UVA Career Accelerator + Propel

Propel is UVA's new project-based learning program designed for students to gain valuable skills and solve real-world problems for clients.   

Engage in real-world company projects, gain experience working in teams, connect with alumni and employer mentors from leading consulting firms like McKinsey, Accenture, Mastercard, and more! Participate in up to 5 real-world projects with top teams receiving prize money.  

Program Overview 

Propel is a new 10-week program designed to provide rising 4th and 3rd year UVA students with an opportunity to participate in team-based projects sourced through employer partners and local Charlottesville start-ups. Projects will address a wide variety of business challenges from market research and marketing strategy, digital transformation, product development, and social entrepreneurship. The full program will run from June 1st - August 7th and is free and open to all majors!

In order to accommodate internships that may have been lost due to the COVID-19 situation, priority registration will be given to rising 4th and 3rd year students. Each session is limited to 100 students and registration is on a first come, first serve basis. If additional spots remain available after the priority registration window closes, rising 2nd year students and May 2020 grads will be able to register for the program.

How it Works

Over the course of the program, students will participate in 5-person teams and have an opportunity to engage in up to 5 unique challenges. Each challenge will take two weeks and include a capstone presentation that will be presented to a panel of judges comprised of employer partners and alumni.

To encourage the development of the students through the program, students will be mentored by an alumni project coach, participate in online training modules via Coursera, and take part in an 8-week management consulting bootcamp facilitated by Brendan Boler, Presidential Fellow in the UVA School of Data Science


  • Prize Money - Each week the top team will receive $500 and the second-place team will receive $250. 
  • Enhanced Resume - The intense project work and alumni coaching will provide students will new experiences to enhance their resumes. 
  • Career Exploration - Through the project work and skills-based online training programs, students will leave the program with a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly a better understanding of what they like and don’t like. 
  • Mentorship - Students will have the chance to connect directly with UVA alumni mentors throughout the process.  

Timeline & Registration 

The program will run from June 1st - August 7th and is free and open to all majors! Students can register as individuals and placed on teams or can register as full teams.  All students will be placed on 5 person teams and assigned an alumni mentor to support their project. 

Session 1 (June 1 - June 12) - Registration Opens May 4th at 2:00pm; Registration Closes May 17th at 11:59pm.

Session 2 (June 15 - June 26) - Registration Opens May 11th at 12:00pm; Registration Closes May 31st at 11:59pm. 

Session 3 (June 29 - July 10) - Registration Opens May 18th at 12:00pm; Registration Closes June 14th at 11:59pm.

Session 4 (July 13 - July 24) - Registration Opens May 26th at 12:00pm; Registration Closes June 28th at 11:59pm. 

Session 5 (July 27 - August 7) - Registration Opens June 1st at 12:00pm; Registration Closes July 12th at 11:59pm.

Please contact David Lapinski, Director of Employer Relations and Experiential Learning at dal8d@virginia.edu with questions.  

For additional information and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Propel FAQ page.   

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Propel Supporting Sponsor Logos