July 13

Virtual Training Camp Diaries: Naabia Romain

Earlier this week I sat down at the desk I had just dragged upstairs into my childhood bedroom to log on to the first of many zoom meetings. It was at that moment when all that lay ahead of me truly occurred to me for the first time. While the first week of Training Camp has been a full-circle moment for me, virtual Training Camp has been a fun twist. In 2019, as a rising junior in college, I completed a summer internship with Venture For America. As an intern, I supported the operation of Training Camp for 2019 Fellows. It was my dream internship. As the only black intern out of five, and the only one from a non-prestigious university, the significance was tangible to me. I remember being simply in awe of all the Fellows I met with the opportunity to hear their stories, their aspirations, and experience their community.

How it feels to be writing today, as a 2021 Fellow, is hard to describe in words, but I’m grateful for the opportunity. What I’ve certainly felt in this first week of Training Camp is growth. I had the opportunity back in 2019 to sit in on the very same Indigo Assessment workshop that I participated in this past week. The Indigo Assessment is a collection of short questionnaires meant to place you into a personality type based on four factors (Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness, and Compliance) similar to Meyer-Briggs. This is in addition to insights that identify one’s strengths, weaknesses, and working style. I’m a sucker for a personality test or any structure for self-reflection. I think the context of VFA was the true catalyst for this week’s breakthrough.

It was incredibly rewarding to reflect on how I have changed and how I haven’t changed in the last two years. It was really exciting to see that I’d developed some important skills in the last two years like negotiation, continuous learning, and people advocacy. The score that places my personality though, hadn’t shifted much at all. Just like two years ago, I have a low D(ominance) score and a low I(nfluencing). This means I’m generally non-confrontational and cooperative. I’m also generally reflective and listen more than I talk. On the other hand, I scored high on S(teadiness) and C(ompliance). This suggests that I’m patient and thrive within a structure. Now, this is all according to the insights of my results but is reflective of who I and others know me to be. In the two years between my internship and my Fellowship, I’ve come to accept and revel in the truest version of myself. Maybe a non-confrontational and patient lover of rules, isn’t how you would describe an entrepreneur. But after a bout of imposter syndrome and several insightful, informal conversations with my fellow Fellows, I’m confident there is a path to entrepreneurship for me. If not, with this amazing community around me I sure I can actualize one.


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Posted in: Fellows, Inside VFA