A2i Accelerate to Industry

In the fall of 2021, Duke launched a bold, new approach to workforce training for graduate students: Accelerate to Industry (A2i). In partnership with North Carolina State University’s Graduate School, The Duke A2i program is focused on helping Humanities and Social Science PhD students find, apply for, and secure employment outside of academia. While the content, industry partners, and guest presenters will be tailored for humanities and social science doctoral candidates, other graduate and professional students from Duke are welcome to attend.

With A2i, graduate students can explore the ample employment opportunities with industry companies in Durham, in North Carolina, and across the U.S. They can develop the business, leadership, and communication skills that companies seek.

The Accelerate to Industry program is funded through a National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant.


What is Accelerate to Industry?

Accelerate to Industry (A2i) is an industry workforce readiness program for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers developed by the NC State University Graduate School. The program provides students with knowledge, skills, and abilities that establish long-term professional success.

The mission of the A2i program is to show graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and alumni the wide range of available industry careers, to help them secure industry jobs, and to empower them to excel in the corporate environment by demonstrating key competencies that are not usually learned through academic training. The A2i program facilitates these outcomes through a variety of modules that offer networking opportunities, discussion panels, presentations, workshops, team projects, site visits at local companies, and internships.


PostDocs who are interested in attending, please email Ängela Bonner to indicate the sessions you wish to attend!

Job Search Series (JSS) Workshops

Job Search- Friday, Oct 7, 12pm-1pm

Looking for a job or internship ? Job searching can be overwhelming sometimes. Join us in this workshop to arm yourself with strategies for job searching! In this workshop, we will discuss the skills and qualities of employees from the employer’s perspective, strategies to research your potential employer, and time management in job searching. Bring your own questions in job searching so we can answer them or solve them as a group!

Facilitator: Stacia Solomon, Associate Director of Duke Career Center 

A native of Charlotte, Stacia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management & Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following a short career in the banking industry, Stacia became a K-12 educator before attending North Carolina State University where she earned her M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in College Student Development.

Prior to joining the Duke Career Center, Stacia held roles at North Carolina State University and the University of California San Diego serving diverse populations for graduate in STEM fields and undergraduate students of all majors. Committed to the success of the whole person, Stacia is passionate about helping students to get to know themselves so that they can make informed career decisions.

A champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion, Stacia currently serves as chair of the Career Center Inclusion & Equity Committee and she is a member of the university-wide Campus Climate Committee. 

When she’s not helping students, Stacia enjoys traveling, collecting Trader Joe’s shopping bags, exploring different cuisines, and spending time with her family.

Register now!


Converting CV to Resume– Friday, Oct 14, 12pm-1pm

While a CV is usually used for applying academic jobs, a resume is more often used for job applications in the industrial world. Converting a CV to a resume might seem complicated. This workshop will provide you a framework for getting started, converting a CV to an industry resume, and ways to increase your likelihood of getting that initial phone screen or interview.  

Facilitator: Dr. Vanessa Doriott Anderson, Assistant Dean for Academic and Career Development at UNC-Chapel Hill

Vanessa Doriott Anderson is Assistant Dean for Academic and Career Development at the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In that role, she provides support for graduate students’ professional and career development and manages the Graduate Student Center. She previously served as Interim Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Director of Teaching and Communication Programs at the North Carolina State University Graduate School, and prior to that, as a tenure-track assistant professor of French. She received her B.A. in French from Macalester College, her M.A. in French from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, and her Ph.D. in Romance Studies from Duke University. Her academic specialization in twentieth-century autobiography informs her work with graduate students who seek to shape their many varied skills and experiences into a coherent professional narrative. 

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Interview– Friday, Oct 21, 12pm-1pm

Whether conducted in-person, virtually, or via phone, interviews are an opportunity to tell your story while clearly conveying your skills, interest and overall fit for a specific position and organization. In this workshop, you will learn useful strategies to prepare strong responses and also practice answering some of the most common behavioral-style interview questions. You do not need to have an upcoming interview to attend this workshop. 

Facilitator: Dr. Stefan Waldschmidt, College Counselor at Carolina Friends School

Stefan Waldschmidt finished their PhD in English in 2017, and their research was focused on how utilitarianism shaped nineteenth-century narratives about community and meaning. After graduating, Stefan worked as a manager at CollegeVine, a data-driven startup offering college admissions services. Stefan is currently the College Counselor at Carolina Friends School, an independent Quaker School in Durham, North Carolina. 

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Offer Letter and Negotiation- Friday, Oct 28, 12pm-1pm

You have gotten a job offer! How do you interpret what is included in your job offer? What are the benefits and compensation? In this workshop, you will learn helpful strategies to understand a job offer, aspects to consider when accepting a job offer, means to compare job offers, and the best ways to negotiate with your future employer about your offer and benefits. You do not have to have a job offer already. This workshop can help prepare you for future job offer negotiations!  

Facilitator: Dr. Jacqueline Kellish, Director of Public Engagement at National Humanities Center

Jacqueline Kellish (she/her) received her PhD in English from Duke in 2020. Her research and dissertation focused on the ways that oppositional politics in the global contemporary novel give rise to new forms of subjectivity and community. While at Duke, Jacqueline served as the associate editor for the Duke University Press journal NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, held a Graduate School Administrative Fellowship, and participated in the Versatile Humanists internship program. She has taught courses at Duke, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Irvine. Jacqueline received her AB degree in Political Science and English from the University of Chicago. Currently, Jacqueline works as the Director of Public Engagement at the National Humanities Center, leading programming and outreach efforts for both scholarly and public audiences. 

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Coffee Chats

Wednesday, Oct 5, 12pm-1pm

Guest: Dr. Meghan O’Neil, Assistant Director of Bass Connections

Meghan O’Neil is the assistant director of Bass Connections, an academic program at Duke that supports collaborative interdisciplinary research through faculty-led project teams, summer programs, courses, and research grants. Meghan provides broad administrative, communications, and strategic support for the program, and works closely with Duke faculty and administrators to develop and deploy best practices for team-based research. An enthusiastic advocate of collaboration and mentorship across disciplines, she is a 2018 graduate of Duke’s doctoral program in English and has extensive experience as an instructor, researcher and project manager. Before coming to Duke, Meghan worked for the United States Department of Justice and earned degrees from the University of Chicago and Georgetown University. 

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Wednesday, Oct 12, 12pm-1pm

Guest: Dr. Sara Weiss, VP and Director of Research at Center for Responsible Lending

As VP and Director of Research at the Center for Responsible Lending, Sara Weiss leads the research team and advances the organization’s policy objectives through timely, rigorous, and impactful research products. She is a data and measurement strategist and enjoys wrangling large and messy data and designing innovative data visualizations. Previously, Sara led applied research teams at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University and for a private consulting company serving federal clients. Sara holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Duke University and was a Fulbright Fellow in South Korea. 

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Wednesday, Oct 19, 12pm-1pm

Guest: Dr. Josh Stohl, Director of MED-EL’s North American Research Laboratory

Josh Stohl currently serves as the Director of MED-EL’s North American Research Laboratory. Josh received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University and has spent the last 13 years at MED-EL conducting basic and applied research to produce advances in hearing implant technology. The laboratory utilizes a combination of evoked potentials, computational modeling, and behavioral testing to study the human auditory system and translate scientific discovery into improved outcomes with cochlear implants and other device-based treatments for hearing loss.

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Wednesday, Oct 26, 12pm-1pm

Guest: Dr. Gabi Wurmitzer, Planning and implementation of student-facing curricular and co-curricular programs at Duke

After graduating from Duke with a PhD in German Studies, Dr. Gabriele Wurmitzer has devoted herself to several different roles under the broad umbrella of education, including working for a non-profit organization that promotes education; language education; project coordination in higher education. From her rich experience in education, she gained in-depth knowledge about the academic and administrative structures of higher education organizations, for example, Duke. She has gained her way to her current role as a program coordinator at Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy with her skills in program managing, communicating, problem-solving.   

Register now!

Yes! While the content, industry partners, and guest presenters will be tailored for Duke humanities and social science graduate students, other graduate and professional students from Duke are welcome to attend. If you aren’t affiliated with Duke, you may also attend the events, but be sure to mark your institution in the registration form.

If you are not able to attend at least 3 events but would still like to participate in Immersion Day, please email Abraham Nguyen at avn7@duke.edu

Accelerate to Industry at Duke is coordinated by two individuals:

Ängela Bonner

Assistant Director

Duke Career Center

Jiayue Liu

Program Coordinator/Graduate Assistant

Duke Career Center

Stay tuned for more information

Resume Workshop– Friday, March 18, 12pm-1pm

In this hands-on workshop, you will have the opportunity to work on your resume for jobs outside of academia. This workshop will provide you a framework for getting started, converting a CV to an industry resume, and ways to increase your likelihood of getting that initial phone screen or interview. Please bring a recent CV or resume to polish it and get immediate feedback.

Facilitator: Allison Hamm, ThD ’20, Leadership and Development Coach

Allison is a leadership and personal development coach specializing in helping high-achievers sustain long-term growth and effectiveness. After working in nonprofits and higher ed for many years, she became passionate about what happens in the gap between knowing and doing: how do successful leaders translate knowledge and resources into pragmatic, skillful action across all spheres of experience? With a background in music and academia, a Duke education (MDiv, ThD), and training in Presence-Based® Coaching, Allison has been helping people translate knowledge into action for over twenty years.