What’s next for a passionate, motivated graduating senior who wants to change the world?

As a graduating college student, who has gone to school for their entire life (and at times wanted to get out) I am faced with a sense of agency and liberty I’ve never had. As empowering as this sounds, to spread my wings and extend my muscles, it is daunting to decide what is next.

What My Parents Tell Me To Do

My parents, like most parents, want me to be happy. A large part of being able to be happy is to be safe and secure. Parents want you to go a route where you’ll have stability to support yourself and build a family. I come from an entrepreneurial family, where my father has started and ran numerous companies, yet, he preaches the corporate world to garner experience and knowledge. When thinking about starting a company after graduation, my dad urges stability and experience when typically I would expect him to accept risk and entrepreneurship.

What My Mentors Tell Me To Do

Mentors often meet with you because they want to teach you lessons that they wish they knew when they were younger. Sharing valuable insights about business with young entrepreneurs is a way to help innovation and often make the world a better place. So when meeting with mentors about my business or my career they are often the most helpful. They give a strong, non-biased approach when sharing various anecdotes from their experience.

Summarizing what I’ve learned from them, if you choose to work, surround yourself with managers who are smarter than you and who you want to learn from. When your young, it’s most important to learn rather than earn. So treat your jobs as an educational experience. If you choose to startup, make sure you have traction with paying customers and you have the right support system around you if you were to fail. Starting a company is hard. Starting a company with no experience is even harder and you have to prepare for failure.

What My Friends Tell Me To Do

Most of my peers (that are relevant for this conversation) fall into four different buckets. One is going to more school, two is getting a corporate job, the third is to work for a startup and the fourth is starting your own company. The suggestions I receive are often to do what you love. Don’t worry about economic repercussions, the long term future or anything else. Just do what feels right and the rest will follow.

What I Tell Myself

Now, I want to change the world, so my view on post-college work is unrealistic and little naive. It’s finals week, and instead of studying I just listened to MPD’s talk about how to land a VC job (now here I am writing on medium). I want to work at a VC where I can be surrounded around smart people solving complex, worthwhile problems. Being involved in the innovation cycle while supporting great entreprenuers sticks out to me for a few reasons.

I can’t commit to one thing right now. I am interested in many different things. So meeting great people, being exposed to ideas while learning how they as individuals and their businesses operate is one. The second is to see how the industry works from both the entrepreneur and the VC. I want to understand how these relationships are made and how great companies are started and grown. Lastly, I simply want to learn and I believe working at a VC is one of the fastest way to learn a lot about a lot, fast.

What I’ll Do

I’ll read and consume every little bit of information I can from the best and then I’ll implement it. I want to be the jack-of-all-trades at a VC gig and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get there. I’ve been told that it’s unrealistic to get this job when I graduate, but from what I’ve learned from all the people above is to do exactly this ->

Be in a stable position to leap into new opportunities, seek knowledge from the best by doing what I love and to swing for the fences. A job at a VC is exactly that for me.

Now, all I have to do is to prepare myself to get that job. I’ll work on my venture on the side but my main focus is getting that VC job. Any feedback, recommendations or connections would be very appreciated. Much love!

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