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Getting Ahead of the Game Early

Sophomore-to-be uses Accelerator as springboard for business career

Rashad Townsend
Morehouse College Class of 2022

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2019

Rashad Townsend already has a clear idea about the direction he wants to go. After graduating from Morehouse in 2022, he plans to begin his career in management consulting and, at some point, to earn his MBA. He intends to use that expertise to pursue his “passion for providing opportunities for the underrepresented and underprivileged.”

Meantime, the summer after his freshman year of college presented an opportunity. Previously, his business experience was limited to a summer internship with a bank during high school, and he hadn’t had much opportunity to take business-related courses in his first undergraduate year at a liberal arts college. He was looking for “a college business-esque program” in Nashville, his hometown.

Accelerator fit the bill. “Vanderbilt is a very highly regarded university that I knew would offer me a great experience and ample resources,” Rashad says. (It helped, he says, that his grandmother is an alumna of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.)

Once the program began, Rashad discovered that his lack of previous business education was actually a plus. “You learn very quickly and are exposed to a great deal of information,” he says. “I learned so much about business and about working in groups. I feel like I will be ahead of the game compared to those in my [undergraduate] class.”

Not only that: Rashad credits the program with giving him a greater sense of where he could ultimately go. “Owen,” he says, “has further widened my view of all that is possible in my budding career.”

Fun Fact: Rashad enjoys listening to podcasts, an activity that “fuels my love for conversation and introspection.

I feel like I will be ahead of the game compared to those in my [undergraduate] class.