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Rio Villoria | Happy to Be Here

Q: What is your favorite part about being on MAFA Board this past year?

A: I had a really great experience on MAFA Board this year, but my favorite part about it was having the opportunity to learn more about each MAFA member organization and the people that they’re made of. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve connected with, and it was really rewarding to work and learn with some of them throughout the year.


Q: Most memorable experience/accomplishment during your term?

A: My most memorable experience was the MAFA Board retreat that we had last summer. Meeting some of the other board members for the first time, I had such a great time getting to know everyone. We invited last year’s MAFA Board to help with the transition, and after we learned more about their experience, I remember how I excited I felt to be in this position. I’ll never forget how happy I was when we were cooking our first meal together at the Airbnb where we stayed that weekend.


Q: What is the biggest thing you learned from being on board this year?

A: As Vice President Internal, I learned a lot about communication and working through conflict, but I feel like the greatest learning experience for me was organizing the MAFA Leadership Cohort, this year’s MAFA intern program. Although I feel great about the workshops I planned, there’s definitely room for improvement. Facilitating the program was challenging, but it was also really fun. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet all of the interns this year.


Q: What legacy do you want to leave behind/any advice you want to give for the person running for your position?

A: Throughout my time in MAFA, I’ve shared many different kinds of interactions with people. I’ve introduced myself and exchanged a few words with a lot of people. I also had the chance to share a conversation with some amazing people at conferences and events. Through the majority of these interactions, big or small, I learned something about someone that has impacted me in a positive way. If I interacted with you in some way this year, I hope you gained something meaningful out of it too.

My advice for the next Vice President Internal of MAFA would be to plan your work so that you can be prepared for the busy times of the year (conferences, exams). If you can plan ahead as much as you can, it’ll make your workload a lot more manageable in busy times.

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