tuned for more MBA and InSITE updates.

One thought on “Focus and take a shot”

  1. Awesome.

    My take away from this blog –
    1. Focus and careful selection helps immensely.
    2. If I know what I want out of an MBA programme, I benefit much more.

    Two thumbs up, Girl! 🙂
    Man, I need to meet you some day…

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