Students Need Career-Relevant Experience

How do we help students harness career-relevant work opportunities? KIPP’s partnership with Accenture is one great example.


By Craig Robinson, National Director of KIPP Through College, KIPP Foundation

Say you’re a college student, getting ready to graduate and looking for jobs. What’s going to make you stand out to a prospective employer? More often than not, it’s the skills and experience you’ve already developed. Having solid, relevant work experience can give new college grads a huge leg up as they start their careers.

On January 31, KIPP released the results of our first-ever survey of alumni in college. We learned that career-relevant work experience can sometimes be hard to come by. Students either can’t get access to jobs in the first place, or they have to pass up unpaid internships in favor of unrelated paid work.

So how do we help students harness all of the opportunities out there, from the traditional to the out-of-the-box? Answering this question will require action from both schools and employers. Here’s just one example of how that can look.

KIPP-Accenture Partnership

KIPP has a robust national partnership with Accenture. As part of Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative, Accenture provides cash granting, pro bono and volunteer support to KIPP Foundation and select KIPP regions. In 2011, KIPP and Accenture created Future Focus, a career skilling program for KIPP high school students and alumni. To date, more than 8,000 KIPPsters across the country have gone through this program. Select students are matched with an internship opportunity at area employers, including Accenture. Since 2011, Accenture has helped secure more than 400 partner organizations to provide internships and applied learning opportunities to more than 1,700 KIPP students and alumni, including more than 220 KIPP student interns at Accenture.

This coming summer, Accenture is excited to welcome our Skills to Succeed Interns from KIPP.  Many of these students are still in high school, so they’re getting a head start on opportunities that might otherwise have to wait until college or later.

Additionally, some KIPPsters have transitioned into Accenture’s formal Undergraduate Intern Program. Let’s meet a few of these new faces that will be joining Accenture!


Ty Chung
KIPP DC alum
Bucknell University, Class of 2017

Ty was one part of the 2011-12 Future Focus founding class. After participating in Accenture internships in high school and college, he has accepted a full-time offer in Accenture’s Metro DC office. He says, “In my role at Accenture, I will be able to assist agencies in the public sector to address some of the most difficult challenges that we as a society currently face.”

Nathan Kok

Nathan Kok
KIPP Bay Area alum
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018
Cognitive Science and Computer Science

Nathan will spend the summer as an Enterprise intern in Accenture’s San Francisco office. He’s excited about what he calls “the unique opportunity to blend both my experiences and interests in engineering and business into a single path.”

Adriana Ortiz Headshot

Adriana Ortiz
KIPP Austin alum
University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2017
International Relations and Global Studies

After interning with Accenture for three years through the Skills to Succeed Intern program, Adriana has accepted a full-time position in Accenture’s Austin, TX office. She is excited to develop problem-solving skills and teamwork strategies that she can use in a career helping children get access to education and housing.


Accenture’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative advances employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals around the globe, leveraging technology to drive impact at scale and help close employment gaps. We’re so excited for these students, and all the others who are getting career-ready experience through Accenture.

On their paths to fulfilling careers and a life of choices, we know how critical it is for our KIPPsters to have career-relevant internships. We are grateful for this partnership with Accenture and hope it inspires others like it in the future.

To learn more about KIPP’s approach to college and career, click here >