Accelerate to Industry (A2i) at UD

Accelerate to Industry, Founded by NC State University Graduate School

A bold new approach to graduate career education

In the Fall of 2020, the University of Delaware Graduate College launched Accelerate to Industry™ (A2i), a workforce development program for STEM trainees founded by the NC State University Graduate School. The A2i program represents a bold new approach to enhance career readiness among graduate students and postdoctoral trainees. The goal of this NSF-funded program is to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to transition and thrive in a variety of careers. Partnering with NC State on A2i, University of Delaware aims to position itself as a national model for graduate and postdoctoral career education.

The learning outcomes for the A2i participants are:

  1. Increase awareness of career options by exposing A2i participants to a wide range of careers beyond academia.
  2. Help participants acquire and demonstrate competencies necessary to thrive in the corporate environment.
  3. Help participants translate their education into meaningful careers.

THE A2I PROGRAM FACILITATES THESE OUTCOMES THROUGH FIVE MODULES:

Job Search Strategies

The Job Search Strategies is a multi-week module comprised of two parts: career presentations from industry guest speakers and career skill-building workshops led by the senior assistant dean for graduate professional development and other graduate career development experts. The goals of JSS are to raise awareness of career options, methods to navigate the job search, and strategies to secure desired positions.

In this module, participants will gain exposure to topics related to job search and career skills, such as:

  1. Career options and pathways
  2. Talent assessment with StrengthFinder
  3. Building professional networking, including how to make the most of LinkedIn
  4. Creating effective resumes and cover letters
  5. Preparing for job interviews
  6. Negotiating compensations
  7. Professional communication (e.g. presenting yourself, interviewing strategies, etc.)

The JSS module is offered in the Fall semester. Students and postdocs in all stages of their training are encouraged to participate in this module. Registration opens in August.

Internship

The University of Delaware Graduate College offers an opportunity for organizations to connect with our high-caliber graduate-level talents through the Accelerate to Industry™ (A2i) Internship Program. The program enables you to supercharge your organization’s early career recruiting pipeline and vet potential new hires by seeing them in action.

The A2i Internship Program is intended to:

  • Bring highly motivated graduate interns with strong research skills and complementary expertise to your team
  • Familiarize graduate students with the types of problems that your organization faces
  • Enable you to identify, attract and assess UD’s brightest graduate students for future opportunities
  • Boost brand awareness, drive interest and build relationships with early career talent and leaders at the University of Delaware

Industry Immersion

During Industry Immersion, participants are exposed to unique training opportunities that will help them develop skills to support essential features of companies. The Industry Immersion module is structured as a multi-day experience and provides comprehensive coverage of industry-specific topics through presentations and workshops, along with additional professional development activities such as company meet & greets, team-based projects, networking sessions, and career panels.

Team Practicum

The Team Practicum module is designed to recruit 4–5 members per team from various disciplines to work on a semester long project defined by industry partner. It aims to increase the ability of participants to work with cross-functional operators, and to develop relevant skills that would enhance their ability to secure industry jobs that they desire.

This team-based practicum approach is designed to encourage participants to think beyond their respective disciplines and helps them learn to leverage their technical backgrounds and creativity to move ideas and projects forward in a cross-disciplinary team context.

Company Site Visit

This module is geared towards a more intimate engagement between potential candidates and professionals at industry partner organizations. Industry partners can host an in-person site visit or via a virtual platform. A typical site visit consists of a company presentation, an employee panel Q&A, a networking opportunity, and an office space or lab tour.