We Are Hiring An Analyst
Every couple years USV hires a two year analyst. This is an ideal job for a young person early in their career who is looking to get a bird’s eye view on startups, the tech sector, and venture capital investing.
This is not the start of a career at USV as this job ends after two years and we expect the analyst to move on to other things. Our past analysts have launched a seed fund, joined one of our portfolio companies, joined another venture firm, joined another venture backed startup and worked on their own start-ups.
We have kicked off a new analyst search and my colleague Nick blogged about it on the USV blog on Friday. We’ll be accepting applicants until 11:59pm Eastern time on Tuesday, May 31st.
This search is open to anyone. There are no credentials required other than the ability to legally live and work in the US. This job is in New York City and we are not open to a remote work situation for this position.
If you remain interested after reading all of that, please visit the USV blog where there are details of what we need to know about you and how to apply.
Fred, could not resist forwarding the details on my personal analyst: http://www.zefrank.com/thew…
“We expect your online presence to represent who you are, not who you think an employer wishes you were, so please don’t waste time sanitizing your web presence before sending us there.”Loved that part. If I was many many years younger, I would have applied 😉
Social Media Sanitizer(21st century job titles)
Good title for a LinkedIn fake profile prank.
I would have needed it back in the 80s
I now know a lot of people who are basically hated by their corporate communication departments. It is not an easy thing to find. Lots of corporations want bland employees that do not rock any boats. I am lucky that the place where I am is supportive of people having their own personalities, and I wish more places did this. Instead of suggesting that “we’re watching you” I think I’d go with “do not sanitize your social media profile, we like people who are a little weird” or something more encouraging like that. Though I can also imagine many companies not wanting weird. Ultimately in the 21st century companies are going to have to stake out where they sit on the weird/not weird divide. Do you want yes people or innovators? No right answer here, but people are going to self-select on both sides, and I know who I’d bet on.
I don’t regret the past – but this is one occasion where I see a dream opportunity and admit I am slightly envious on behalf of my younger self !We often work with clients remodelling their route to client engagement (they are energy retailers – we suggest they “sell less” for more 🙂 – It is great when we meet a young analyst who gets the proposition. They can sometimes lead a charge into exciting new territory.I hope no less for your hire !
Incredible opportunity. When you are young, not all opportunities come along. This is one where if you happen to be in the right place at the right time-you choose to take it.If I wanted to be in VC and I was in my 20s I’d jump all over this. When I was 24, I quit my corporate job and worked making $150/wk gross no benefits running orders from telephone banks to order fillers in pits. It was the way to break into the industry. I was engaged, and my in-laws weren’t too happy. My parents thought I was nuts.
when i was 24 i was working in what in the US may be called a ‘social welfare office’ attending to the UK’s ‘underclass’. that was an eye opener. the experience helped to shape my thinking that all is not quite right about the way the UK functions (the pernicious ‘class system’) and that it desperately needs to change. i know i was earning somewhat less than $150/ wk. i regret working there, but i don’t regret seeing what i saw.
If I wanted to be in VC and I was in my 20sAgree. And I’d also make a list of each and every other potential firm out there and propose to do the same job prior to them even thinking or hiring for it.For that matter my guess is that if someone came to you and offered to be your right hand person for 6 months with no pay to learn what you know as an investor you would certainly consider that. And even if you wouldn’t, someone like you would take them up on it.
In my 20s I described what I thought would be the perfect job. I just didn’t know that it had a name. Besides, as someone who has been self-supporting since the age of 19 I had to accept some limitations on my choices. By the time I figured it out and started hanging out around VC blogs I realized that the moment had passed.Although I can’t say that I am unhappy with the way things turned out. There is more than one way to feed a passion.From what I can see, you do some angel investing. Does this do it for you, or do you regret not going into VC?Also, some day in the near future I’d love to pick your brain. Chicago is on my target list for future expansion.
I’m a little curious about the emphasis on ‘young’ both in your post and in the comments. Seems like an unnecessary and suboptimal filter.What if someone like Carl Griffith or a woman returning to work after taking a couple years off to have kids took an interest in this position? That person would most likely take themselves out of the running after seeing this, and USV might miss out on an amazing candidate.At my last job we opened up the internship this summer to anyone, not just currently enrolled students. The result was significantly more applicants and a significant lift in the overall quality of applicants.
quite right Kirsten. it’s simply ageist and blinkered. it’s a shocker.
I might be wrong, but I took that line as a way of saying “this doesn’t pay well.” I didn’t see it as a Fred purposefully trying to only attract young people but as accidentally falling into a classic notion of the kind of person who doesn’t mind a poorly paid but experience-rich position. Nonetheless, I do think it has an unintended and (presumably) undesirable consequence.
if your interpretation is right and it doesn’t pay well then it’s also avacancy that will be inaccessible to those without the invisible financial umbilical of a parental allowance or trust fund.
My experience with the internship we listed demonstrated this wasn’t true. People of all sorts find ways to do something if they want it.
i write this from the perspective of my society. perhaps it doesn’t translate too well to NYC.
Don’t get me wrong — my guess is that they’ll still see a majority of applicants coming from the ‘classic’ demographic. But we were very pleasantly surprised by the increase in diversity of people we saw apply to the internship.
Well it doesn’t need to pay well.If I wanted to get into the entertainment business I’d pay to be the right hand person of an established and respected Hollywood agent for 2 years. Now you can argue that’s unfair if someone can’t afford to do that but it’s no different then a host of other things in life that are unfair because of economic conditions which favor one group over the other.Separately you are correct 100% in how you are reading the intent but I am not sure how that isn’t any worse of a filter than a company (USV or otherwise) saying they will not pay for relocation expenses and only want qualified people who live in NYC.Amazing though how Fred/USV gets jumped on in the way that is happening. No good deed goes unpunished.
I have no idea what it pays. I’m therefore not criticizing how much it pays. I’m not arguing fairness here at all. I’m saying that filtering the applicants is non-beneficial to USV.
I am curious what you think about companies that send their people to only certain college campuses as a filter? You do recognize that there is a time impact of having to review more applicants (or visit each and every college), right? There is also the concept that giving rejection to someone isn’t a good thing as well. And that they only need one person for this job and feel quite confident that if they get 300 (arbitrary) replies they are as good off as getting 1200 replies, right? This is about finding someone to work at USV, not fixing social problems or created more opportunity for 1 other person.Guess what? Let’s see how many qualified people jump at the chance to work at any of the companies that would post on USV that they are looking for “an analyst (or equivalent) to work for 2 years that must be located in HOMETOWN and contain XYZ qualifications”. Probably 1/20th of the responses, if that.My point is this. Are people applying for jobs fair? I remember hiring back in the day and people would come and see our building and bail on the interview. They wanted to work in a nice environment not whatever we had at “the factory”. Ditto for my Dad’s wholesale place before that. People wanted to be a secretary in a brand new big office building with fresh carpets and paint (with less pay) rather than a messy place in the wholesale district.Same goes for dating. Homely guy says good looking girl is a B**** without regard to all of the girls he rejects that don’t meet his standards.
“This is about finding someone to work at USV, not fixing social problems or created more opportunity for 1 other person.”You seem to have read a lot into what I wrote that isn’t actually there.I’m suggesting that it’s beneficial >>to USV<< to have a bigger, more diverse applicant pool. I’ve made zero mention of fairness or social problems.
Agree that I read into what you are saying.However USV is a small organization and it has a well honed system for identifying from the “less diverse group” of individuals as opposed to a wider applicant pool (which might be a good idea for a much larger organization with more resources). So the signals they pick up could be wrong the same way if I decided to invest in startups I could bet wrong because I don’t have the same feel for people (who are seeking investments) the way that USV does.  Just the same way I have a sense for people that I deal with in my business that perhaps you don’t. All taken in context to what you already know with of course some overlap.Now given enough time and resources that can be overcome. I’m just not sure it’s worth it to USV to do that (for this particular position). They have probably decided it’s not. Any of us could be right in the end (you, me, them) but they are the ones who actually have to execute.So while it’s easy to say “hey why don’t you consider a wider pool” you have to keep in mind that the people talking to people have a great deal of work from the restricted pool of applicants as it is.An example. It’s beneficial for me, when trying to find a hotel to stay at, to do any number of things that I don’t do now. I am sure with more time spent I could possibly come to a better conclusion. But at a certain point you make a decision and cut bait. And you know if you read my comments that I tend to say “don’t be lazy”. But that line is different depending on the task. This was parodied by someone, not USV, as “look and act like Zuckerberg” at some point.
Last time I checked, Fred’s motto is “hire slow, fire fast.” Seems worth looking at a wide selection of candidates for a position that is supposed to definitely last two years. They could engage a consultant to do the initial sifting. But really, it doesn’t matter one bit to me.I just was noting what looked to me like a glaring filter, in case they felt it was worth removing it. I half expected him to reply that it was intentional (and I would have respected that).I honestly didn’t anticipate all the discussion my comment generated (although, I probably should have!).
it does pay well. that is not why we want people early in their career.
Got it. Hard to believe, but I’m often wrong 😉
I just realized that my comment might read like I find it hard to believe it pays well. I really meant it as a joke suggesting it might be hard to believe I’m wrong sometimes :)And BTW, I’m def not accusing you of ageism. I just saw it as a filter that you may or may not want at play in your recruiting.
not you. others.
Fred, I didn’t see you explain why someone early in their career is a better fit for this position? Looked in the comments, the application and in the post. Did I miss that somewhere?Is it something you’d rather not disclose? (Not implying anything sinister, just wondering why this is an important attribute –digital native required, fresh eyes or something else like that.)
What purpose would not paying well serve?
this is not the first time i’ve been accused of being an ageist.
+1000. Also because people will generalize from your post.I see people in their 40s experiencing a career discontinuity and wondering if they’ll ever work again. If people are supposed to work “forever” and we’re all valuing youth…I don’t see how this ends the way we want it to.
Is that USV’s job to fix that or make things better for that particular person?
It’s not about a partucilat person, rather it’s about excluding a class of people. It’s ironic as the gothamgal, as i recall, started her career as a vc as a second career and would seemingly be excluded from applying.
She is not excluded from applying at all by the way I read the post. And even if she was she could still apply and prove that she is the best qualified for the job.
The job description is pretty clear. We can argue at what point your youth ends, but go back and look at previous interns and you’ll get usvs answer
SPOT ON.And since she became a VC she’s been nominated as ‘Angel of the Year.’
They won’t work again at anything much above minimum wage and will have trouble even with that unless they start and run their own successful business. In the US today, that’s just the truth.A person under 40 working for a salary in an ordinary job, e.g., without some professional status, tenure, independent reputation, etc., is on a long walk on a short pier, really, slowly throwing their life away. Instead they just CANNOT just take the job and the paycheck and enjoy the evenings and weekends and instead just MUST build a solid, stable career.One of the first criteria is a really good barrier to entry, and now in the US the first and usually best choice is a geographical barrier to entry so that are not in competition with, say, anyone more than 100 miles away. Then do well within 100 miles and can do well.E.g., there have been reports that Intel has long had a personnel policy that by 35 a person must get promoted into management or be out the door. Of course, of the original hires, maybe fewer than 1 in 20 gets promoted into management.Bluntly it can often be true that a Masters or Ph.D. in electronic engineering would be better off swapping their degree for an electrician’s license. E.g., an electrician has a good geographical barrier to entry while a high end EE is likely in competition with people in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.Two guys in high school. One is a goof off and mows grass. The other one is smart and goes all the way, Ph.D. in EE. Then at age 35, the grass mowing guy has 10 crews and a good living, the Ph.D. is out of work and permanently unemployable as an EE and can wish he’d gone into grass mowing.The US can’t remain strong going this way. Instead, we have to get the country moving again so that there are plenty of jobs.Why such severe age discrimination? Because nearly every middle manager who hires wants someone naive, subservient, and not a career threat to the manager — goal subordination.
Young because might not pay great, long hours, travelling etc.Doesn’t have to be an ageist conspiracy
So I just said something similar to Jason below.Of course, I didn’t use ‘ageist’ or accuse anyone of conspiracy, ahem.But the use of it does have what I presume are unintended consequences. So I thought it was worth pointing out, especially in light of my recent experience with our internship.
‘conspiracy’ – err?
You mention suboptimal, maybe being young is an optimal precondition for other attributes like a younger mind or younger eyes. I wonder if younger eyes can see things that older eyes cannot. Maybe contemporary eyes is a better description. We need a person with a high index of neuroplastic activity who is willing to be reprogrammed by skillful peers, maybe.
“high index of neuroplastic activity who is willing to be reprogrammed by skillful peers” ha ha ha! I give that statement a 10, LOL.I think it probably doesn’t pay well 😀 So it would be easy to assume it’s a role for a young person with few bills and five roommates. But, my experience is that removing those filters is beneficial for everyone involved.
Nah, a top firm like USV must have above average compensation, so I insist on neuroplasticity. :-)Some personality traits are hardwired, other can vary with age. I have seen people with very strong characters get milder with age, which could be said that makes them ‘better’, I have seen the opposite too. I agree that removing barriers of entry is healthy for an organization, but I also think that for some specific situations narrowing the search is the ‘optimal’ thing to do. HR optimal but not PR optimal though.
That person would most likely take themselves out of the running after seeing thisWell then what does that show? Does that show overcoming adversity and high achievement potential (at the job) because you don’t feel it’s worth your effort to even apply and even give it a shot? Is that the type of person who would stand out among perhaps 300 applicants (wild guess here have no clue how many people will apply)?I know that isn’t your point and stipulated it’s not an appropriate filter to setup. But look at it the other way. The fact that the filter is implied in some way means that someone in that group would actually stand a better chance of potentially getting hired. So that’s good, not bad.  Just like the salesman who ignores the “no solicitors” sign and the door and walks in thinking “what do I have to lose by giving it a shot?”.
This notion falls apart pretty quickly. That means we ought to say the job is best suited for men from middle class backgrounds and Ivy League schools. Think of all the fascinating, determined people who will apply!
How about the older (or younger) person gets away from the idea that the only jobs worth applying for are ones that are actually posted as jobs? Perhaps they can spend time presenting themselves to companies that aren’t actively even hiring to avoid any competition at all? Advice I have given to people over the years that has resulted in job offers and is certainly possible (given you put legwork into figuring the best prospects). I am reminded of the people working at a Walmart located close to one of my offices many years ago. None of them had ever even knocked on the doors in my complex seeing if there was any work. Not in, I think, 7 years. All they knew was “apply to usual suspects” and get shitty job. Nothing super creative about this idea.
My point is simply that it is not beneficial to USV to filter the applicant pool for a job that has no qualifications “other than the ability to legally live and work in the US.”
Well I would argue actually (in support of your point) that Fred has it all wrong.In theory if he truly wants the best person for the job he would open up the job to the entire world and pay for housing for 2 years for the most qualified person for the job no matter where they currently live.Of course this would involve additional uncertainties and expenses and complicate things greatly. But in theory it seems that an older person with actual experience would hold more knowledge, in theory and given the right person, than a recent college graduate.Unfortunately there are other masters to serve (in the job description) that counter that “potential” benefit. So what is really needed are 2 people, one younger (so no make-e airbnb mistakes) and the older person with a skillset that allows for better analysis perhaps.
This is some dangerously slippery thinking my friend.
You haven’t looked at the glass half full part of what I said.
“A glass half full of preconceptions still leaves a bad taste.” — Michael Scott
i removed the word young from the post. thanks for bringing this to my attention. we do want someone early in their career for a host of reasons though.
.This is what is called being “smart” and “fair.”It is not illegal. In fact, it is quite laudable.This is why Freddie is a mensch.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
what are those reasons?
.This is what is called “institutional age bias” and it is wrong, perhaps illegal.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
USV, the institution. it’s all over.
Is it time to have a honest discussion about the harm that younger newly minted CEOs are having on the tech market, how many have been forced to resign in the past few years?
I’m feeling the need to clarify that I pointed this out not from a social justice standpoint (despite my personal views, heh) but from a good-for-business standpoint. A diverse candidate pool benefits the company (and as it happens benefits the candidates, too).
So many obvious examples of “isms”…Let’s take the case of a 45 yr old professor of data science, who is taking a sabbatical to explore a career option….not qualified ??
LOL. I knew I could count on you, @JimHirshfield:disqus 😀
I just put that film in my Netflix list last night!
It’s a fun movie. Enjoy!
Kirsten Lambertsen:two take aways of internships, entry level and expirating assignments.1.The pay is something the company offering it can live with offering2. Soliciting the youth verses experience guarantees the pay offered is something the company offering can live with.Getting the best value and return out of your investment. A VC view.Age discrimination an issue in corporate America. Hire three for the price of twenty years of experience. But can open the door for the unrepresented which could be cured via the youth request.Those with any experience and have been displaced or under reorganization should just hire themselves. (Start your own business) Stop begging and waiting for help. Help yourself.
Read (arguably) the most amazing post by a VC ever last night, Steve Schlafman of RRE:* https://medium.com/@schlaf/…If I was a new graduate, I’d find every which way to go be apprentice to Steve.USV analyst role is also a great opportunity.
Great read thanks T^2
Timely and inspiring read. Thanks, Twain! You are a great curator.
Thanks, Donna. We’re here to be inspired and to do better, :*).
In USVs case I finally understand that for you hiring “young” is a form of hiring for diversity. Just like I need to hire a millennial male for a similar reason if I truly want to benefit from a different way and certain type of thinking.I do believe you could achieve some of your objectives by hiring someone older but that type of older person will be a needle in a haystack.For better or for worse, expediency often wins out in recruiting.
Hi, Donna 🙂 This did cross my mind, that ‘young’ would be different from most of the staff at USV. I just couldn’t help but think that there are a lot of interesting people of all ages out there right now, at this particular time, as a result of the current environment. Why miss out on them? There might be other differentiators that bring even more value to the work than chronological age or years of work experience, maybe.It’s efficient to trust that the assumptions you’ve decided in the past are valid. But it’s also healthy to re-evaluate those assumptions regularly, I think.
Hi Kirsten 🙂 Sticking with a formula is a prevalent reason that companies miss out on potential team members. Recruiting can be grueling work, so I understand that if a company comes up with a formula that works for them, they will continue working the formula. This could actually be a selling point for my services — that I can help a company go outside the formula to meet people that they ordinarily might have missed.Expediency can be the enemy of great. Although to USV’s credit they’ve had some exceptional people come through there and I’ve appreciated their approach to recruiting. But I do have to wonder what would happen if they mixed it up a bit more. Of course, it’s easier to wonder from a distance than to actually implement.
I hope some day I can hire you! And you’re totally right, of course. It’s easy to wonder from a distance.
The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby viewed in Harlem. The unknown Jockies.Watching the Kentucky Derby in Harlem: ‘It’s about American history.We are not much on horse racing but enjoy the forgotten history.http://flip.it/Cm9ik
Fred: Thought this was worthy of noting ref data scientists and the comment re black holes & asteroids: https://www.linkedin.com/pu…
In his own words no explanation required when intelligent people listenhttps://youtu.be/fjbjORApgYI
I am highly interested. I am an entrepreneur looking to build my skill set in this sector to add to my knowledge bank. I am willing to relocate, and certain I’d add value to USV.