Virtual Career Accelerator

Work from home while gaining valuable experience in the international development and conservation sectors. Learn what it’s like to actually work in these fields and get hands-on experience as you partner with organizations in a variety of locations.
UNC Charlotte Virtual Career Accelerator give you the opportunity to gain project-based experience, demonstrating to employers your ability to apply these skills to real-world scenarios.
This could mean analyzing photos of fish and coral species or scanning drone footage of tropical forest canopies. Alternatively, you could spearhead fundraising efforts to support conservation initiatives or to fund educational materials for schools with fewer resources.

Experience Options

Choose from two types of experience, designed specifically for students at different stages in their for-good career journey.

Work Experience

The work experience programs are for students who already know which career path within the for-good sector they’re interested in. It allows them to get virtual practical experience and work with multiple international organizations within this specific industry

Career Exploration

The career exploration programs are for students who want to understand what a specific career in the for-good sector might look like. These programs allow students to test their interest and put together a complete plan which outlines how they will get there.

What you get

Real-world projects

Complete a project that solves a problem for a real organisation and add it to your resume.

Professional recommendation

Get a professional recommendation from your personal mentor that details your skills and accomplishments.

New, Verifiable skills

Learn new skills, relevant to an impact-focused profession, and apply them to real scenarios.

Endorsed Certificate

Complete three online courses and earn a certificate from UNC Charlotte.

Personal Mentorship

Receive support during weekly one-on-ones and career coaching sessions from your dedicated mentor.

Masterclass Lecture Series

Attend an immersive series of lectures delivered by leading academics, professionals, and local experts.

Example of a Typical Week

Career path Insight

Gain insight into your chosen career path and engage in discussions with leading academics, professionals, local experts and your fellow participants, when you take part in live chats and lectures on a range of topics.

Total time
10 Hours

Explore the customs, languages and cuisine of another culture in order to reach a deeper understanding of the country by attending lectures about a local cultural context or environment, led by community members or an area expert.

Total time
4 Hours

Find solutions to some of the challenges faced by real organisations such as local NGOs and social enterprises. You’ll do this by conducting research, engaging in discussions and proposing a potential solution.

Total time
22 Hours
Career development

Learn about your potential career journey ahead from a professional in your field of interest. Take part in workshops that will assist in career development, and receive coaching from your dedicated internship supervisor.

Total time
4 hours

Eight Professional Fields

You can choose one of the eight conservation and international development fields
Climate Crisis and Clean Energy
Education for Development
Environmental and Corporate Sustainability
Global Public Health
Human Rights and Access to Justice
Marine Conservation
Social Economic Development
Wildlife Conservation

Final Project Examples

Throughout your experience you’ll be completing one project each week that helps a local organization solve an actual problem. Since we work with real partners, real, valuable projects will be assigned to you. This means that the types of projects you could work on will vary. We aim to match you as closely as possible with an organization and a task that aligns with your personal career goals. See below for some of the projects you could work on during your experience.

Local, Organic Food Production Proposal

Producing food organically and
locally is better for the environment. Write a proposal to plant and maintain a vegetable garden in a community where food scarcity is a main concern. Research varieties of plants
that would thrive in local conditions and include cooking instructions and recipes, taking into account available

Statistical Analysis of Water Temperature

Analyse statistical data to determine whether changes in water temperature may act as an environmental cue for certain behaviours such as reproduction in marine species. The findings can then be used to predict future behaviour as ocean temperatures rise.

Business Resources for Entrepreneurs

Work with a local business incubator that specialises in working with aspiring entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds. Work with one of the local entrepreneurs to create a business plan. You might also work with them to create funding proposals and marketing materials.

Dates & Costs

Full Time

1, 2 or 4 weeks
40 hours per week


1 Week:
2 Weeks:
4 Weeks:
Every 2 weeks
1st Start Date
1 June 2020


2, 4 or 8 weeks
20 hours per week


2 Weeks:
4 Weeks:
8 Weeks:
Every 2 weeks
1st Start Date
1 June 2020

*The cost of each UNC Charlotte Virtual Career Accelerator includes two weeks of introductory online learning material which students complete before the experience. Additionally, it includes the cost of an optional, post-experience peer-reviewed final project. *There is an opportunity for students to join UNC Charlotte and complete a one-week virtual career accelerator without any pre- or post-learning. The cost of this is $1695.

3 Online Courses Included

UNC Charlotte participants will also complete our successful flagship online program; the Foundations in Sustainable Development program, which includes three online courses.

Course 1

– Careers in Sustainable Development

Course 2

– Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders

Course 3

– Introduction to Community Development
– Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research

Optional Extra Specialization Courses