Our Stories

Getting Clearer on Her Goals

After Accelerator, Kristen McGee pursues careers she'd never heard of before

Kristen McGee
Manager, Sales Development Okta

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2016

Kristen’s McGee’s career aspirations have shifted over time. As a freshman at Elon University, she originally planned to study marketing. “But I love to talk to people,” says the California native, “so I thought I would explore communications. I changed my major because that’s where I found my passion.”

She found out about Accelerator the old-fashioned way: through family. “My sister participated in the program and is doing very well for herself,” Kristen says. “I saw her quite literally reap the benefits.” It helped, she adds, that she’d get to spend time in Nashville.

Even before the 30 days were over, she concluded that Accelerator had been life-altering, not least because now she has a clear sense of her career goals on communications. “I would describe my experience as a whirlwind of all-nighters, laughs and the proudest you will ever be of yourself. I wish I could quantify how much the professors have taught me, but I cannot. I have learned about creative brainstorming, networking, public speaking, accounting, and several more. I literally had not heard of some of the professions in the communications world that I am now pursuing because of Accelerator.”

Based on her experience, she offers some advice for others considering the program. “It will be harder and more stressful than you think, and it will push you further than you’ve imagined. It is the most fun you won’t ever want to have again. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Fun Fact: Kristen’s experiences include everything from playing competitive badminton to serving as a rafting guide in West Virginia to being a debutante.

“It is the most fun you won’t ever want to have again. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”