From Family Textile Business to Venture CapitalSummary
Breaking into the VC business is hard enough when your background is in finance—now imagine you’ve only ever worked in your family’s textile business. Adcoms crush implausible VC dreams every day, but not this time! This applicant, in the ultra-competitive Indian male demographic, was able to articulate a convincing case that he could navigate this challenging career pivot. It wasn’t just the Kellogg adcom that was convinced: after graduation he got the exact VC role we identified in our professional vision plan. In fact, he found our strategies so helpful that he came back to us for his application to a specialty degree, and also referred a relative with whom we had a very successful campaign to a top-3 school.
This applicant’s experience consisted almost entirely of working in the Indian manufacturing sector in a family business. Manufacturing is a relatively nontraditional path to the MBA, and he would have to work harder than most to explain his company and role to the adcom. It would also be exceptionally hard to get recommendations from non-family members that felt unbiased.
Most importantly, this applicant wanted to work in venture capital, while having no background in the space. He risked sounding unserious, one of the many applicants who claim to be interested in prestigious industries (VC, PE, MBB consulting) but demonstrate little knowledge about the extremely difficult process of breaking into them. Working by himself, he likely wouldn’t have done sufficient work on his career vision, specifically laying out steps to transition from manufacturing to VC. He also would not have known how to make schools value his family business experience, or even known that some programs are very eager to have such applicants.
We focused on identifying specifics – real steps to help him get into VC. This included discussion with family members about creating an investment office within the family business that would focus on potential tech investments. Secondly, we focused on identifying schools that would value his background, provide the right technical know-how for his career goal, and the right network of current/future business owners. In Kellogg, we ultimately identified the perfect ("dream!") program for an applicant with this profile. The application was successful, and the applicant went on to his desired career in VC investing.Acccepted to