Our Stories

Moving from Medicine to Merchandising

Accelerator helps sociology major bridge a gap in her business skills

Nicole Miniet
Associate Buyer, Macy’s

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2016

A summer of study was nothing new for Nicole Miniet. At the University of Florida, where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in sociology, she had been part of the Innovation Academy, a small cohort within the university that followed a spring-summer schedule.

After her sophomore year, Nicole realized she no longer wanted to pursue a career in medicine — a feeling she says solidified after she spent a semester in London. Instead, she aspires to be a senior merchandiser or buyer for a large retail chain — and perhaps to own her own business.

To achieve her career goals, Nicole plans to pursue an MBA. In the meantime, she found Accelerator to be an appealing option. “I wanted to bridge the gap between my liberal arts degree and future MBA aspirations,” she says. “And since I didn’t have a job lined up after graduation, I figured there wouldn’t be a better time.” The opportunity to take part in five mini-internships, learn from MBA faculty at Vanderbilt and the Nashville location, she says, also were attractions for her.

Looking back on her four-week experience, Nicole says, “Accelerator helped me realize that my undergraduate field of study can be an asset in the business world. It also opened my mind to other ventures and career opportunities I did not think I had.

“Accelerator taught me that it’s not all about winning. It’s about giving your all and working with a team to produce your best work that everyone is proud of. It’s all about personal growth.”


Fun Fact: Nicole enjoys “anything having to do with the ocean.” She is SCUBA-certified, has a boater’s license and loves paddle-boarding and wake-boarding.

“Since I didn’t have a job lined up after graduation, I figured there wouldn’t be a better time.