Career Accelerator Program

Bowdoin students get a leg up with the Career Accelerator Program, funding that lets students build key industry-specific skills to stand out and land the job.

The Employment Accelerator Awards program was started in 2020 when it became clear that our senior class was facing a trying job market. The program assisted nearly 100 students—everyone who applied received a grant.

As the pandemic continues, these challenges persist. Job seekers from the Class of 2021 will again have the chance to apply for funding to build industry-specific skills during the summer after graduation. Funding permitting, we will also consider applicants from the first-year, sophomore, and junior classes.  

Support the 2021 Career Accelerator Program

Every $500 provides one student the opportunity to master a critical skill and accelerate toward the career of their choice. 

For new graduates seeking that great first job, a course or certification can clinch the job offer. With companies less willing to offer on-the-job training under the current economic conditions, the accelerator program fills in the gaps. A recent graduate with a Bowdoin degree and a head start learning job-specific skills is a great candidate for that job.

For students seeking internships, the accelerator program provides both a valuable alternative and a path to explore their interests. As in summer 2020, conventional internship opportunities continue to be more challenging to land in summer 2021. For those students whose internship prospects are limited by COVID, devoting the summer to mastery of a job-ready skill is a great alternative. Like an internship, it’s also a great way to engage deeply in a particular type of work and see if it lights a spark.

Itza Bonilla-Hernandez ’20

Major: Government and Legal Studies

Current City: Cambridge, MA

Employer: C Space

Position: Associate Consultant, Consumer Research

Faced with graduating into a tough job market in the middle of a pandemic, Itza Bonilla-Hernandez ’20 took advantage of the CXD Accelerator Program to boost her skills and give her an edge.

After a seven month job search, Itza Bonilla-Hernandez ’20 accepted an offer from C Space—a global customer agency—as an associate consultant for consumer research in their Boston, Massachusetts, office. She credits her preparedness to Bowdoin's Career Exploration and Development office (CXD), a career accelerator course she took through an online program with Creative Alignments (CA), and her work as a social media marketing assistant to Kyle Hegarty ’99, who had just published a new book.