IAVA & the Fullbridge Program: Participant Reflections
Posted by Christina Kim on January 9
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go through an intense, three-week entrepreneurial bootcamp taught by world-class business school professors? Ten IAVA Member Veterans are finding out first hand as they take part in a pilot Fullbridge Program for veterans, a joint venture between IAVA and the Cambridge-based educational company. Halfway through the first week, we've rounded up some first impressions from a few of the participants:
"It’s been a pressure cooker so far," said Phoebe Gavin, an Army veteran from New York. "We’ve had to get a lot done under tight deadlines and it hasn’t always turned out pretty."
"But," she added, "there is a great deal of value in failing early. My group had a slow start, but we’ve been picking up speed and we’re already working together better and creating better finished products."
Nick Colgin, a former Army medic from Virginia, has been challenged by the the pacing of the program and the information load as well, but he's ready for more.
"I've been at Fullbridge for one week, and I am still excited," he said. "I am excited about what I have already learned, such as effective business practices and basic finances, and excited about what I have yet to learn, such as in-depth financial analysis."
Colgin, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while serving in Afghanistan, said that while he's had to devote additional time to working through some of the more complex business concepts, he's been amazed at how much he's picked up in the program in such a short amount of time.
"Where I was unable to spell my own name or barely speak in 2008, I am now projecting revenue growth and cash flows in 2013," he said.
For Kevin Booher, a Marine Captain from New Orleans, his fellow classmates have been a highlight of the first week in Boston.
"The other veterans in the group are an impressive bunch with quite a variety of military and professional experience and every type of goal from business school to expanding an existing small business," he said. "It’s been good to see that we’re a group that keeps the mood light but still gets down to business and gets things done."
Gavin echoed those sentiments.
"In the military, managing personalities was much easier because the only personality that mattered was the one that outranked you," she said. "But at Fullbridge, we have to find other ways to coax each other into action, bring out each other’s strengths and shore up each other’s weaknesses. While we learn how to do that we’ve been tackling some pretty advanced business concepts."
As the group moves into their second week, watch for more posts detailing their experiences.
Want to learn more about the partnership? Be sure to check out our announcement detailing the program specifics and learn how you can sign up to become an IAVA member and get access to exclusive opportunities like the Fullbridge Program! And if you're a Boston-area IAVA Member Veteran, join us for a member engagement event with IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff, Fullbridge co-CEOs Candice and Peter Olson, and the first graduating class of IAVA Member Veterans! Sign-up today.
In just the last year, IAVA has connected hundreds of veterans with employers through innovative career fairs, helped over 10,000 veterans go to college on the New GI Bill, and provided mental health support to over 50,000 veterans—all at no cost to Member Veterans. Programs like these are only made possible through your generous support. Fight for those who fought for us and help us keep these resources and benefits completely free for new veterans and their families. DONATE >>
Not an IAVA member yet? What are you waiting for?! IAVA Member Veterans get access to exclusive career fairs, events and tickets. Join up today--membership is free and all you have to do is submit proof of OIF/OND/OEF status.
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