Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Story of Self

In my sophomore year of college, I had no idea of my career path forward. Without a summer internship and approaching the winter break, I decided it would be the best use of my time to spend the 40+ days talking with people in all types of industries. I began reaching out to any adult I knew, parents of friends from Harvard, and cold outreach over LinkedIn. While predominantly I spoke with those in finance– hedge fund managers, investment bankers, private equity firm managers– I also talked to those in creative industries such as filmmaking. Then, Aa the end of each conversation, I asked for recommendations of additional people who would be helpful with whom to talk. This process not only informed me with what I wanted to do with my career, it also restored my faith in people’s willingness to help undergraduates early in their career. By the end of the winter, I had spoken with over ~25 professionals across various disciplines, and it became clear to me that venture capital was what I wanted to pursue.

One person I had spoken with had just started a fund in 2019 called Griffin Gaming Partners (GGP), solely focused on gaming. The team was small, about 5 people, but they handled a lot of capital and were open to hiring an intern. I signed for the summer, and, after Harvard went online for Coronavirus, I negotiated a full-time analyst contract for the year. Along with my best friend, I moved to Los Angeles (where Griffin Gaming Partners is headquartered) and spent a year living in Manhattan Beach and working in Santa Monica. The year confirmed what I had discovered during winter break– entrepreneurship and, more specifically, creating a company envigorated me and matched my aspirations. Venture capital as a means to engage with entrepreneurship was an industry that I needed to pursue. Over my time at Griffin Gaming Partners I saw the firm grow from $238M assets under management, 5 employees and 6 investments to ~20 employees with 16+ investments, 2 IPOs, and ~$1B assets under management. I sourced or dilligenced over 500 companies, trained new employees and managed multiple interns. Returning to Harvard, I wanted to share what I had learned in my gap year with other undergraduates, so I became comp director for Harvard Ventures, where my co-comp director and I lectured ~100 students weekly on venture capital and entrepreneurship. The following semester, without a comp process I took a step back from Harvard Ventures. Instead, I joined HUCP: a highly-selected venture capital organization focused on working with real VCs. While I hope to continue a career in venture capital, I also hope to interact with entrepreneurship more broadly. My inspiration for this project came from the passion I’ve seen in founders and the excitement surrounding the journey of creating a company. Hopefully, my contribution to the space can help accelerate the process of making entrepreneurship on the collegiate level a tighter-knit community.

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