Virtual Training Camp Diaries: Dana Franco

Hello! My name is Dana Franco. I am a 2020 VFA Fellow from New York City and a proud alumna of the University of Miami where I studied marketing and public relations.

I remember the moment I pressed send on my VFA application back in January 2020 (which feels like years ago). I was curious and excited to learn more about the startup world and the opportunities the Fellowship would bring. As I progressed through each interview round, I got more and more excited as I learned about the VFAmily, Match, and most importantly, Training Camp.

Training Camp has been the perfect opportunity to learn hard and soft skills that I can apply in my startup job. I am extremely excited to be joining The Lip Bar, a Detroit-based cosmetics brand, as a marketing coordinator where I will be responsible for email and text segmentation and website optimization.

Each week we complete skill-based workshops to help us complete that week’s group challenge. However, my favorite Training Camp sessions have been the VFA Essentials, which are sessions led by VFA Team Members and Alumni teaching us how to be the best startup employee.

Three concepts that have been particularly impactful for me are locus of control, growth mindset, and accountabilibuddies.

Locus of Control

Locus of control is a mindset by which you conceptually place the responsibility, choice, and control for what you achieve and what occurs in your life. An internal locus of control attributes your successes and failures to our own efforts, while an external locus of control supports a belief that your circumstances are out of your control. By harnessing an internal locus of control, we take action that is within our control and react to circumstances outside of control in order to achieve a desired outcome.

Growth Mindset

In a fixed mindset, people believe their abilities are fixed traits and that failure is due to a limit of one’s abilities. Alternatively, in a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. Having a growth mindset takes time and effort, but is an essential part of growing as a professional and maintaining an open mind when it comes to feedback, challenges, and failing.

Accountabilibuddies

Your accountabilibuddy is a fellow Fellow that you meet with monthly to hold each other accountable to your personal and professional goals. My accountabilibuddy’s name is Hannah! She and I will be living in different VFA cities but will both be working in marketing. We want to have monthly check-ins to help each other be our best selves over the next two years.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my Training Camp experience so far! I can’t wait to see what the fourth week has in store.

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