A2i/Accelerate to Industry

A2i, Accelerate to Industry, founded by NC State University, aims to equip graduate students with the essential skills demanded by modern corporations. This innovative initiative focuses on fostering proficiency in business, leadership, and effective communication skills that companies seek. As a distinguished Academic Partner of A2i, UC Irvine Graduate Division plays a pivotal role in facilitating this transformative experience for its graduate student cohort. By affiliating with A2i, UC Irvine not only grants access to cutting-edge professional development programs on our campus but also facilitates extensive networking opportunities with industry contacts through collaboration with other partner institutions, enabling graduate students to broaden their career horizons like never before.

At UC Irvine Graduate Division, our commitment to the success of our graduate students extends beyond the classroom. Through our partnership with A2i, we facilitate a dynamic platform where UCI alumni, industry stakeholders, hiring managers, and university leadership share invaluable insights and real-world corporate scenarios. Our comprehensive approach to professional development includes workshops, career panels, lunch & learn events, and networking gatherings, providing students with diverse opportunities to enhance their skills and expand their professional networks. Additionally, we organize company site visits and external networking engagements to further immerse students in the corporate landscape, equipping them with firsthand knowledge and experiences essential for their career advancement. Click here for key competencies that you will learn when participating in A2i.

*Before starting A2i, graduate students are encouraged to sign into Career Explorations, a web-based hiring platform powered by 12twenty,  exclusively for UCI Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars. Update your profile, write a summary to highlight your personality and work experience, and add your resume or cv. Click here to sign in, please email a2i@uci.edu with any questions.

Our Mission

  • Prepare UCI graduate students and postdocs for the wide range of available industry careers
  • Help our graduate students secure internships and careers in industry
  • Build a program that serves as a touch point for more long-term collaborative relationships between industry and UC Irvine

John Huang | Associate Director and Site Executive Raytheon | An RTX Business

"UCI provides one of the best in class scholars and graduate student talent for the industry. UCI Graduate Division's A2i (Accelerate to Industry) is an excellent program that prepares graduate students for real world experience."

A2i Modules

These modules offer you the opportunity to engage with A2i at all stages of your graduate career. We recommend starting with Industry Job Search Strategies early and finishing with Industry Immersion as you near degree completion. Our first A2i Job Search Strategies Workshop series with a cohort of 45 PhD students and Postdocs is currently in session! Click here to view the syllabus and attend any of the virtual workshops!

Industry Insights (INS) is comprised of talks and panels from industry speakers. Topics covered in this module include but not limited to career exploration, business communication, corporate culture, teamwork, project management, time management, leadership, market evaluation, regulatory affairs, etc. INS’s speakers frequently change so students can benefit from taking this module multiple times. INS is offered throughout the year. A2i may also offer a special virtual section of INS over the Summer that includes A2i partner institutions’ students and industry members. Check out UCI Graduate Division Campus Groups for upcoming Industry Insights.

Job Search Strategies (JSS) is a five-week intensive workshop series meeting twice per week, with a cohort of PhD candidates and Postdocs comprised of two parts: virtual workshops led by A2i and professional development experts and in person talks from industry speakers. Topics covered in this module include career exploration, business communication, resume review, interviewing, salary negotiations, networking, informational interviews, and corporate culture.

Students in all stages of their graduate program participate in this module. Industry speakers come from a variety of industries including private sector, non-profit, and government. Virtual sessions are open to all Graduate students and the in-person sessions are limited to the PhD and Postdoc JSS cohort. Previous cohort participants may drop-in on both virtual and in person sessions.

We selectively recruit graduate and postdoctoral researchers in response to each company’s specific recruitment needs. Our recruitment methods ensure that participants in the site visit are interested in building their careers with the respective company.


This module establishes opportunities for industry companies to work directly with UC Irvine Graduate Division for recruitment. We recruit outstanding candidates who match internship criteria, and we prepare application portfolios to assist company liaisons with the selection process. Students are required to have completed their Career Exploration Profile (12twenty) and uploaded a resume.

UCI Graduate Division has partnered with Parker Dewey for Micro-Internships. Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects allow you to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build your networks as you seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 10 to 40 hours of work, are typically due between one week and one month after kick-off and are often remote and flexible.

This practicum is a 6-to-12-week development series during which UC Irvine graduate students and postdocs learn to leverage their technical backgrounds and creativity to move ideas and projects forward as a part of a cross-disciplinary team. Each partnering company will work with a multidisciplinary team on a project that is relevant to the company. Moreover, we recruit the team members in response to the company’s needs.


This is an intensive experiential learning opportunity that prepares UC Irvine graduate students, postdocs, and alumni for the corporate environment. The Accelerate to Industry Immersion Conference takes place in summer as a three-day immersion experience for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers that includes signature A2i content along with events and activities unique to the Immersion Conference.

UCI Graduate Division is excited to launch A2i Immersion Conference 2024 this July 16 – 18th. Space is limited, please submit application here. Those accepted are required to attend all workshops and events throughout the conference and actively engage with cohort, staff and industry guests. Please remember to exercise professional courtesy and check your calendar for any conflicts; if you sign up, it is important to show up.

Lilit Davtyan, CEO of Phonexa:

"I've experienced the UCI Grad Slam first hand as a judge, and it's refreshing to see the remarkable research that graduate students are leading, and the university is enabling. The event leaves participants inspired and connected, and it shows how important it is to support academic excellence and innovation. At Phonexa, we've globally grown our performance marketing software to a staff of over 200 partly due to recent graduates who are bringing new solutions to old problems. Schools like UCI who support entrepreneurial educational experiences are imperative to the workforce integration and professional development of students, as well enabling a talent pipeline to help further grow companies who are leading the charge with innovative solutions in their respective industries."

Our Partners

Thank you to our current industry partners, PhonexaCieRaytheonLeonidAlturaEdwards LifesciencesRachioOrange County Business JournalThe Pacific Club, and growing! Please contact Jennifer Ellinger to learn about the benefits of becoming an UC Irvine Industry Partner, jolsenel@uci.edu

Lance Holman | President & CEO Holman Capital

"UCI Graduate Division is building bridges within the Orange County business community by identifying the specific needs for the business and connecting them to the best talent for mentoring, interning, and hiring."