Our Stories

Finding His Next Field in Three Weeks

Accelerator gives business student greater career clarity

Kirk Mowl
University of Florida, Class of 2025

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2023

Kirk Mowl already had an accelerated track toward a business career. Through a combined degree program at the University of Florida, he was pursuing both a major in business and a master’s degree in international business. Since 2017, he has been awarded more than $50,000 in college scholarships and has organized and overseen a prestigious youth bowling tournament that has involved more than 50 weekend events.

Kirk was looking for summer internship opportunities when he saw a posting about Accelerator on a board at school. He was attracted by the program’s timeline, the projects involving real-world clients, and the opportunity to be in Nashville.

“What really drew me to Accelerator was the three-week window of this opportunity,” the Florida native says. “With most internships, you have to give up your whole summer, and you’re working a small number of hours and in an industry you might not even be familiar with. In Accelerator, you’re in a great program that involves many different industries and just three weeks. Now I can go into an industry I’m more familiar with, and then I know what I want to pursue in a bigger and longer internship the following summer.”

Kirk particularly liked how the program combined classroom learning with projects for actual business clients. “We learn about consulting, marketing, modeling, negotiations, finance, and accounting,” he says. “And then we work with real-world clients who come in with a business problem to solve. We take that as a team, break it down over the course of a week, and propose solutions to the client.

“After we present our ideas, the clients give us great feedback, which we incorporate into the solutions. For example, one client told us that our financials were not feasible, so we pivoted to make sure that our financials were clearly laid out and feasible. And they went on to implement our idea. Working with an actual client, creating real solutions to their problem, and seeing them implement it is a great story to tell on your resume.

“I left the program with my resume and qualifications as top notch compared to my peers in the industry I want to enter. And networking through the program has provided me with many opportunities that I did not know were possible before coming here. It has been mind-blowing to see where my dreams can take me.”

Fun Fact: A competitive bowler since age 5, Kirk is a member of a national championship bowling team.

“All of the professors have been so amazing; they care and just advocate that they are here for us in every way.”