Training camp takeaways

This past weekend was Venture for America’s reunion in Providence, RI, and the graduation ceremony for VFA’s first-ever class, the 2012 Fellows. Joining VFA has been the best decision of my (young) life. I learned a lot this weekend, and I want to share a list of takeaways from the reunion that I brainstormed with my friend and fellow 2013 Fellow, Astrid.

Takeaway #1: First jobs are tough.
                Transitioning from college to the real world is already tough, but it’s exponentially harder with the added challenges of working at an early-stage company and moving to a brand-new city.

Takeaway #2: It’s impossible to keep in touch with everyone. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.
                I have never been part of a group where I have so much in common with the other group members as VFA. It’s hard to catch up with these people, my people—phrase stolen from Laura Berk—every one of whom I admire, and to know that I won’t be able to hear from them as much as I’d like.

Takeaway #3: VFA is less personal.
                Class of 2012: 40 Fellows
                Class of 2013: 68 Fellows
                Class of 2014: 105 Fellows.
                There are 105 human beings in the class of 2014! That’s huge! I’m so happy the program is growing, but more people means new classes will find it harder to stay in touch and to maintain the close friendships with my fellow fellows and with the VFA team for which I’ve been extremely grateful. I witnessed a few 2014 Fellows introducing themselves to each other for the first time this week, the THIRD WEEK of training camp.

I’m opening comments (edit: ...or trying to...)! Are Astrid and I on target? Have we missed anything? Please post ideas below. It’s been one hell of a ride, and I can’t wait to see what happens this year.

PS Talk to me about doing Innovation Challenge! I want to join a team.


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