This year, Venture for America leaned in to a fully virtual recruitment strategy, exploring different ways to make their process accessible and professionally fulfilling. Venture For America also continued to prioritize a comprehensive D&I strategy, sourcing Fellows from diverse backgrounds that have been systematically challenged within the startup and technology spaces.
Read on for some of the highlights of Venture For America's innovative approach to college recruiting and why they were named a 2021 Campus Forward Honoree in RippleMatch's Campus Forward Awards.
Summer Internship Program
Prior to COVID-19, Venture For America (VFA) planned to have interns support in-person activities at VFA’s month-long entrepreneurial bootcamp for their incoming 2020 Fellows Training Camp in Detroit, Michigan. However, due to restrictions brought on by the pandemic, VFA adapted their program so that each intern supported a different function in the implementation of a fully virtual Training Camp program. This approach allowed each intern to gain substantive experience and make critical contributions to a component of VFA’s virtual Training Camp program.
This year, the VFA Recruitment Team emphasized several methods for cultivating applicants in a virtual format including; sourcing tools, Zoom webinars, RippleMatch, expanded digital marketing efforts, and strategic partnerships aimed at creating a virtual community. In addition, the recruitment team hosted virtual presentations on how to be successful with their selection process and engaged Alums to share their stories and experiences with prospective candidates.
VFA’s candidate experience provided the transparency, support, and equity student job seekers felt the need for in this unprecedented environment. They provided publicly-available application toolkits along each step of the process so that they could set candidates up for success, as well as access to meetings with individuals from the VFA community. This enabled individuals who may not have had access to career development tools to build themselves up and learn how they could put their best application forward.
Diversity and Inclusion
To promote and increase the representation of their Fellowship class, VFA’s strategy centered around sourcing Fellows from diverse backgrounds that have been systematically challenged within the startup and technology spaces. To implement, they applied a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens toward their recruitment models. A few strategies VFA deployed to build diverse pipelines included sourcing talent from HBCUs and HSIs on RippleMatch, as well as building partnerships with organizations like Seeds of Fortune and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Congratulations to Venture For America for their accomplishments this past year. RippleMatch is proud to recognize Venture For America in our 2021 Campus Forward Awards for their commitment toward the next generation of talent.