Career Advice from Paul Graham, Venture Capitalist
My classmate, Colin Johnston, recommended an excellent article to me while we were talking about choosing career paths during the last day of our MBA orientation. Paul Graham, co-founder of Y-combinator and Viaweb, wrote a commencement speech for a high school but then wasn’t allowed to give the speech after they found out who he was. Instead, he posted it on his website, which you can find here.
While Mr. Graham wrote this for high school students, the advice is no less applicable to MBA students who are looking for a career change. We definitely get asked “what do you want to do?” as much as high school students, if not more!
Go explore the options!
After you look at the options, choose the ones that give you the best options in the future.
A little more detail on this point:
In other words, it’s better not to overspecialize because it will limit your ability to explore further. This could be the deciding factor when you’re trying to decide between an opportunity at a large company with a stovepiped role or an opportunity at a startup where your role is more broad and you cover a variety of functional areas.