This month, we sat down with Matt Gittleman, a recent Georgetown graduate who leveraged his MBA to pivot into venture capital at Blu Ventures. Matt guides us through his journey from scaling startups to McDonough School of Business, where he developed the network and skillset he needed secure a role at a DC-based venture capital firm.
Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Matt Gittleman and I graduated from Franklin and Marshall in 2010 with a degree in business. After college, I worked at Living Social for three years, helping the firm grow from 50 to over 3,000 employees. It was a great experience because I was able to learn what worked and what didn’t work when a startup hits escape velocity. After that, I moved to Boston to join a smaller venture-backed startup, where I learned how to market and operate smaller businesses, early stage stuff with 3-5 team members.
Prior to starting my MBA at Georgetown, I moved to Washington DC to consult a few startups. I chose McDonough School of Business because it would enable me to be a part of a growing, entrepreneurial community.
Today, I’m an Associate at Blu Ventures, which I wouldn’t have been able to do without everything that I had done leading up to graduation. I worked at early stage startups before school, I was able to consult entrepreneurs during school, I worked with VCs, I was able to evaluate ideas, and so much more thanks to programs like InSITE. When the opportunity at Blu came up, I was able to leverage my experiences and network to get there.
Why did you apply to InSITE Fellows?
When you’re sitting in an interview, the person across the table from you always wants to know what you’re doing. I was drawn to InSITE because it would give me the ability to inject myself into a business and help them grow their bottom line. The program was awesome because it gave me the ability to share direct anecdotes from projects I was working on with entrepreneurs that are on-the-ground and in-the-market. You can take the frameworks you’re learning in the classroom, apply them to real startups and businesses, and then reflect on those experiences to learn from your mistakes. InSITE is the type experience that can prepare you for a career in consulting, or banking, or entrepreneurship.
What is one lesson you learned from InSITE?
InSITE reinforced that you can’t be afraid to pivot because what’s relevant today may not be relative tomorrow. Companies change their parts, they change their needs, they change their teams, and based on what the market is telling them the thing you start with may not be the thing you end up with.
If you could provide one piece of advice to an incoming MBA student, what would it be?
Don’t focus on classes alone. Get involved in as much as you can outside of the classroom because those are the valuable experience that will mold you as a business leader.