IVCA Scholar Q&A: Jason Aguiar of ARCH Venture Partners

IVCA Scholar Q&A: Jason Aguiar of ARCH Venture Partners

July 15, 2008

CHICAGO - “ The Illinois Venture Capital Association recently spoke with Jason Aguiar about winning a slot in the IVCA Scholar program, working for ARCH Venture Partners and his future and present in the investment industry.


IVCA: How long have you been interested in the venture capital and private equity industries?
Jason Aguiar:
I first got interested in these industries about a year ago. Sterling Partners co-founder Steven Taslitz came to talk to my honors' group at the University of Illinois. He was a great speaker and really caught my attention to an industry that I knew little about.

IVCA: What do expect to learn during your term this summer at ARCH Venture Partners?
JA:
I would like to get an understanding about the industry that I wouldn't be able to get by reading a book. I want to be able to see and experience the work that goes on every day inside a VC firm. I would also like to get an understanding of what it takes to work in this industry.

IVCA: How has the industry been instructed to you in the classroom? What real-world experience are you hoping to get out of the next couple of months?
JA:
I haven't had much instruction in the classroom about this industry. That's why I am excited to learn about it on the job. The real-world experience I hope to receive is an understanding of what work is like day to day and how to succeed in an industry like this.

IVCA: How did the interview process go with IVCA members? What about you do you think they liked the most?
JA:
The interview process with the IVCA members went very well. While interviews can be an extremely stressful environment, everyone was very welcoming and made it much easier. I think the thing they liked about me the most was my willingness to learn and work hard.

IVCA: In what ways do you think the VC and private equity industries intersect with the other areas you're studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Business?
JA:
The area I see it intersecting with most is finance. There are many financial models and terms used in this industry that we have gone over at school. There's also an intersection with accounting because you need to be able to look at financials and understand them.

IVCA: Do you know if this is an industry you would like to work in after you graduate?
JA:
This is definitely an industry I would like to work in after I graduate. There is a lot of excitement in building a company in this industry (especially on the venture side). I think I would enjoy doing that. There is also a lot of variety in the day-to-day work that always keeps people interested and willing to work.

IVCA: What do you hope to share with classmates when you return to school in the fall?
JA:
I hope to share with them what I have learned about the industry. Also, I would like to educate them more on the Golder Center at the University of Illinois. Run by Dan O'Connell, it's a student resource that teaches and prepares students on the private equity and VC industries.

IVCA: What do you do for fun when you're not studying or interning at a firm?
JA:
I enjoy many things. When at school, I enjoy my job managing a campus bar called KAM's. I also enjoy working my other job as manager for the Illinois men's basketball team. When I'm not at school, I enjoy relaxing and following my favorite sport's team: the Chicago White Sox.