Virtual Training Camp Diaries: Jeff Liu

Hello there! My name is Jeff Liu and I’m a 2020 Fellow from Virginia. I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on what VFA means to me.

Despite having some idea of what I want to do with my life, like many recent graduates, I carried a ton of uncertainty when I left college. I thought about pursuing higher education to find a job at the World Bank. Perhaps it would make sense to work on grassroots political campaigns. Or maybe I would stick with a safer job at a large tech company. I admit that VFA was just one of many paths I thought might make sense for me. But then I met the 2020 Fellows.

I remember thinking that VFA’s interview process was a bit unusual and I was curious to see what types of people I would have the chance to meet at Training Camp. Before I even had the chance to finish up my final papers and my senior year, the Fellow community was already hard at work. One Fellow organized weekly Zoom calls, where we’d would have the chance to talk about anything and get to know each other before Training Camp started. Two other Fellows reached out to me to chat about startup ideas and many others shared their side hustles or current companies over Slack. I felt that Training Camp could not come soon enough.

And honestly, meeting the Fellow community lived up the hype. This past week was absolutely phenomenal. VFA’s CEO, Amy Nelson, shared her life story and her advice with the entire class. We took on the Pecha Kucha Challenge, where every single Fellow had the chance to share a personal story. I signed an offer for a job in Birmingham and met the inspiring Fellow community already there! Fellow leaders set up events where they shared their advice on networking, cocktail-making, mindfulness, and more. We also had an incredibly touching closing ceremony, endless hours of hangouts on Remo, and a speed dating/friendship-making event! But most importantly to me, this is the week where I really felt like part of a family.

And I can’t believe it’s over already. Four incredible weeks with such an amazing group of people. To be honest, I had doubts about my decision to join VFA even up until the first day of Training Camp. I imagine many others did as well. And yet I can’t imagine not having chosen to be here. I know the next few years won’t be easy and I know there is still so much I have to learn. But there is one thing I know for sure: VFA Fellows are here to support each other, every step of the way!

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