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Adam Levin, C’05 WG’09

Partner at Bain Capital Ventures

Boston, MA

English Major

You really want to make sure you can connect with people. At the beginning stages of a relationship with a CEO, I have to make sure that I have been able to properly articulate what we value here, and how we can work together. What I try to do a lot of the time is listen. I try to understand what their struggles have been and what their plans are for the next six to twelve months. I dig in deep on those two points and understand where does this CEO want to see this business going?

Bumps will happen and sometimes they are really hard… I think just recognizing that fact shows, it’s the resilience piece that is the most important.

Freshman year I considered transferring into Wharton. Then I thought I might be an Econ major. But then the fall of my sophomore year, I took a poetry class, just randomly. I don’t know what made me do it. I end up in the class and I’m like, this is amazing, this is where I’m going to learn everything. I thought to myself: I’m going to learn how to problem solve, I’m going to learn how to communicate, and I’m going to learn how to write. And I’m going to learn how to do my finance job when I go to work, but at school I’m going to learn how to do these other things. I remember calling my parents to tell them I wanted to be an English major and they were not thrilled.

I worked at Goldman Sachs out of Penn and I went back to get my MBA. I graduated in 2009 in the middle of the economic crisis, so half my class graduated without a job. At the time, I didn’t understand, this isn’t supposed to happen. I had to realize none of my classmates or I had any control over the global economy. Bumps will happen and sometimes they are really hard, and sometimes I think you fall kind of flat even with the best intentions. I think just recognizing that fact shows, it’s the resilience piece that is the most important. — October 3, 2018 • Photo by Alex Schein

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