By Kara Sherrer
This December, the inaugural Accelerator® Global Immersion program will combine classroom instruction from renowned Vanderbilt faculty with hands-on projects led by regional business leaders. The program will run from December 15-21, 2019, and will be based in the city of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Central America’s most beautiful and historic cities.
“Accelerator Global Immersion is the newest offering in our ‘action learning’ portfolio designed for undergraduates,” said Greg Harvey, Director of Accelerator Global Immersion. “By partnering with Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Turner Family Center (for Social Ventures), students will engage with and learn from experts and thought leaders in entrepreneurship and social impact.”
During their week in Guatemala students will learn the tools to solve real-world problems through entrepreneurship as they engage local communities. The immersion will focus on social enterprises, or cause-driven businesses whose primary purpose is to improve social objectives through market-based solutions and serve the common good.
Social enterprises are different from traditional non-profits because they rely on sustainable revenue rather than donations or grants. Students will also learn about topics related to social enterprise, including business model generation, financial statements and modeling, impact investing, consulting, impact evaluation, and more. Brian McCann, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, will teach the course alongside Mario Avila, Director of the TFC.
This program is ideal for students who want to explore careers in international business, entrepreneurship, social ventures, and consulting. Freshmen and sophomores in liberal arts majors who do not have access to business classes are welcome to apply. A desire to practice Spanish in a professional setting is encouraged but not required.
Housing, three meals every day, group transportation, daily excursions, and program materials will all be provided. Students will receive a certificate upon completion of the program.
Registration for the program will open soon. The program is open enrollment but does not require an application or an interview, though students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and submit a résumé. Interested students who do not have a 3.0 GPA should reach out to Director Greg Harvey at <Gregory.Harvey@vanderbilt.edu>.