The Graduate School, in partnership with the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship recently launched the Pivot 314 Fellowship. This new experiential learning opportunity is for graduate students who are interested in engaging with local start-ups, gaining hands-on experience and strengthening their leadership and communication skills.
In fall 2020, graduate students were invited to apply for the fellowship that launched in January 2021. Ten PhD and master’s students were selected for this year-long inaugural program and attended the kick-off session, “Introduction to the Start-Up Community in St. Louis.” This panel session included founders of local startups including GiftAMeal, DreamBuilders4Equity, Provider Pool and Readout Health and provided foundational information about the St. Louis entrepreneurial community.
The Pivot 314 Fellowship includes once-a-month curated sessions including “Tapping into Your Own Leadership Skills” and “Resilient Leadership” as well as a 10-week internship with a St. Louis start-up during the summer. The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship has partnered with more than 25 ventures that will welcome graduate student interns including Pivot 314 Fellows this summer.
“Our intention is to provide an opportunity for our graduate students to network locally as well as explore careers outside of academia,” says Erin Murdock, Associate Dean for Student Life at The Graduate School. “Given that St. Louis is a top city for startups, it only made sense to incorporate a hands-on learning component into the program,” Murdock explained.
Beyond the monthly programming and internship, Pivot 314 Fellows will have access to personalized leadership coaching, are invited to serve on The Liberman Advisory Committee and will receive a stipend for their internship. “We were so pleased with the number of applications we received and look forward to working with our first cohort to provide them a pathway to gain invaluable skills, leverage networking opportunities and hopefully enhance their WashU graduate degree experience,” said Murdock. The cohort represents a diverse group of graduate students across multiple schools and departments within the university.