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Accelerate to Industry

We’ve designed a bold, new approach to workforce training for graduate students: Accelerate to Industry (A2i)™.  With A2i, graduate students can explore the ample employment opportunities with industry companies here on our NC State Centennial Campus, in North Carolina, and across the US. They can develop the business, leadership, and communication skills that companies seek.

Our Accelerate to Industry program is funded through a National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant.

Participants of Industry Immersion Week 2019 working on alumni David Faila’s interactive, teamwork project. This activity focuses on organizational structure, project management, and client feedback while also emphasizing the importance of communication and transparency.

Our Mission

  • Prepare NC State graduate students, postdocs, and alumni for the wide range of available industry careers
  • Help our graduate students  secure industry jobs
  • Build a program that serves as a touch point for more long term collaborative relationships between industry and universities
A2i Modules

These modules offer you the opportunity to engage with A2i at all stages of your graduate career. We recommend starting with Industry Job Search Strategies early and finishing with Industry Immersion as you complete your degree.

Job Search Strategies (JSS) is comprised of two parts: talks from industry speakers and workshops led by the director of A2i and other professional development experts. Topics covered in this module include: career exploration, business communication, application materials, interviewing, salary negotiations, networking, informational interviews, and corporate culture. JSS’s speakers and workshops frequently change so students can benefit from taking this module multiple times.

JSS is offered in both the Fall and Spring semester. A2i also offers a special virtual section of JSS over the Summer that includes are partner institutions’ students and industry members.

Students in all stages of their graduate program participate in this module. Industry speakers come from a variety of industries including private sector, non-profit, and government.

*Participants have completed this module once they have attended 4 talks and 4 workshops, which qualifies they to participate in Industry Immersion Week.

We selectively recruit graduate and postdoctoral researchers in response to each company’s specific recruitment needs. Our recruitment methods ensure that participants in the site visit are interested in building their careers with the respective company.

This module establishes opportunities for industry companies to work directly with NC State Graduate School for recruitment. More than advertising, we recruit outstanding candidates who match internship criteria, and we prepare application portfolios to assist company liaisons with the selection process.

This practicum is a 12-week development series during which NC State University graduate students and postdocs learn to leverage their technical backgrounds and creativity to move ideas and projects forward as a part of a cross-disciplinary team. Each partnering company will work with a multidisciplinary team on a project that is relevant to the company. Moreover, we recruit the team members in response to the company’s needs.

This is an intensive experiential learning opportunity that prepares NC State graduate students, postdocs, and alumni for the corporate environment. The Accelerate to Industry Immersion module includes a week-long immersion experience for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers that includes signature A2i content along with events and activities unique to the Immersion Week. Visit the Apply webpage to apply for this event.


During the Summer of 2020, North Carolina State University held their first virtual A2i Job Search Strategies Session open to all our Academic Partners. Overall, a total of 375 trainees were served across 18 different institutions.

Laura Demarse, Joe Aldinger, Peter Harries, and Dave Shafer, “Accelerate to Industry,” National Science Foundation, Innovations in Graduate Education award #1855978. (unpublished data, December 8 2020), Qualtrics surveys.

The professional skills I developed and the knowledge I obtained during the Industry Immersion Week at NC State helped me build confidence for the transition to my new academic career, and enabled me to interact more effectively with people in my workplace, industry, and beyond. The Industry Immersion Week is a powerhouse to unleash your potentials, and to Think and Do!

Naim Montazeri, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Food Virology, University of Florida

A2i modules will also offer you training in the following key business and professional areas:

Key features:

  • Multidisciplinary team projects completed in collaboration with industry companies
  • Leadership presentations from renowned industry professionals
  • Company site visits and company fairs
  •  Networking sessions
  •  Workshops on resume design, career exploration, LinkedIn, writing cover letters, interviewing, networking, and negotiating
  • Career and Human Resource panels
  • Professional photo sessions

We thank MedPharm, LORD Corporation, Q2, ABB, Eastman Chemical Company, Bayer, BASF, and all our partners for their support of the A2i program!