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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.

To stay up to date on all things A2i – program highlights, new partnerships, and important upcoming dates subscribe to our A2i Quarterly Newsletter.

Hunt Library in evening

Accelerate to Industry News Stories

Opportunities to Partner with the A2i Program

Frequently Asked Questions

All current NC State graduate students and postdocs.

You can complete these modules in any order. You do not need to complete all of the modules; however, some of the modules count toward the Career Readiness certificate. Please see the Career Readiness certificate requirements here for more information.

There is no registration process to be part of the A2i program and you may elect to participate in any of the modules offered. However, most A2i modules require registration prior to attendance. Registration for current modules can be found at Certain modules or events can require an application. Specifically, A2i Immersion Week, A2i Company Site Visit, and some one-off A2i events require an application for selection into these programs. Applications can be found linked to our website under each module homepage.

A2i industry insights, company site visit, and micro-internships are open to repeat participation and encouraged. This is due to their consistent refresh of content, company, or role.

What step do you need to take in order to gain career clarity? Are you looking to network and hear from industry professionals? Are you looking for experiential education? Are you actively preparing for the job market? Check out each module and our upcoming programming to see which one is the best starting point for you.

All current NC State graduate students and postdocs from all disciplines can and are welcome to join this program.

To stay up to date on all things A2i – program highlights, new partnerships, and important upcoming dates subscribe to our A2i Quarterly Newsletter. Additionally, our main page will have all the general information regarding each module and our workshops page will reflect the most up-to-date information regarding upcoming events and registration. Link to workshops page.

All programming is offered synchronously. The format for programming is dependent on which module. A2i job search strategies, industry insights, and preparedness series are offered virtually (please note that virtual sessions are not recorded). A2i immersion week, company site visit, and career fair are offered in-person. Micro-internships are dependent on the job and facilitated through our partner Parker Dewey.

NC State A2i does not run as a cohort program, which allows graduate students and postdocs to participate in modules at their own pace and simultaneously if more than one module is happening in a semester.

There is not a specific A2i certificate or micro-credential; however, many of the A2i modules/programming are incorporated into the requirements for the Career Readiness Certificate. If you complete the Career Readiness Certificate a micro-credential is included on your transcript.

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