A primary consideration for most high school students contemplating post-secondary education is the name of the institution or program and the associated brand and post-graduation career opportunities. Reflecting on my four years in the math/CPA program, my recommendation to those students would be to also consider the supplementary learning opportunities because they will provide a more well-rounded university experience.
The Student Venture Fund (SVF) is one example of these experiential learning opportunities that goes beyond the core program. My time on the fund has allowed me to interact and learn from start-ups and founders, whose perspectives and insights have both challenged my worldviews and given me a better understanding of venture capital.
On October 30, Bruce Croxon, a former Dragon on Dragon’s Den, was a guest speaker on the Raising Early Stage Capital panel held at UW. Along with two other students, we shared the Fund’s mandate and progress, which Bruce noted as an excellent proxy for the “real deal”.
From the panel discussion that followed, my biggest takeaway personally was learning from the angel investors’ experiences, particularly a comment made by Bruce: the most important thing in making a selection is to ensure there is an alignment in values. While technical competency is important, people are still a significant determinant of success. Therefore, it is critical to be selective and create team environments where there are truly caring and passionate individuals with similar priorities as yourself.
In brief, for anyone considering the School of Accounting and Finance, I would make sure to look into additional opportunities beyond the classroom as they can provide practical experience, a broadened perspective of career opportunities, and insight into different perspectives.