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Maria Jorgensen

Maria Jorgensen

Vanderbilt Summer Accelerator 2012


Learning Business as a Second Language

Jorgensen ‘accelerates’ knowledge and skills for her career


Maria Jorgensen had already earned her degree (in Spanish Literature, from the University of Arizona) and completed four different internships (ranging from market research and human resources to resort property management) before enrolling in Accelerator. She also had spent time as a volunteer, supervising patients in what she describes as a “high-demand, fast-paced, health service charity environment” in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

Still, Maria believed, there was much more she needed to know to begin a career. And when her aunt told her about Accelerator, the Houston native says, “Having the opportunity to learn so much about business in such a short period of time seemed very exciting to me.”

Even before her four weeks in Nashville were over, Maria, for whom Spanish was her first language, marveled at what she had already gained through the program. “I have learned things from each lecture I’ve attended, including information from investment banking, marketing and branding, how to be a better presenter, how team dynamics influence results, consulting, operations, how to prepare for interviews, and much more.

She expected the academic rigor. What exceeded Maria’s expectations was how much she learned beyond the classroom. For example, she says, “Accelerator better prepared me for interviews and the job market. I learned better how to deal with deadlines. I learned through the close relationships I formed with my teammates. Owen has given me the ability to see the world from the perspective of diverse leaders around me.”