Week 9 – Professional Development, Communication, and Problem Solving

Listening and understanding are essential in the workplace. At the beginning of the internship, I could not understand many things. For example, when my supervisor assigned me some tasks, it took me a longer time than other colleagues to understand what I should do. This is because I was new there, and I had not got used to the workplace context. Venture capital is a brand-new industry for me. After working for two weeks, I learned a lot of relevant knowledge. Therefore, it became much easier for me to understand the tasks and ideas. For example, market research is very crucial for venture capitals. Since our company invests in the early stage, there are not many data of the startups for us to analyze. Therefore, we use market research to analyze and predict the future trend of the market, industry and the startup. In the beginning, I did not know what aspect to focus on and what kind of data to collect. After watching other colleagues’ presentations, I learned the correct way of market research. Understanding the context, I knew what the whole team needed and how to research the market correctly.

When it comes to the feedback, I view it as one of the critical factors that motivate me. Even though the feedback in the workplace is not the same as the feedback at Pitt. When I studied at Pitt, the feedback can be clearly reflected by the grades of every assignment or exam. The professor is also willing to give students some advice or feedback during the office hours. However, in the workplace, there are no clear or fixed criteria for the feedback. Supervisors evaluate employees by considering many different factors. Different companies in different industries also use various elements for the standard.

Since I am working for a venture capital fund, the success is measured by the return brought to the fund. Only one or two of one hundred startups which are invested will be bought by other large companies or go public in the future, and the result my happen in years. By looking at the results of the investment, we are able to know the feedback. However, since the economy and technology are changing fast nowadays, we are not able to learn a lot from the past experience. The new business models and conceptes are different from before, so we, a early-stage venture capital, cannot use the same feedback and method when facing the new challenges.

When I work for A-Force Ventures, my supervisor always give me advice and feedback so that I know how to improve myself more. When I first arrived in the office, my supervisor spent a lot of time teaching me relevant knowledge and helping me better adapt to the new working environment. He let me research other similar funds first to understand our competitors or partners in the market better. We had a chit chat every day even though he was always busy with meetings and phone calls. I reported my progress and plan every day, and he gave me some suggestions or pointed out my mistakes. He was straight forward but helpful. I appreciate his assistance, patience and trust. He was also willing to help me with every problem and challenge I met. My supervisor also gave feedback to other every employee frequently. In this case, everyone had the opportunity to understand how to improve more and how to contribute better.

Besides my supervisor, my colleagues were also willing to provide me with some feedback. Since I was new to the company and other employees had been working for a longer time, they helped me quickly integrate into the whole team so that the teamwork would have higher efficiency. The vital way to achieve this outcome is giving me feedback through frequent communication. In this way, I understood why the whole team needed so that I could keep up with the team and work better.

This week is the last week for me to work in San Francisco. These two months are fantastic for me. Even though catching the bus early in the morning, sitting in the office from ten to six and putting great efforts into the job are exhausting, I genuinely enjoy this two-month internship. I not only learned a lot of knowledge of a different industry but also realized my interest in the investment. Through this internship, I decided my future career path and goal. I appreciate this opportunity and everyone helping me during these two months.