By Jong Eun Jung
Vanderbilt Business offers two summer programs for students looking for an intense learning and hands-on experience in business fundamentals. Accelerator® Finance Bootcamp is a week-long program that teaches the basics of finance and accounting. Accelerator® Summer Business Immersion is a month-long program where students complete four consulting projects for real-life companies. Since the Finance Bootcamp takes place right before the Summer Business Immersion, students have the option to take both. Raquel Cadena (DePaul University, 2020) Alex Kintzer (Duke University, 2021), and Fernando Lopez (University of Michigan, 2021) explain why they chose to attend both programs below.
Packed with Finance
The Finance Bootcamp can be intense, since it hits the major topics of finance and accounting in one week. Many undergraduate liberal arts universities don’t offer in-depth courses on these subjects, so students come to learn this material at the program. “The education that we got during the Finance Bootcamp was unparalleled,” Lopez said. “I think they covered such a wide variety of topics at a very fast, yet controllable rate… I was able to internalize everything very quickly and definitely take a lot away from the experience.”
“Before (the program) I had gone to study abroad and I really wanted to freshen up on … my technicals,” Cadena explained. “As a rising senior, I (also) needed to figure out what I want to do and … the next steps that I need to take. And so with that, I started investigating different programs that I could take to help me in that decision making, and one of them was the (Summer Business Immersion) program and (the other was) the Finance Bootcamp.”
Being able to apply classroom knowledge to real-life case studies is an attractive opportunity for students. Since the Finance Bootcamp precedes the Summer Business Immersion, students are able to apply their newfound knowledge from the first program to case studies in the next. “The idea of having a week of intense finance and accounting seems like a really good idea. Especially with the (Summer Business Immersion) tacked on afterwards, it seemed like I’d be able to handle what seemed like a very intense program (Summer Business Immersion) if I have the background from the boot camp,” Kintzer said.
The hands-on experience doesn’t stop at applying finance knowledge to real-life case studies. “(The Summer Business Immersion) also gave me that first-hand opportunity of being able to work with businesses instead of for them,” Cadena said. “That’s something that I was really looking forward to, to see if it’s something that I want to do or not (after graduation). That’s something that no other program I saw offered at all.”
More Time to Explore Vanderbilt
While the Finance Bootcamp does introduce students to the different graduate degrees that Vanderbilt Business offers, staying an extra month allows the students more time to explore the school. “I was looking at the Master of Accountancy graduate program and also the Master of Science in Finance that presenters (talked) to us about during the Finance Bootcamp, and so (Accelerator) gives me a better chance to get to know the school,” Lopez said.
“I was really excited about looking at (Vanderbilt’s) one-year degree programs, so this gave me an exposure to a different set of degrees that were available,” Kintzer added.
More Time to Network
Participating in both the Finance Bootcamp and Summer Business Immersion gives students the chance to meet not only more Vanderbilt Business professors but also students from different universities with diverse backgrounds. “The people I met were from all around the country and all around the world. And I learned my personal perspective just grew so much by talking to them,” Lopez said.
“Relationships are definitely one thing that I’m taking away from here, both relationships with professors and also the friendships that I’ve made (with peers),” Cadena agreed. “(Those friendships) are going to be long lasting because we’ve spent so many hours just working, and we’ve been able to really get to know each other at our worst and at our best.”