Our Stories

Getting the Most From Her Experience

Rising sophomore finds a place to grow

Delaney Jones
Michigan State University, Class of 2026

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2023

Delaney Jones entered college thinking that she wanted to pursue a career in public policy. By the spring of her first year, she realized she was more interested in business. She says she also realized that “I had so much to learn about all aspects of interviewing, networking, and consulting. [Accelerator] seemed a perfect place to grow my skills in these areas and as a person.”

Specifically, Delaney developed a curiosity about consulting as a career path. For that, Accelerator was an ideal fit. “Prior to this program, I did not even grasp what consulting involved,” she says. “After working on all of our projects in the program, I have come to realize this may be the perfect combination of all of my personal interests and desires. I do not think I would have gotten a realistic glimpse at what the career entails without coming to this program.”

The key learning she gained from the program’s guest speakers, coaches, and professors, she says, is that “the most important piece of your professional career is how you interact with people. The way you present yourself, the memorable stories you share, and the preparation you have coming into interactions will be more important than being able to regurgitate financial statements. The relationships you build are key.”

Those relationships, Delaney found, are also key to learning. “This program,” she says, “is a perfect place to strengthen skills you already are confident in and to practice those in which you have less confidence. The important lesson is that everyone here wants you to succeed. This is not limited to the mentors and professors. The students really make the experience. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable, admit your areas of weakness, and learn from others, you will get more out of this experience than you would in any class or internship.”

Fun Fact: Delaney served as president of a 9,400-member first-year class at Michigan State University.

“Everyone here wants you to succeed.”