MBA Dingle: Juggling between Entrepreneurship and Finding a Job in Finance? Be Mindful of Your Social Media Presence.
Entrepreneurship is a growing arena in business schools across the country. Statistically, however, 85% of ventures will fail within their first year. Many aspiring entrepreneurs in top business school must juggle a mountain load of debt between pursuing a highly risky endeavor and landing a potentially lucrative job in finance. How does your social media presence fit in?
As an entrepreneur, I am encouraged to use every social media channel to not only promote myself but my venture. My information should be readily available across multiple social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, websites, etc. All else equal, more is considered better. It makes sense for an entrepreneur to have a large social media footprint so prospective clients, partners, investors, and reporters can find him/her.
As a finance professional, however, one must be more calculating in sharing information with the world. The financial services industry is still relatively conservative and not as welcoming to “alternative resumes” in social media as industries such as technology. Unlike a company such as Google, which utilizes social media heavily to both recruit and vet candidates, top finance companies such as KKR still rely primarily on an immaculate resume. Although your social media presence may be equally scrutinized, it is more likely done so to scratch you off the list rather than promote your savvy social footprint.
In my opinion this is due to two primary reasons: 1. Top financial services firms invest heavily in new hires. Formal Summer Associate Training Programs alone can cost companies up to $20,000 per person. Any hesitation that a candidate is not fully vested in this career path will be left out. In this economy, career candidates are abundant, and there is no room for any doubt. 2. Work hours for top finance jobs are grueling. As a former investment banker, I worked 80-100hrs per week regularly. There is simply no time to pursue any hobbies outside of work, never mind maintain a twitter account. Thus, someone who has a high social media presence may be viewed as having a lack of dedication to the job.
I’m not suggesting that you should cut out social media if you want to pursue both paths but simply be mindful of what you put out there for the public to see. Do your aspirations fit in with your career pursuits? Would a prospective employer view it that way? An aspiring entrepreneur who is seeking to build a technology company could have synergies with a tech focused venture capital firm. An aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start a cake baking company probably won’t get the same benefit.