Our Stories

Experiencing Rapid Growth

Three-week program accelerated Roper’s skill development

Rece Roper
Vanderbilt University, Class of 2025

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2023

Rece Roper was “immediately intrigued” after hearing in a class about Vanderbilt’s Accelerator program. “I was drawn to the real-world consulting experience I could gain at such a young age,” he says. “I don’t know of any other opportunity like this, and I knew it was one I could not pass up.”

Rece also approached the program with a degree of trepidation. “When I heard about the hours, I remember thinking: ’12-hour days? What have I signed myself up for?’ I wasn’t sure whether I was going to have fun while doing this.”

He’s happy to report that his worries were quickly dispelled. “To be honest,” Rece says, “I was not expecting the program to be as fun as it has been. I have made so many new friends and have had a lot of fun.”

Meanwhile, Rece appreciates the commitment of the faculty and coaches in the program and the mentoring they provided him. “The relationship with the coaches feels like an older sibling who really wants me to win,” he says. “The relationship with the professors feels like a parent who has my back at any moment I need them. The amount of time, energy, and compassion they pour into everyone in this program is inspiring.”

Rece also found Accelerator’s emphasis on group projects extremely valuable. “Our projects feel like what working on a team in the real world will feel like,” he says. “I have really enjoyed learning more about the dynamics of working with others in this setting.”

All in all, he found the program time ideally spent. “As someone who was originally hesitant,” Rece says, “I now look back and don’t know a better thing that I could have done with the first portion of my summer. I grew my professional skillset more in these three weeks than in the entirety of my first two years of undergrad.”

Fun Fact: Rece worked on a flower farm in rural southern Illinois.

“I don’t know of any other opportunity like this, and I knew it was one I could not pass up.”