Accelerate to Industry


Accelerate to Industry is a unique
workforce development program that we designed here at NC State to allow our
graduate students and postdocs to examine diverse career pathways outside
the Academy. Really the philosophy behind A2i is allowing our students to examine
how the embedded skills that required as part of their degree program map to some
of the unique challenges that industry faces. We’ve never seen a program before
that really is fully sponsored by industry we’ll be partnering with
industry and we select our students based on our industry’s needs and we
partner together based on a match in terms of research and aptitude. ABB’s
participation in A2i is motivated by our desire to work with the best people
and so anything I can do through my participation to help foster the skills
of my future colleagues benefits me and my company. Eastman looks to our academic
partnerships as a way to inform and accelerate our innovation and growth
strategy. We look to our academic partners for capabilities and expertise
that we don’t have in-house. We also really value their interest in
fundamental understanding of the science and technology issues we are running
into. So the program helped me map out and kind of polish the the edges of my
picture of what a transitioned industry really would be and I think the the most
important part is it gave me confidence in playing to a lot of my interests that
weren’t technical so communication and leadership and and things are
traditionally soft skills but giving me confidence that it’s okay to focus on
those things and not just kind of fit into a mold of what I thought a Ph.D. had
to be. My top take away from the A2i program is that technical skills matter
yes but interpersonal people skills matter even more. Companies want to know
how well you will work on a team and help fulfill their mission. Last year my
company participated in A2i I as I believe three of us did resume reviews and
LinkedIn reviews we get feedback on people’s elevator pitches and then I had
an opportunity later in the week to network with these students it was a lot
of fun. A2i is a unique program I’m not aware of any other formal program that
brings together a broad array of disciplines and industry representatives
certainly not at the scale. We think A2i is a really innovative approach to how
we deal with graduate education we think it’s an imperative in terms of
professional development. More than anything we’re helping our graduate
students move forward and finding meaningful outcomes for their work and
for us that something we’re really proud of.

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