ZERO TO CAREER IN 30 DAYS

THE CITY PAPER
Sep 8, 2008

Colleges and other organizations are responding to the need. The Nashville chamber and Nashville State are creating a tailor-made curriculum for logistics and transportation workers, giving students the opportunity to follow a very targeted syllabus — almost as if they were majoring in the job.
The chamber also helps companies create internships to groom potential employees.
“We’re looking a systemic change — a connection between work, education, and training,” said Eisenbrandt, adding that other programs along those lines are on the way.
Vanderbilt University is among the educational institutions responding to the changing job market in radical ways and integrating work and education to better prepare students. Michael Skoumal is a third-year undergrad, but during this summer’s month-long ACCELERATOR Summer Business Institute, he was treated more like a contestant on NBC's The Apprentice.
He and his peers survived 100-hour weeks, juggling multiple team projects for companies like Griffin Technologies and William Morris Agency while taking classes from Accelerator faculty. At one point, he was thrown on a bus at 5 a.m. and taken to Louisville to present his business plan to execs at health insurer Humana.
“I haven't slept more than maybe four consecutive hours this month,” said Skoumal.
But the most challenging obstacle for Skoumal and the 84 other students in the Accelerator Vanderbilt Summer Business Institute was the price of admission: a cool $8,500, which covers food, housing and programming.
The Accelerator program works with companies such as American Airlines, Caterpillar and Bridgestone to create a targeted educational experience unlike any other. Students work in teams to create business solutions for 10 companies in 30 days.