Alejandra Borda at Fifty Years

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Alejandra Borda, WH ’23

This summer, interning at Fifty Years has met and surpassed all of my expectations for the internship. The best part of it was that the company focused on my growth and development as on the outputs and projects I delivered for the Venture Capital firm. I also had the opportunity to own my project, such as setting up a new fund for PhD students to partner with very early-stage biotech companies. I have attended off-site office events where we talk about the long-term vision for the firm and experienced immense motivation towards it.

Their investment focus at the intersection of technology and massive impact describes what I want to focus my future career on. The team is small, but this allows me to talk directly to our portfolio founders and participate in discussions of investment opportunities. Perhaps even more excitingly, I have been able to connect with some entrepreneurs that were still in their ideation phase in their startup. Because I was the first to build this relationship, I had supported them in growing their strategy and vision forward even before we invested in them. Now that they are part of the portfolio, I am the point person to give them support, and honestly, I am learning as much as I am giving! Other projects are related to the firm’s internal operations to scale our efficiency to help more founders and even more valuable ways. For example, I help them complete their Series A fundraising, improve their pitch, brainstorm their o-to-market strategy, and bring critical hires to the team.

I have weekly 2hour meetings with my manager to ensure that I am constantly involved in projects where I will continue to learn and provide the most value to the team and portfolio founders. These hours are also for me to better understand what makes a great investor, understand the market and financial considerations, and how to best lead teams, support entrepreneurs, or think about potential career opportunities ahead. I have also gained immense insight into the Venture Capital ecosystem. Before starting this summer, I had no clue what Venture Capital meant – I wanted to work alongside rapid growth early-stage startups. Now I am building an incredible network of founders, investors, and thought leaders! Unlike many, I am not particularly excited about flashy deal returns but rather to impact the industry. I have noted some key areas it is flawed in which I want to work on fixing. These include: few funds focus on bringing tangible value to add to founders (or are very founder unfriendly) or the fact that many see profits and impact as two different things when these are tightly aligned. The future for me after this experience will either be continuing to grow within the Venture Capital Industry to bring these significant shifts forward or getting immersed into a growing startup to get direct exposure to the obstacles founders face at the earliest stage.


By Career Services
Career Services