By Grace Collins

The 2022 cohort of the College of Engineering’s Kessler Fellows program has successfully accepted internship offers at startups around the country, doing innovative work from modern beekeeping to designer jewelry subscriptions.   

Open to any undergraduate student in their junior year at Cornell University, the Kessler Fellows program gives students with a passion for entrepreneurship the opportunity to obtain firsthand experience of the day-to-day working for a startup.   

Fully funded through the generosity of Andrew Kessler ‘80, the Kessler Fellows receive a weekly stipend that allows them to spend the summer focused on their internship full-time. The fellows also receive individualized mentorship and guidance from Cornell Engineering Entrepreneurs-in-Residence throughout the spring semester, when they take courses on entrepreneurship as they search for a startup that aligns with their passions and values.   

Among the 2022 Kessler Fellows is Kendall Hoffman '23, who is an information science major in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science (and also majoring in environment and sustainability). She is interning at Ecolectro, a startup working to create a cleaner, cheaper and more scalable green hydrogen to decarbonize the economy.

“Through the Kessler Fellowship, I hope to learn valuable skills and gain hands-on experience through a culture and community of innovation that can't be found at a traditional company,” said Hoffman. “I hope to learn from an inspiring and mission-driven team and surround myself with people who share my passionate commitment to a common purpose."  

When the Kessler Fellows return to campus in the fall after completing their internships, they’ll present to their peers and mentors on their experiences, lessons learned, and future plans. 

“This cohort of Kessler Fellows have used all of the advantages of this program and have set themselves up for an incredible summer,” said Alex Hagen, program director. “On average, each student had three internship offers to choose from so they were able to choose the best fit personally and professionally. I'm very excited for the recap in the fall where they will share their experiences with us as well as their plans for the future.” 

Applications for the 2022-23 Kessler Fellows cohort will be open in the fall for any Cornell junior with an interest in entrepreneurship. Learn more about the Kessler Fellows program and the fellows’ summer journeys on the Cornell Engineering website.

This piece is adapted from coverage originally appearing in the Cornell Chronicle.