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How the Venture Associate Role Challenges Me to Grow

Tell us about yourself.

Born and raised in Singapore, I moved to the U.S. to attend Cornell’s Hotel School and currently live in New York City. Prior to AngelList, I worked at Deloitte as a strategy consultant for about 2.5 years. When I'm not working, you can find me at the pottery studio, doing pilates, or exploring the NYC restaurant scene.

What attracted you to AngelList Venture?

Startups and venture capital have always seemed like fascinating yet intimidating industries to me. The opportunity at AngelList offered me the ability to explore both. As I dug deeper into the company and its journey, I saw a business that truly understood and built products around critical friction points in a user’s experience. That resonated deeply with me as a person who understands and analyzes the world through human experiences and connections.

When did you know you 'had to have’ the Venture Associate job?

When our Head of People said to me: “of all places I’ve worked at, I’ve found AngelList to have the most entrepreneurial spirit of any company.” After a number of years in consulting, I was eager to step into a role where I was able to take more ownership and freedom with the work that I was doing. I loved the fact that I would fully own my relationships with fund managers, and I knew I’d be given the opportunity to drive initiatives that impact them for the better. 

How did your previous job prepare you for the Venture Associate role? 

Consulting taught me a lot about being comfortable with ambiguity. In my previous role, I was often given a high-level goal and was trusted to figure out the execution steps to get there. The Venture Associate role isn’t much different. Fund managers come to us with complex objectives, and we act as their trusted adviser to achieve (and perhaps even exceed) those goals with the support of our cross-functional teams.

What have you learned about venture capital through the Venture Associate role?

Everything from “what a typical Series A round looks like,” to “what type of wording should we use in fund documentation to achieve a specified goal.” Working at AngelList has pulled back the curtain for me and shown me a world that’s historically only been accessible to a few Silicon Valley insiders. Venture Associates sit in the middle of venture activity, so learning through osmosis is natural. Within a matter of weeks, our new Venture Associates quickly become well-versed in venture fund structures, law, and economics. 

What would you improve about the Venture Associate role?

This is a hard question to answer because the Venture Associate role is always evolving. I can safely say that my responsibilities as a new Venture Associate last year look very different from what I do today. My only hope is that Venture Associates continue to take on more impactful initiatives that drive meaningful change across the platform.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done (so far) at AngelList Venture?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to work on a number of AngelList Venture’s strategic partnerships with various top-tier venture firms. Every partnership has different needs, and I’ve relished the opportunity to unlock value for these firms using AngelList. I spent the better part of last year building out systems and processes that support this offering and I’m excited to continue rolling this out to the rest of the venture capital ecosystem.

How has AngelList / the role exceeded your expectations?

I’ve constantly felt challenged and pushed to grow at AngelList. Every quarter brings new challenges that push the boundaries of what I once thought was my limit. I feel empowered to choose the initiatives I take on and am excited about the projects I get to do. Above all, I’ve found amazing friends within the Venture Associate team, who I can count on for support no matter what. 

What is your top life hack for Venture Associates?

Time-block your day for different tasks. Create a block of time for answering emails. Close your email when you’re doing tasks outside of your email. Oh and, eat breakfast every day!

What do you do for AngelList now, and how did the VCA role prepare you?

I’m currently a Strategic Finance Lead at AngelList. I worked with the Venture Associate team for about two years before transitioning into this role.

As a Venture Associate, you often act as the glue across teams to enable success for your GPs, giving you a unique view into how our product runs as a whole. My time with the team provided me with experiences that deeply embedded me with our customers, cross-functional teams, and internal tech infrastructure.

As I progressed further on the team, I was able to use all of these tools & relationships to run several company-wide projects. It was during one of these projects that I led a wide-scale pricing calibration effort. Unexpectedly, I found a passion in working on this subject, and eventually transitioned into a permanent role on the Strategic Finance team when the opportunity came up.

Today, I still benefit from my deep knowledge of our product and customers, to quickly assess the feasibility of strategic decisions we’re considering at AngelList. Not to mention, I love having a direct line to my old team to get a quick download on the GP perspective whenever I need it!