Zicklin School of Business Student Earns Venture for America Fellowship
April 16, 2020
A frustrating delayed subway ride ended with an unexpected surprise for Debbie Li (’20), a Zicklin School of Business student studying economics, and one she will remember forever.
As soon as Li got cell service after being stuck underground, a notification popped up announcing she was selected as a Venture for America (VFA) fellow.
“I was ecstatic to hear this news!” Li said.
“I’ve noticed that every VFA fellow I have spoken to before applying share a verve for life and seek to make an impact in the communities they’re in,” she added. “This was when I knew VFA was a unique opportunity and that I wanted to be part of it.”
Venture for America connects fellows with two-year, full-time startup opportunities in 14 cities across the country to gain business skills, professional development, and work alongside experienced entrepreneurs. Its mission is to “create economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.
Li becomes the sixth Baruch College student to receive a Venture for America Fellowship award.
Debbie Li: Aspires to Launch Startup in Education Sector
Li’s internships with JP Morgan and Citi sparked an interest in a finance role at a venture capital startup.
“Working in venture capitalism would be similar to the work in these internships as I would be conducting research to value companies; however, I would be focusing on innovative developments in the startup world,” Li explained. “Another perk is the top-level exposure to startup leaders who are looking for capital which I otherwise would not have in any other venture capitalist firm.”
Li is hopeful this VFA experience will serve as a guide so she can start her own company.
“With the support of the VFA community and the resources they provide for aspiring entrepreneurs (accelerators, mentors, startup pitch competitions), I am certain that one day I will start my own company,” said Li. “The education sector is highly disruptive and I am interested in exploring how artificial intelligence can be used to enhance students’ learning in K-12 public schools.”
Resource for Students
At Baruch College, students can learn about a wide range of fellowships and scholarships from the Office of National & Prestigious Fellowships Advising. Here, the staff is available to help navigate the essential steps of applying for these awards, including writing proposals.
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