By Mitch Kirby, ’16
When I arrived at Booth, I knew I wanted to use the time to explore different career paths, but was unsure of the exact route to take. In my first year, I adamantly pursued venture capital, private equity, and startups and spent my summer internship in the venture capital arm of General Electric. I was hoping that by the end of my summer internship, what I wanted to do with my life would be clear and that a career in venture capital would be the obvious choice.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out so clearly. My summer taught me a ton, both about myself and the venture capital industry, but it also introduced countless questions into my mind. Despite enjoying my summer overall, I wondered if VC was the best next step in my career. I spent many nights questioning whether it kept my options open, whether it would be my best option financially, whether I could break in down the road; and wondered which career paths would offer me such an opportunity.
I talked to dozens of people to help inform my decision and commiserated with countless Boothies who found themselves in a similar position after their summers. What I really wanted was a data-driven way to inform my decision. I wanted to be able to visualize career paths and understand the options and opportunities that each one afforded. I wanted not just to think about my first job out of business school, but also to think long-term and understand how different career paths really played out and I wanted robust data to do all of this.
This anxiety of choosing my ideal career path while constrained by a lack of relevant and robust data is what inspired me to start TransparentMBA.com. Our goal is to make this process easier by building the ultimate resource for MBA students navigating jobs and career paths. We are making one of the biggest decisions of our lives and should at least know what we are getting ourselves into and fully understand the decisions we are making.
For all you first-years out there, I wish I could tell you that after landing your coveted internship at your dream company you will come away from your summer knowing that it is exactly what you want to do and the best next step for you. I can’t guarantee that, it unfortunately didn’t happen for me. However, I do know that if we can increase the transparency and access to data in this process, then maybe we can at least rest a little easier knowing that we have the tools necessary to tackle one of the biggest decisions of our lives.
If you want to join us on our mission for data transparency in the career decision making process, feel free to contribute to the discussion at TransparentMBA.com.
Mitch Kirby is a Career Advisor and founder of TransparentMBA.com.