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Going From No VC Experience to Partnering With Leading Fund Managers

Tell us about yourself

I was raised in Fremont, California but recently made the move to New York City. I attended school at the University of California, Irvine where I studied business administration and also spent a year studying abroad in London. After graduating, I started my career at Deloitte as a consultant in their treasury practice. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and traveling—anything that gets me outside in nature.

What attracted you to AngelList Venture

The Venture Associate role involves collaborating across product, operations, and customer success, which I thought would be an excellent opportunity to leverage and grow my skill set. I could tell AngelList is a place where employees wear multiple hats, and if they see something that isn’t working well, they can speak up and be a part of the team that creates a solution. 

I also found AngelList to be a mission and product-driven company. The products are thoughtfully designed and continuously improved to better the founder and investor experience. 

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

After watching the CEO, Avlok Kohli, discuss the company on the Pomp Podcast. It was clear to me through that interview that company leadership is truly passionate about the work they do.

Describe the Venture Associate role in one sentence

The gorilla glue that holds it all together.

Vahini hiking in Yosemite.

How did your job at Deloitte prepare you for the role? 

At Deloitte I worked in client-facing roles that required a lot of on-the-job learning. For every project I joined, I had to adapt to a new working environment, client, technology system, and team, all while executing day-to-day work.

The experience taught me how to build and maintain client relationships as well as learn to be autonomous at work. Most of the tasks I do at AngelList allow me to make key decisions on my own. I reap the benefits and handle the consequences if I make a mistake. 

What is your favorite part of being a Venture Associate?

I learn something new everyday.

I came into the role with no prior venture experience. 10 months later, I’ve learned how to close investments, review legal documents, and manage communication lines between founders, startups, fund managers, and investors.

There's no playbook on how to do the Venture Associate role. Everyday I spend time researching an edge case, reading through product updates, and receiving feedback. Working in an ambiguous role has made me more motivated to get the job done and do it well. 

What have you learned about the venture industry by being a Venture Associate?

The Venture Associate role puts you in a unique position to be at the center of the venture capital industry—we get introduced to a huge network of fund managers, investors, and founders, have access to valuable startup data, and oversee the lifecycle of deals and funds from start to finish. 

After handling hundreds of deals and managing a number of funds, I’ve learned to understand how rounds are priced, how to parse through deal investment documents to ensure we’re keeping our fund managers’ best interests in mind, and how to advise fund managers on products that are best suited for them based on their investing habits, investor base, and deal flow. 

What's your favorite project you've worked on as a Venture Associate?

Anything that involves collaborating with the product team. Whenever I see an issue my clients are facing, I’m empowered to work on a solution with our team and then collaborate with the product and legal teams to implement the solution on the platform. Seeing an idea go from a Google document to being pushed live in a matter of weeks is really cool.

Venture Associates are product specialists because we work closely with fund managers—so the product team relies on us for feedback. It’s one of the many ways Venture Associates add value to the company. 

What is your top life hack for Venture Associates?

Focus on one task at a time. Your to-do list will fill up quickly and it can be overwhelming to think about all the work. But if you slow things down and take it one step at a time, you’ll feel less stressed and get more done.

What advice would you give Venture Associate applicants?

Do your research on AngelList, the role, and make it show in the interview. It's great to see candidates come prepared with knowledge of how the company works and our product offerings. Also, make it known what about the company interested you—this role is a two-way street. We love to hear what brought candidates to consider AngelList as well.


If you’d like to learn more about working as a Venture Associate at AngelList, feel free to contact Vahini directly at [email protected].