What we've learned – Fellows One Year Anniversary Post

A few short weeks ago, Megan and I officially hit our one-year anniversary working at UnBoundRVA and what a year it has been! When we first signed on and joined the team, the plan was for us to serve out our one-year contract as fellows, develop and build what the position would look like moving forward, and move on, ultimately allowing two new incredibly lucky college grads to step in and pick up the baton. First, we would both like to officially apologize to whoever those two new team members would have been for taking away that opportunity. If you’re reading this, it may have been a little selfish, but we simply like it here too much!

In all honesty, our first year absolutely flew by. I refuse to believe it has anything to do with that theory that time continues to speed up as you get older…despite the fact that every single adult with infinitely more wisdom than I have seem to all echo that sentiment. Rather, I fully believe that it had everything to do with how much of a rewarding experience it has been. For every bit it’s challenging, it’s more satisfying. For every bit it’s frustrating, it’s more fun. If this trend continues (which it will), our second year will be over before we know it. Before that point, we want to recap some of the amazing stuff that we’ve learned or experienced over the past year and get excited for the incredible year that’s ahead!

 

  • We learned what it was like to get thrown into the fire on our first day of work and never throttle back
  • We found a way to revamp our personal branding curriculum in the matter of weeks and somehow pull it off
  • We discovered that facilitating 20 person workshops for two hours required much more planning and organization than we had originally intended
  • We’ve gotten to meet all the incredible people in our city who support and are passionate about the work we’re doing
  • We’ve come to appreciate the unique challenges of working on a four-person team, but more importantly how fun it is!
  • We realized that Friday afternoon happy hours can occur inside the office while work still needs to be done
  • We also realized how important it is to make sure those Friday happy hours stay…you know, at happy hour and not at like…noon
  • We discovered the official team food mascot is dominos pizza
  • We learned who was the best bowler on the team…you can take a guess!
  • We’ve gotten the opportunity to meet 20 absolutely incredible people and develop meaningful relationships with every single one of them
  • We’ve had the privilege to work alongside four aspiring entrepreneurs as they’ve pursued their passions
  • Most importantly, we’ve learned countless invaluable life lessons from all of the participants in our second class, who truly gave us in return more than they will ever know
  • We’ve learned just how fun mandatory team bonding activities are
  • We’ve learned that taking personal vacations, while amazing, can also be stressful because losing 25% of your team for an extended period of time is tougher than we thought!
  • We’ve discovered that periodic breaks throughout the day to watch funny videos online are necessary for workplace peace of mind.
  • We also discovered the bureaucratic hoops to jump through to legally launch a business is the furthest thing from “sexy entrepreneurship”
  • Which makes sense because there’s very little about the initial phases of launching a business that is glamorous…something we came to understand very quickly
  • We learned how to support each other as we tried our hardest to support four entrepreneurs
  • We’ve witnessed incredible success from all UnBound entrepreneurs from both Class One and Two, and cannot wait to watch them all continue to grow as business owners, but more importantly as incredible people
  • Lastly, we can’t wait for Class Three. Because as challenging as everything has been, we’re all continuing to learn and get better at this. We’ve seen what kind of impact our organization can have and THAT is why we had to stick around for another year!