We’re proud to announce our partnership with Venture for America, a program that recruits and trains recent college grads to join startups in emerging cities across the country. For many driven DFA students, this is a natural next step to continued learning and hands-on experience in the community. The application process for the Fellowship has three parts, starting with a written application and Skype interview. As part of this partnership, Venture for America has generously offered automatic advancement to the second stage of their competitive interview process for any DFAer who completes an application before the next deadline (February 1st).

The VFA program is a two-year fellowship program for enterprising recent college grads to launch their careers as entrepreneurs. After five weeks of training, VFA Fellows spend two years getting hands-on experience and learning how to contribute at a startup in an emerging U.S. city. VFA provides the community, mentorship, network, and resources Fellows need to become entrepreneurs. VFA aims to produce effective and high-character builders who will found and lead quality organizations throughout their careers. One out of four VFA alumni have even gone on to start companies of their own!

So what does VFA look for in a potential Fellow? There’s more than one way to see if a candidate has the attitude and aptitude to add value to a startup, but some must-haves for future Fellows include: intelligence, grit, character, founder potential, and the ability to contribute.

Here are a few former DFAers who have joined VFA:

VFA 1 (1)
Cassie Coravos training with Venture for America. Photo via Venture for America facebook

Cassie Coravos, the former Studio Lead of Northwestern’s DFA chapter, is a 2015 VFA Fellow. She joined VFA so that she could bring use her human-centered design skills to create a tangible impact – and now she’s doing just that at her job in Detroit. Cassie is also an active DFA alumna, recently joining six studios at the DFA Midwest Meetup 2015 at Michigan State and attending their final review.

VFA 2 (1)
Fabio DeSousa rocking it at DFA Barnard|Columbia

Fabio DeSousa is the current Studio Lead of DFA’s Barnard College and Columbia University chapter. Fabio is proud to say he joined VFA “to make a meaningful impact on a community and myself.” He is a member of VFA’s newest batch of Fellows, the Class of 2016!


Want to learn more? Click here to visit the VFA website.