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  • Writer's pictureChris Danek

FAQs: Bessel Origin Program

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

By Chris Danek

What will you accomplish this fall?

If you’re not sure yet, you might want to consider the Bessel Origin Program, a transformative learning experience that helps participants improve their resumes and earn real-world work experience. We’re now accepting applicants for our fall 2020 cohort.

I developed this career training program for college students and new grads because I was inspired by my experience working with entry-level employees. I wanted to help them fill the gap between what they learn in school and what they’re asked to contribute on the job. The Bessel Origin program uses a hybrid model (academics + project work). Participants learn fundamentals of agile work and design thinking, they gain experience through real-world projects with our partner companies, and they get one-on-one mentorship from expert advisors.

Participants usually pay a program fee, but this cohort is fully sponsored, with no cost to participate.

We’ve heard a few questions about what participants can expect from the program and how the application process works. Here are quick answers to those FAQs:

Q: Who should consider applying to the Bessel Origin program?

A: The program is designed for recent college grads and entry-level professionals. For example:

  • Recent college graduates who want to build their professional skillset.

    • STEM majors looking to develop experience on technical projects.

    • Business and liberal arts majors looking to work on a cross-functional team.

  • Entry-level professionals who want an opportunity for hands-on experience.

Q: How much does it cost? Do you offer any financial support?

A: The program fee is usually $2,500, but this cohort is fully sponsored, with NO cost to participate. Our sponsors welcome the chance to work with Bessel Origin participants on exciting, innovative real-world projects.

Q: How long does the program last?

A: The fall cohort will last 10 weeks, from September 1 to November 3.

Q: What’s the time commitment? What does an average day/week look like?

A: Participants commit 10-12 hours/week to the program. Each week, participants will have:

  • A weekly interactive program session with their cohort

  • A weekly 45-minute meeting with a professional mentor

  • Daily 15-minute team standup meetings

  • Optional one-hour masterclasses from our Experts-in-Residence

  • Project work on sponsored company projects

Q: I have a job/school commitments this fall. Should I apply for the Bessel Origin program, too?

A: Yes. Some of our most successful participants come to the program with very busy schedules. We may be able to arrange internship credits with your university. Email us for more information.

Q: Who are the mentors?

A: Your mentor will be a professional with extensive experience, typically 15 years or more . Meet Damian, Pete, and Nandini, a few of the mentors on our team:

Q: What kinds of projects will participants work on?

We are excited to work on several sponsored projects this fall. At the start of your cohort, you will be matched to a project based on your interests and team fit. Here are some of the opportunities:

  • COVID-19 response: Your team will develop a response to COVID-19 aimed at public health and economic revitalization. This open-ended project is seeded with an initial concept: a training and certification platform for infection control practices.

  • Cordless electrosurgery instrument: A startup company at the proof-of-concept stage is refining its plans and prototypes. You will be part of a team that helps to define the specific procedures, system requirements, and early-stage testing. Your team will also contribute to the go-to-market strategy, and help prepare a pitch deck for Series A fundraising.

  • Reusable custom packaging: An advanced packaging system for sensitive equipment in the aerospace, medical, and electronics industries.

  • Portable ventilator: A transport and emergency ventilator, inspired in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Vision training: An online vision training platform to reduce digital eye strain and improve performance. You will help to understand the voice of the customer and create specific product offerings and marketing plans. Your influence on company financial performance can be directly measured during the cohort.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Applying is easy — just share more information about yourself on the application form at

Q: How do you choose participants? When will participants find out if their application has been accepted?

A: We are looking for participants who are eager to learn, grow, and improve their core business, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. Spaces in this sponsored cohort are limited. We will review your application and respond within a few business days.

Q: What will participants take away from the program?

A: We asked Bessel Origin program alumni what they gained from their experience. Here’s a sample of what we heard:

  • Better communication skills (oral and written).

  • Exposure to a wide variety of industries.

  • Access to a professional network of contacts.

  • Experience in project development, teamwork, design thinking, agile work principles.

  • Full ownership of a project that can be discussed in job interviews.

  • Helpful advice from subject-matter experts and mentors.

  • Digital badges that can be displayed on your LinkedIn profile.

We hope you’ll apply to the fall cohort, and spread the word to recent college grads and entry-level professionals who want to learn, grow, and prepare for their future careers this fall. We’re ready to go — join us!

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