Virginia is a University of Richmond legacy from Connecticut. Her dad may have attended the university, but the family tradition was not the only reason she chose to attend. The small class sizes and top-ranked business school were important factors as well. Virginia is a tech-savvy person and loves playing around with computers, iPads and iPhones.

"So far in my life, I have been blessed to be given the opportunity to gain the business experience that I have," Virginia spoke of her accomplishments to date. Her iPhone app launched in March 2015 and she interned for a mobile marketing company called Crisp in New York City for two months in the summer of 2015. She hopes to gain experience in a different area this summer, possibly a marketing internship with a finance company or a start-up.

Her business partner, Alex Britton, is one of her best friends and a student at NYU. They attended pre-kindergarten through grade 12 together in Darien, Connecticut. Alex and Virginia's partnership began well before their current iPhone app venture, though. They developed the first Chalkboard app on the app store when the first iPad came out.

During their senior year of high school, they were given the opportunity to “do whatever we have always wanted to do,” as Virginia describes it. This opportunity came with the ability to only come to school for AP classes which allotted 5 hours each day, five days a week of free time. They decided to team up and work on another project together. An iPhone app was chosen because of Virginia's passion and interested in developing one paired with her entrepreneurial mindset.

ROVE

The app is called ROVE. ROVE is a place to share experiences and explore your current location. The creators describe the purpose of the app as a way to "be spontaneous, not have a plan, and look up the hottest place to eat or activity going on". ROVE serves as your local guide to finding the places you never would have encountered or heard about otherwise. Categories included are food, activity and news. All posts are user-curated with honest and real-time information relating to their current location. Users can adjust the distance radius and select a category to fine-tune the relevance of the posts. Also, users can share experiences with pictures, videos and check-ins. There are dedicated college pages so when a user is close enough to the campus to view posts relating to only that school, they can do so.

Working with a business partner that attends another institution has proven to be a huge benefit. Alex is in the entrepreneurship program at NYU, which provides him with an office to work on ROVE, funds, and the opportunity for both Alex and Virginia to attend the entrepreneurial fest last spring.

Life outside of the app

"I have a passion for eating, trying new foods and restaurants, as well as for photography," Virginia expressed. She runs a food Instagram, called @eatstagrama, which features food posts with a pun or creative caption. This allows her a creative outlet a few times a week.

Growing up, her parents instilled the importance of community service and relationships. Virginia has found the passion for service in herself and is part of an organization called the City of Hope. The City of Hope is an orphanage and care center for 130 children who have lost their parents to AIDS or other unfortunate causes.

She describes her experience working with this organization as "an essential and transformative part of my life for the past seven years. When I first visited the City of Hope, I was twelve. Since then, I have been extremely fortunate to spend my summers in Tanzania. I have been able to build strong, lifelong connections with extraordinary and unique children. My grandfather always said, “We find ourselves by giving ourselves away,” and I never understood what he meant until I went to Africa. My experience in Africa has helped me develop as an individual and grow spiritually".

"I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have traveled and developed an iPhone app. I also have two amazing parents and two siblings who are the most hardworking, loving and supportive people I know," Virginia concludes of her experience.


Follow Virginia's food Instagram @eatstagram

The ROVE app can be downloaded in the Apple app store.