During her first semester as a Vanderbilt freshman, Sasha Pines had trouble sleeping. I would stay up for hours, says the San Diego native, wondering where my life was going and what I could do to make my college experience unique and challenging. Sasha, who loves studying other cultures, is not one to sit still. At 16, she taught for two weeks at indigenous schools in Fiji. Before beginning college, she went to Poland and Israel, where she took part in the March of the Living to honor Holocaust survivors.
So, even as a freshman, Sasha wasted no time in looking into summer business programs for undergraduates. That exercise brought her right back to Nashville. I researched a lot of options, she says.
Of all the established and esteemed programs I found throughout the U.S., Accelerator is really the only one where students work directly with companies. We don't do mock consulting projects but instead get to interact directly with the client and learn through real-life application. Sasha began Accelerator in June, three days after returning from a month studying at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. When the 30-day program was completed, she hadn't yet defined a career path. But she believes she took big steps toward her general goal of one day owning her own company and doing something that will positively disrupt a market.
A few months after Accelerator, Sasha founded an undergraduate organization at Vanderbilt University called Women in Business that aims to empower young women by engaging a network of like-minded and ambitious women. The organization has now formed a partnership with Owen's Women's Business Association. Sasha states, I can say, confidently, that my time at Accelerator taught me the value of networking and inspired me to create this organization to empower other young businesswomen.
Looking back on her summer, Sasha describes the program like this: Not only do you learn so much about the workings of business, you also learn a lot about yourself. You will never again feel so overworked and exhausted while simultaneously exhilarated and accomplished.
All of which help her sleep much easier these days.This article represents our previous 4-week programming. We’re excited to offer an accelerated 3-week experience in 2022.
Fun Fact: In high school, Sasha founded and directed a summer camp for special needs children.
Of all the established and esteemed programs I found throughout the U.S., Accelerator is really the only one where students work directly with companies.