Our Stories

Sailing along with New Possibilities

Boating instructor Nathaniel Pettit connects to an array of career courses

Nathaniel Pettit
S&O Business Analyst, Deloitte Consulting, New York
J.D. Candidate at Columbia Law School | Part-Time Law Clerk at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2015

Nathaniel Pettit had a regular summer routine. For years, he had taught sailing on Long Island. In 2015, as he completed his sophomore year at the University of Pennsylvania, he decided to chart a different course. Though Nathaniel had been interested in structured finance and, later, in investment banking, the New York City native says he ?wanted to develop a more well-rounded perspective on business, consulting and the many opportunities available.? ?I was not certain what I wanted to do, and Accelerator provided the opportunity to get a crash course in finding out.? The course was even more rewarding than he had imagined. ?My experience was incredible,? he says. ?It reinforced what I was learning with real projects for a variety of institutions, allowing me to really crystallize the information I took in.? ?I met more interesting people than I ever expected and created close relationships with amazingly talented individuals. In a few short weeks, my teams became more than just a group of colleagues. There is an intensely professional and academic focus coupled with curiosity and a desire to have fun.? Nathaniel was able to leverage what he learned in Accelerator to gain an internship in the Scottish Parliament where he produced a financial scrutiny report for devolved governments that was central to the Parliament's execution of extended powers. He believes his Accelerator experience was also key in getting an offer to participate in the highly competitive Deloitte S&O Summer Scholar program. According to Nathaniel, ?Accelerator truly helped me figure out the direction I wanted to take and helped me achieve my goals along that path. I?ve been given the tools to understand a variety of sectors much better than I could have otherwise. My new connections have opened my eyes to a variety of opinions and possibilities I never saw before and have prepared me to return to New York and Penn with the ability to take advantage of many diverse opportunities.?

Fun Fact: Nathaniel has taught himself archery.

Accelerator truly helped me figure out the direction I wanted to take and helped me achieve my goals along that path.