© SV Academy 2019

290 Division Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103
[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SV Academy preparing me for?

By completing our upfront pre-hire training program, you will receive the skills, experience, and connections necessary to secure and thrive in an entry-level Business Development Representative (BDR) role at a fast-growing tech startup.

After one year on the job, many fellows transition into more senior Business Development or Sales roles or into other parts of the business, such as Marketing, Customer Success or Operations.

What is a Business Development Representative?

The BDR role is one that many entry-level individuals start with on their journey to becoming business leaders with more significant responsibility.

BDRs play one of the most important roles in business-to-business (B2B) software companies. BDRs are on the front lines, finding new business opportunities in order to find qualified leads and set appointments for sales. They help drive revenue by identifying, connecting with and qualifying businesses that may have a need for your company’s products or services.

How does the upfront training program work?

Initially, Fellows participate in a 12 week, part-time, online training program. The time commitment is 15-20 hours per week, and many of our Fellows work part-time or full-time when they participate in the training program (and, some are completing their last semester of college or graduate school).

The program is 100% virtual, so you can participate from anywhere in the world (that has a strong internet connection!). During the program, you will participate in live online classes, complete weekly assignments, meet with mentors and coaches, and get real-world practical experience doing the key tasks of the job.

You will be matched with a small group of like-minded people with diverse backgrounds from all across the country. These people will become part of your future personal and professional network (you may even end up working together for the same company!). We also introduce you to the broader SV Academy community, including graduates from prior SV Academy cohorts, employer partners and mentors, as well as other industry veterans.

What will I learn?

Our curriculum is hands-on and created with employers for the specific job you are preparing for. You will focus on the mindset necessary to excel in your career and learn the skills necessary to master the BDR role. At each step of the way, you will receive a combination of real-world experience (courtesy of our employer partners) in the safety of a nurturing learning environment where we can teach you what will be expected of you when you step into the workplace.

How does the employer matching work?

SV Academy works with more than 100 of the best startups in Silicon Valley and New York.

There are a few common traits that we look for in all of our employer partners. We qualify our employers based on their people, product, performance, and culture. We want our employer partners to have a good culture and supportive working environments, to have a track record of performance and strong growth potential, and to have strong teams behind them.

At the same time, our employers are diverse. Some have a couple hundred employees, others have thousands. Some are private, others are public. They all build futuristic technology solutions to solve all sorts of problems in various industries. For example, we have employer partners who solve challenges in cybersecurity, healthcare, government, and artificial intelligence.

After working with you for 12 weeks, we get to know you very well - we understand your strengths and your interests; we know your personality and ambitions. We then set you up with interviews at our employer partners where we think you will thrive. We work with you throughout the entire interview process to ensure you will succeed. Interviews are done by phone and in person (and if you aren’t in town, employers are sometimes open to video interviews).

Our students typically interview with several SV Academy employer partners before finding the right opportunity. You are responsible for earning your position with our employer partners, and we are committed to ensuring that you are sufficiently prepared to do so. Once you sign on with an SV Academy employer, you become an SV Academy Fellow in the Field.

Do I have to relocate to participate in SV Academy?

Our three-month training and development program is 100% virtual, so you can apply to SV Academy and participate in the first part of our program from anywhere in the world (that has a strong internet connection).  

At the conclusion of the training program, you will need to be able to relocate / work in San Francisco or New York so that you can accept employment with one of our current employer partners. SV Academy has created resources to help you plan your move and we are happy to provide additional insight and support.

What kind of support will I receive from SV Academy once I start my full-time job?

For us, success is not having you earn your first job in the tech industry. Success is you taking this opportunity to break into the tech industry and spring-boarding into a great long-term professional career (just like those who have graduated from SV Academy before you).

As part of our investment in you, we commit to supporting you in your professional development while you are on the job and in the role for your first twelve months. We will meet with you regularly for career coaching, we will be there for you when you hit unexpected challenges, and we will support a feedback loop with your manager to help you perform at your highest potential.

As a Fellow in good standing with SV Academy, you will also be invited to participate in our larger community of Fellows in the Field. We will invite you to our social events; connect you with specific Fellows and mentors we think you should meet; and welcome you into a local community of like-minded people, who have come from diverse backgrounds from across the country to pursue careers in the tech industry.

How much do I have to pay for the Fellowship?

The SV Academy model is designed so that Fellows do not pay any tuition. Ever. The cost for you to participate in the Fellowship is $10,000-$20,000; a cost that will be funded by the SV Academy employer that you join after completing your initial training. Until you get your job, we take on 100% of the risk that we will not recoup the time, money and effort we put into you. If for some reason you were unable to earn a job with an SV Academy employer, we would not get paid.

Why do SV Academy’s employer partners agree to fund the Fellowship?

For fast-growing tech companies, finding top-tier talent is painful and challenging. Finding top-tier talent that has been vetted through a rigorous application process and 12-week training program is unheard of. When employers understand that we work with our students on the job to help them perform at their highest level in the workplace, they realize how invested we are in our community’s success. Our employer partners also care deeply about the commitment that our students make to stay in their role for at least a year - one reason it is very important for you to keep your commitments to SV Academy.

What are my obligations if I choose to participate in the Fellowship?

Because you are not responsible for paying the costs of your Fellowship, we require you to make several commitments to us, and to your future employer, if you do decide to join SV Academy.

First, we invest a ton into your development before anyone commits to funding your training. We do this because we see a lot of promise in you. That said, it does not make sense for us to take on that risk if you are not committed to the Fellowship and to the employment path forward.

Likewise, once you accept a position with one of our employer partners, they are counting on you to become a valuable and productive member of their team. Your future employer will agree to pay for the cost of your Fellowship, including the on-the-job coaching we provide you, because they know the quality of the training that SV Academy provides, the caliber of our student community, and that you are committed to giving your all in the role for the next twelve months (unless you’re promoted sooner!). Therefore, if you decide to accept our offer and join the SV Academy Fellowship, then we ask you to make the following 3 commitments:

• You commit that during the upfront training program, you will give your full effort and commitment to the Fellowship and and will comply with SV Academy’s Fellowship Rules, which includes completing your assignments on time; participating in all classes and coaching and mentoring sessions; and actively incorporating the feedback you receive during the program.

• You commit that at the completion of the upfront training program, you will work exclusively with SV Academy to match you with employers in the SV Academy network. You agree that you will not seek or accept employment on your own or work with any agencies or recruiters in place of SV Academy.

• You commit that once you accept a job offer, you will give your all in the role for at least 12 months and will remain an active member of the SV Academy community.

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