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Getting Better Every Day

Community of like-minded people appealed to college senior

Deborah Hamilton
Morgan State University, Class of 2023

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2023

A temporary setback provided the impetus that brought Deborah Hamilton to Vanderbilt. “I got turned down for an internship that I really wanted,” explains Deborah, who was approaching graduation at Morgan State University. “But one of the great things about the internship was that they gave me feedback on what I needed to improve.”

Deborah believed Accelerator could help her develop better communication skills in particular. A former Division I athlete, she was used to communicating with others on her college softball team. At Vanderbilt, she aimed to improve her ability to communicate in a business environment.

“What drew me most to the program,” says the Killeen, Texas, native, “was that I could be in an environment of like-minded individuals. This is an environment where everybody pushes themselves to be better. That’s something I take very personally. I want to better myself every single day.”

To someone who has not been through the program, Deborah says, “You would think it’s impossible that we could learn so many business fundamentals—accounting, financial forecasting, marketing, consulting strategy, project management—in such a short time. But we saw it was possible.

“We were constantly learning, and we had coaches and mentors who supported us and helped us along the way. They were there as guides and friends. They were like a lighthouse to give us guidance on where to go next or how to think about a particular topic. And they were also there as friends because they were there to talk to if you needed help.

“The difference between Accelerator and an internship is that it’s essentially three internships in the span of one month. And you’ll be among people who share your desire to better yourself. I wanted to get to know these people here and form lasting relationships with them. And I can confidently say that I have done that.”

Fun Fact: Deborah loves gardening and the science of horticulture.

“It’s essentially three internships in the span of one month.”