Summer Immersion Experience with Vanderbilt’s Student-Athletes

Just like the rest of the world, TFC programming was forced to pivot come spring given the changing state of the world. Internship capacity shifted left and right and many Vanderbilt student-athletes were left without key summer opportunities. The TFC, a continuing partner with Vanderbilt Athletics’ summer internship program, was built on a legacy of adaptation and meaningful experiences. In order to meet the needs of these students, the Summer Immersion Experience (SIE) was born.

SIE focused on professional development: career-readiness, resume construction/editing, and hands-on experiences. Students collaborated remotely with teams made up of different Vanderbilt athletes who were scattered across the country. The first half of the program consisted of an academic foundation for the consulting projects they completed in the latter half. Utilizing the educational platform, Coursera, students learned from faculty at universities like the University of Pennsylvania, Copenhagen Business School, and the University of Virginia to engage in course discussion and advance their business knowledge.

Outside of group gatherings, students met with career coaches to understand and plan their futures both on campus and beyond as influential leaders. Once a week throughout the eight-week program, students heard from various alumni and working professionals about their career journey in and out of athletics to become the innovators they are today.

While hands-on looked different this summer, student-athletes made the most of their time as consultants. Connecting with Nashville-based entrepreneurs such as Jersey Exchange, End Slavery Tennessee, Persist Nashville and the Vanderbilt Credit Union, the cohort developed a number of deliverables for their clients. The program culminated in a 50+ attendee virtual conference day where students presented to their clients, fellow classmates, SIE facilitators, previous guest speakers, and other professionals to deliver their varied projects including business models, engagement strategies, and operational strategies. Now, Summer Immersion Experience participants are taking these new skills and experiences to their existing leadership roles on campus and post grad as they begin their professional careers.

“We wanted to offer student-athletes a space, despite the uncertain externalities, where they felt engaged and able to dream about their futures after sport. Our team believes that this is part of our mission as we work to affect change in our communities.”

Mario Avila

Turner Family for Social Ventures, Director

See what students had to say below: 

“I thought that the SIE experience was a super great experience, as it was interactive, interesting, and exposed me to so many incredible people. I really enjoyed both the course and the consulting project, and I thought that it was an excellent way to get some real world experience.” Vanderbilt ’22, Swim Team

“Obviously going from what was to be in-person to remote had it’s challenges. I think this is an excellent opportunity for young people to understand the social innovation and entrepreneurship space.” Vanderbilt ’22

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from coursera and the coaches / mentors from the TFC, listen to guest speakers and lastly have the opportunity to work on hands on projects.” Vanderbilt ’23, Swim Team