Kessler Fellows Program Director Alex Hagen leads the first session of the 2024 program. This year, 20 fellows are completing internships through the program.

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2024 Kessler Fellows embark on summer internships

The 2024 Kessler Fellows have accepted internships and will spend the summer gaining firsthand entrepreneurial experience in industries ranging from supersonic airliners to a sustainable interior design company. This year's fellows had an interest in international startups, with some heading to Shanghai, Kent, Edinburgh and Wales to pursue their summer internships.  

Every summer, the College of Engineering's Kessler Fellows program offers students the opportunity to gain experience working for a startup. The program is open to all juniors at Cornell University, regardless of major, who are interested in entrepreneurship.   

Fully funded through the support of Andrew Kessler ’80, the program offers students a weekly stipend and a travel allowance, allowing them to focus on their work. They also benefit from one-on-one sessions with Cornell Engineering Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who provide personalized mentorship and help them find internships that align with their interests.  

While students work at their internships, they will have the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, gain practical experience and grow their professional networks. Additionally, they join a network of over 200 Kessler Fellows alumni to support them on their career paths.  

"My interest in entrepreneurship stems from a desire to blend my technical expertise in computer science with a vision for meaningful innovation,” Kessler Fellow Rachel Close ’25 said. "I am excited about the prospect of transforming complex challenges into groundbreaking solutions, particularly in fields like machine learning and robotics, to create a significant impact on society." 

At the end of their summer startup experience, students return to campus for the fall semester and deliver a presentation about their experiences.   

"I hope to gain an understanding of sustainable architecture in the startup sphere, learn from and be inspired by my fellow cohort and expand my skill set and perspective to improve the world through my own startup in the future," Kessler Fellow Krupa Sekhar ’25 said.  

To learn more about the 20 students in this year’s cohort and their internships, read the full story on the Center for Regional Economic Advancement’s blog.

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