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Accelerate to Industry (A2i)

We’ve designed a bold, new approach to workforce training for graduate students: Accelerate to Industry (A2i)™.  With A2i, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars 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.


A2i Modules

Industry Insights (INS) is comprised of talks and panels from industry speakers. Topics covered in this module include but not limited to: career exploration, business communication, corporate culture, teamwork, project management, time management, leadership, market evaluation, regulatory affairs, etc. INS’s speakers frequently change so students can benefit from taking this module multiple times.

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

Job Search Strategies (JSS) is comprised of workshops led by the Director of Career Readiness. Topics covered in this module include:

  • How to set a strategy
  • How to tailor the application
  • Interview preparation
  • Managing the job offer and salary negotiation

JSS is offered annually in the Fall semester.

This module provides graduate students and postdoctoral scholars the opportunity to explore a company through a site visit both in person and virtually. This module provides trainees with the opportunity to hear from early career professionals who just made the transition from their degree program, leadership within the company, and see the job environment through a tour through the facilities.

This module establishes opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to connect with and work for industry partners. This module also provides an internship preparedness course geared toward helping graduate students and postdoctoral scholars be prepared for their internship experience and know how to use their internship as an opportunity to network and continue to grow their understanding of an industry career.

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.

Hunt Library in evening

Accelerate to Industry News Stories

Opportunities to Partner with the A2i Program

History of the Accelerate to Industry Program

In Summer of 2017, a pilot program, “Immersion Week” was run with 50 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars.

In Fall of 2019, North Carolina State University graduate school received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant, with the goal of recruiting 30 institutional partners to implement the Accelerate to Industry program on their campus.

In Spring of 2020, North Carolina State University graduate school received a Burrough’s Wellcome Fund Grant, with the goal of piloting a student sharing program called A2i Unbound.

In Summer of 2021, A2i started an annual virtual Job Search Strategies series developed collaboratively across academic partner institutions.

In Spring of 2023, A2i added an internship preparedness course during the month of April for those transitioning into a summer internship.

In Summer of 2023, the NC State graduate school piloted the student sharing program during the annual Immersion Week in July. This pilot program was funded by a Burrough’s Wellcome Fund Grant.

In Summer of 2023, the NC State graduate school added a graduate student and postdoctoral scholars career fair to the end of the annual Immersion Week open to all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars on campus.

Connect with us

Questions about this specific program email us at