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Back to All ProfilesSummer Zhao


Summer Zhao

Vanderbilt Summer Accelerator 2012
Energy Analyst at Sinopec USA

Saving Trees through Chopsticks

Zhao invents eco-friendly utensils before summer at Owen

By most standards, Summer Zhao already had a jump-start on her business career even before completing the Accelerator program at Vanderbilt.

In her native China, she had received a patent for environmentally friendly disposable chopsticks that are sterilized by ozone and can be reused. And while at Washington University in St. Louis, she took a semester off to complete an internship in China with the Brookings Institution.

Yet even with this impressive head start, Summer, who has been accepted by two graduate schools and is pondering a consulting career, found Accelerator a valuable business boost.

In particular, Summer credits the program with helping improve her time management, teamwork, leadership, presentation and analytical abilities. “I actually thought I was very good at teamwork,” says the native of Tsientin, China, “but here I got to see the dynamics of how a team works and what it’s like to work with different people. I think my teamwork skills have definitely improved.

“Accelerator is a great place to challenge yourself. It’s a great place to dip into the water of the business world and explore what you want to do in the future. It’s a good support to test what you like or don’t like. It’s just a great place for you to launch your career.”
Since 1969, Vanderbilt Business has been building a new kind of business leader. The kind who aren't afraid to challenge old ways of thinking. Who don't think they've heard it all before (or pretend they will ever know it all). The persistent kind. People who are ready to work harder and dig deeper, and who put ideas over ego and performance over pedigree.

We attract the kind who are looking not only to succeed in the business world but to shape it for the better. While also shaping their skills, their careers and their futures. All while shaping our own community in ways that make a lasting difference for themselves and others.

You'll find stories here of Vanderbilt Businesspeople, people much like you, who have done all these and more.

We invite you to become a World Shaper yourself. Or to recruit one. And, most of all, to read how Vanderbilt Business has become such a richly shaping experience for so many. Close