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Making Career Connections

Accelerator helps data analytics major chart his course

Nicholas Noland
Arizona State University, Class of 2024

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2022

A native of Washington state and a college student in Arizona, Nicholas Noland had no personal connections that led him to Vanderbilt. Instead, he made his own.

As he was considering options for a summer program, the rising junior began conducting his own research. That’s how he discovered Accelerator.

“I wanted to find a program that provided me with real-world experience and the opportunity to work with students from across the country,” says Nicholas, who is pursuing a major in business data analytics. “Pushing myself out of my comfort zone got me to Nashville. I like to challenge myself both personally and professionally. Being at a top-20 school in the U.S. during the summer was a privilege, and being around and taught by world-class faculty was an honor.”

The faculty were everything Nicholas expected and more. “I love my coaches and professors,” he says. “They make you want to learn and focus in their lectures. I love how they draw conclusions and perspectives from their professional experiences.” As an example of their influence, he cites Professor Jamie Leddin, who emphasized the importance of being fearless and bold. “That is a trait I will use in the future,” Nicholas says.

Coming into a diverse cohort of students—none of whom he knew beforehand—he had not expected everyone to be so welcoming. “We became very close, considering we had only known each other for such a short time [during the program],” Nicholas says. “I am thankful for the friendships I made in Nashville.”

With his projected college graduation still two years away from the program’s end date, Nicholas found that Accelerator was already helping to shape his career direction. “Accelerator will help me network and develop meaningful relationships in the future,” he says. “I plan on attending events in New York City and the Northeast because of this program.”

Fun Fact: Nicholas played soccer for 13 years.

Accelerator will help me network and develop meaningful relationships in the future.