IE Students Speak

(The undergraduate and graduate students below participated in a wide array of IE programs--e.g., classes, professional internships, cross-disciplinary portfolio programs, synergy groups, pre-graduate internships, the Project in Interpreting the Texas Past, Preparing Future Faculty, the Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Doctoral program, UT's NSF IGERT program and the Natural Sciences Dean's Scholars Seminar.)

IE Pre Grad School Internship

What Interns Say
What Mentors Say
What Faculty Say (.pdf)
Community Leaders Endorse IE (.pdf)
Intern/Mentor Videos
Internship Fact Sheet: Program Outcomes (.pdf)
Student Research Projects
Internship Program Video

Presidents and Chancellors Endorse IE
IE Students Become Faculty
IE Pre Grad Interns Become Faculty
IE Students Work Outside Academe
IE Southwestern University Upward Bound Pre Grad Internship
IE St. Edward's University McNair Scholars Pre Grad Interns
IE Interpreting the Past Project (ITP)
Plan II Oral History, Identity and Diversity
IE Natural Sciences Dean's Scholars Seminar
IE Texas State University Pre-Doctoral Mentorship Program
IE Synergy Groups
IE Graduate School Courses/Workshops
IE Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF)
IE Graduate Portfolio Program
IE Ad-Hoc Interdisciplinary Degree Programs


IE Pre Grad School Internship: What Interns Say


UT's College of Liberal Arts Produces IE Student Videos (2014)

IE Student Composite Video

Philosophy Pre Grad Intern Daniel Munoz

Germanic Studies Pre Grad Intern Brittney Hammons

Developmental Psychology Pre Grad Intern Cintia Hinojosa

Law Pre Grad Intern Micaela Jade Pina

Archaeology Pre Grad Intern Kelly Millan

Arabic Studies Pre Grad Interns Danilo Aquino and Sam Kieke

UT Law logo
Law Pre Grad Intern Produces IE Video
Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium
Student Produces Video Documenting the Impact of IE
Evelin Caro Gutz

Law Pre Grad Intern Evelin Caro Gutz

Evelin, the first in her family to graduate from college, explains how IE helped make her dream come true-- to attend Yale Law School, the same institution where the first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the Clinton’s graduated. Read more.

Dan Conroy-Beam

Psychology Pre Grad Intern Dan Conroy-Beam

"The IE Internship ended up being the exact push I needed to help me discover my passion. Such a valuable opportunity so early on in my academic career is something I know I am going to treasure for the rest of my life. The loose but formal structure fostered an incredible growth environment and opened doors for me academically that I previously never knew existed. Thanks to the relationship the program helped us create, my mentor and I are continuing to work together even though the semester has ended. And now, for the first time in my life, I know exactly where I'm going, and I feel more confident about this decision than any I've made before. Perhaps I will become the first Black Evolutionary Psychologist." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip of Dan and his mentor at Gone to Texas
"" Watch a video clip of Dan

No photo available

Germanic Studies (Interdisciplinary) Pre Grad Intern
Samantha McPherson

"Because of IE I was able to see graduate school more concretely and objectively, which has helped me to better plan my future. I have learned so much about myself, my abilities and skills, and where my true passions lie. This has been an experience that has fundamentally changed who I am for the better." Read more
""Watch a video clip of Samantha

Thomas Just

Law Pre Grad Intern Thomas Just

Pre Grad Intern Thomas Just explains how the IE program, which included a trip to a conference at Stanford Law School, changed his view of the legal profession and helped him make up his mind to attend law school. Thomas notes there is no other course like IE at UT. Read Thomas Just's IE Reflection.
"" Watch a video clip of Thomas

Nicole Gloris

Nursing Pre Grad Intern Nicole Gloris

"Throughout this program I have grown as a researcher, presenter, and a student. I feel lucky to have had a mentor that helped me every step of the way, and aided me in figuring out what my passions are. I will continue to work as an undergraduate researcher throughout my last 3 semesters of school as well as further develop my own research and hopefully one day present it to a larger audience. The IE Pre- Graduate School Internship was a vital part of helping me decide my future path and I am so excited to be a future graduate student pursuing my dream in Nursing!" Read more.

Julia Caswell

Visual Arts Pre Grad Intern Julia Caswell

“The IE program has played a major role in my research, interests and learning. This summer I designed, implemented, and studied the engagement of an audio walk during public programming at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York, New York. While interning, I came up with this idea, fitting the needs of the curators, administrators and art educators at the museum.” Read more

"" Watch the video of Julia's project

Julia Caswell and Allison Clark



Read an article about mentorship that Julia and her mentor (Allison Clark) wrote following their IE experience.

Reagan Francis

Rhetoric & Language (Communication Studies) Pre Intern

“I applied for this program with a teacher of mine form a previous semester. My initial goal was to get involved in communication and language research, mainly conversation analysis, but this internship ended up being so much more than that. Over the course of the semester I have learned more about graduate school, research, academia, publishing, and time management than I ever expected. One of the most important things I learned from this internship is that grad school is a real possibility for me – something I never thought was possible.” Read more.

Abraham Pena

Bilingual Education (Youth & Community Studies/Sociology Pre- Grad Intern) Senior Abraham Peña

"The University of Texas at Austin has given me many opportunities to become critically aware of my own views and to mold these into a more culturally sensitive and diversity inclusive philosophy. This is evident in that the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program's Pre Graduate School Internship has allowed me to become more knowledgeable about my own strengths and challenges, it has provided me with hands-on experience, and it has served to direct my interests and to look within myself to establish a true conviction for a doctoral course of study in the social sciences. Had I not participated in this internship I would be completely oblivious to the graduate school application process and the course of study I would be interested to pursue in graduate school." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip

Leah Arnell

Communication Sciences and Disorders Pre Grad Intern Leah Arnell

"When I began the IE internship I was a good student but I wasn't an active student. After my experience with IE I feel more confident to approach professors and graduate students. I also feel more confident in my academic abilities. In my IE assignments I have worked more diligently and accurately than I knew possible. In my creating and presentation of a poster at the Longhorn Research Bazaar, I developed academic reasoning skills that I didn't know I had. I definitely feel more qualified and prepared for entry into graduate school." Read more.

Arnav Chhabra

Mechanical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Arnav Chhabra

"Being a part of the IE Pre Grad Internship made me realize how much research actually fascinates me. Before I entered this program, I was not sure of what I wanted to do. In fact, I was almost sure that graduate school was not the right path for me. Now it is clear to me that being a prestigious researcher is and will be the main academic focus of the rest of my life. Presenting at one of the most renowned conferences and being one of the youngest people there to do so created that confidence in me which will help through my entire academic life. Being a pioneer in Biotechnology is my main goal and Intellectual Entrepreneurship has helped me be on the right path for that end goal." Read more.

Sydney Vragel

Anthropology (Bioarchaeology) Pre Grad Intern Sydney Vragel

“This semester was a turning point in my life and reflected the chaos and turmoil that is the time right before graduation. Before going into this internship, my knowledge of what graduate school was like was very limited. Neither of my parents had gone to college, although my father had some experience in online college when he was middle aged and found himself in need of a degree. For this reason, I was severely lacking the skills and knowledge I needed to advance myself to something beyond a bachelor’s degree. What seemed like an impossible, distant goal has now become a completely realistic goal that I believe I can achieve within the year after my graduation from this university.” Read more.

Natalie Rooker

Communication Sciences and Disorders Pre Grad Intern Natalie Rooker

"The IE internship has been an extremely valuable experience. I was introduced to research and the program showed me that research does not have to be intimidating. In fact, because of the IE program I now realize that I am capable of performing research and that I will be able to do so in graduate school. In addition, the people I met over the course of the semester made me feel more comfortable about graduate school; I am more prepared now than I was before. This internship also helped me to decide where I will attend graduate school, which is one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. I am very satisfied with my IE experience and am thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate." Read more.

Gonzalo Astudillo

Chemistry Pre Grad Intern Gonzalo Astudillo

“I'm not positive where I'll attend graduate school yet, but the Kuhn scholarship and the IE program have made the decision to go to graduate school and other forms of professional school so much easier. It has solidified my dreams to obtain degrees passed the bachelor's degree and further feed my passion for research and intellectual development. Working with my mentor under the hood in an organic chemistry focused lab has been a tremendous experience I never thought I'd encounter. Without the IE program and the Kuhn Award, I would not have as experience and knowledge as I do now to appropriately make decisions that will determine my future life and career.” Read more.

Daniel Munoz

Philosophy Pre Grad Intern Daniel Munoz

Daniel describes his IE experience and how it helped him discover a love for philosophy and a pathway to graduate school. "Without IE, I wouldn't have become so integrated into the philosophy department or so eager to study. IE was an eye-opening experience-for the first time in my life, I was seriously thinking about what would happen after graduation, and it was clear how much work I had to do to get into graduate school." Read more.
"" Liberal Arts Video Spotlights Daniel
"" Watch a video clip of Daniel

Jordan Ramirez

Business Pre Grad Intern Jordan Ramirez

"The friends and I enrolled in the IE program have come up with a nickname for the program: 'follow your dreams program.' This is exactly what IE is designed to do - help you find a challenge facing your community or the world about which you are passionate. Then, you are given the proper mentorship in order pursue that goal and bring it to fruition. I chose to solve the problem of a lack of participation in public transportation by determining what would fill the gap between necessity and efficiency - specifically, what would convince people that the public transportation system is a true competitive alternative to private transportation. What makes participants in the IE Program significant is their passionate response to the eternal calling to innovate to serve the world. What sets the remarkable apart from the average is not a certain IQ, but rather a childlike belief that anything is possible. I stand testament as an IE participant that even the most ordinary of men are capable of accomplishing great things if they have a vision and are willing to go through the grueling process of bringing it to life. The IE Program is for anyone and everyone wiling to challenge The University of Texas at Austin motto: What Starts Here Changes the World." Read more.

Read Austin Business Journal Story about Jordan

Quincy Mitchell

Sociology Pre Grad Intern Quincy Mitchell

"As a first generation college student and a student of color, graduate school seemed far out of my reach. Although I had no intention of obtaining an advanced degree, I knew that I was passionate about education and helping younger generations reach their full academic potential. My plan was to teach upon graduation. As an IE Intern I had an opportunity to meet with local teachers and administrators as well as members of the Teach For America regional leadership team. I realized through this program and after speaking to several people that an advanced degree is exactly what I needed to take my future career to the next level. I am forever grateful that I had an opportunity to participate in IE, and quite confident that without this experience I might not have considered graduate school." Read more.

Pharmaceutics Pre Grad intern and Kuhn Scholar Irnela Bajrovic

"When I first joined the IE internship I did not know what to expect. I have been doing research since I was a freshman at UT and always figured graduate school was the most direct path to my dream of working for the Centers of Disease Control. However, after this past semester in the internship I have gained a kind of clarity I have never had before. Not only do I know that graduate school is the most direct path to the CDC, but it is a journey I look forward to embarking on due to my experience conducting hands on research, presenting at lab meetings, attending a national conference, observing a TA session, interviewing my mentor and my Principal Investigator. My time in IE internship has calmed any fears I had about graduate school. Corrected any misconceptions. Clarified any confusion. I feel that I am embarking on this new journey in my life with my eyes wide open. I know it will be hard. I know I will be tired. But I also know, that it will absolutely be worth it." Read more.

Read Irnela's OpEd in the Austin American-Statesman

Read Irnela's OpEd in the San Antonio Express News

Halle Finkley

Public Health and Law Pre Grad Intern Halle Charmaine Finkley

“The IE mentorship program has helped me grow and build a connection with a mentor who has experienced and persevered through everything I hope to achieve in my future. She encouraged me to think deeper, focus on what I really wanted and helped me see the realities of the amount of work, dedication and perseverance necessary to pursue law school. This mentorship has been a phenomenal program that has allowed me to share my interests in graduate education with an amazing group of like-minded peers. This program has taught me the importance of commitment and passion and dedication and how to balance these aspects to achieve my goals.” Read more.

Sarah Penny

Communication Studies Pre Grad Intern Sarah Penny

"This class was not like most others. It took the unconventional path to
education. Instead of having a strict outline of how to discover what to do after college, it allowed students to discover this for themselves. Throughout the semester the words 'Intellectual Entrepreneurship' used to describe the Pre Grad Internship became increasingly significant, as I was able todevelop a program that best fit my passions. Working with my mentor I gained a broader perspective on education. I discovered that learning is not limited to classrooms but rather taught through real life examples. I am proud to say I know what I want to do upon graduation. I will be studying the American dream through shadowing and working alongside successful people in each of the 50 states. Seeing a void in many of my peers lives, I have decided to explore a variety of professions and a range of lifestyles to inspire others to find and do work that excites them. The IE Pre Grad Internship program has helped me discover the next journey I want to embark upon graduating college: The Journey of Jobs." Read more.

"" Watch a video of Sarah's project

Obinna Dennar

History Pre Grad Intern Obinna Dennar

Obinna, who has been accepted to and will enroll in the History graduate program at Rice University with a Provost Fellowship explains how IE put her ahead of her peers. Read more.

Rohan Mirchandani

Theatre Pre Grad Intern Rohan Mirchandani

“The experience one has in a structured classroom course typically varies, but is almost always limited to what the required textbook can provide. I have taken many amazing classes in my academic career that were focused on traditional book learning, but my experience in the IE Pre-Graduate Internship program was entirely different. I was able to learn in a new way that no class has ever let me learn in before. There were no PowerPoint presentations, busy work assignments, or passionless lectures. Instead, there were practical, hands-on experiences and personalized projects. The internship was a helpful balance of both academic enrichment and real world experiences, ultimately leaving me knowledgeable and more equipped for professional work.” Read more.

Stephanie Davidson

Spanish-Portuguese Pre Grad Intern Stephanie Davidson

“The IE Pre Grad Internship program has had a profound impact on me. Initially I was completely unsure of whether or not research was something I would be interested in doing outside of this internship. I was also unsure of whether or not going to graduate school was something that would be worth the future investment, and preparation as an undergraduate student. Through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship I realized that research is nowhere near as daunting as it once seemed, and is actually extremely exciting. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship has played a major role in directing me towards research, and helping me decide that I definitely want to go to graduate school and pursue research.” Read more.

Laura Dafov

Geological Sciences Pre Grad Intern Laura Dafov

"As the first in my family to pursue a Ph.D., and the first to complete an undergraduate degree in the United States, I have benefited greatly from the resources of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Consortium which provided valuable information about applying to graduate schools, mentorship from professors and graduate students, and the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate research project.” Read more

2016-2017 UPDATE:

IE STUDENT CONDUCTS PROMISING RESEARCH THAT MAY LEAD TO CLEAN ENERGY: Kudos to 2015 IE-Geosciences Pre Grad intern Laura Dafov, now a doctoral student at Stanford! Her research about methane hydrates (the next big source of energy which is a cleaner burning fuel, "ice fire") is very promising. The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Laura a substantial amount of grant money to support her project. NOTE: Methane hydrates is of global importance because it is found at every continent (globally spread), is almost 3 times larger in energy volume than all known fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal), and is found in the shallow earth sediments and permafrost.

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Arely Alejandro

Information Studies Pre Grad Intern Arely Alejandro

"Now, I am in the process of applying to graduate schools, and have decided whatever the outcome maybe I will defer a year to gain more experience in the field of information studies to help me determine which route to take. I am grateful and have enjoyed the IE Internship. When I look back on my experiences at UT, I will always consider IE as being the best part. The IE Internship as helped me discover a sense of direction." Read more.

Natalie Miller

Music Theory Pre Grad Intern Natalie Miller

“Throughout this internship, I worked closely with a PhD candidate studying Music Theory, in order to discover how Graduate School in the Music sector functions and if this avenue is one which I would like to pursue in the future. My original intention for this internship was to create an analytical research paper to use as a writing sample for future graduate school applications, but it has since evolved into much more than that. This internship has allowed me to better understand all aspects of life as a Graduate Student through an independent research project, teaching observations, interviews with current Graduate Students and Professors, and also by attending a Graduate School Colloquium on Music Theory. Overall, this internship has had a direct impact in my plans for future semesters, and has solidified my belief that Graduate School would be an absolutely amazing fit for me. The teaching observations, Conference, independent research project, and especially the interviews too have encouraged me to take more rigorous coursework in this area, do extracurricular research to truly find where my interdisciplinary passions lie, and research which institutions would allow me to best discover my own approaches and beliefs.” Read more.

Jesse Luu

Cell Biology Pre Grad Intern Jesse Luu

"I am eternally grateful for my time with IE this semester. It has taught me so many valuable lessons and skills. For the first half of my college career, I had no idea what I really wanted to do after graduating. My motives at the time for an education were based on a pre-existing notion of family expectations to pursue a career in a stable health profession. The IE program and my research lab have opened my mind to the many possibilities that I can pursue. Before IE I was just doing research to have something on my resume for the professional schools to see. Because of IE I eventually was able to narrow down what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go." Read more.

Rachel Adeoye

Nursing Pre Grad Intern Rachel Adeoye

“IE is a remarkable program that has allowed me to build a connection with an exceptional mentor who is an expert in her field. Most importantly, it has given me the opportunity to learn, shadow, and cultivate the necessary skills to be successful in graduate school. I am happy to report that I have been accepted to the Nursing/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner graduate program at Vanderbilt University.” Read more.

Sunny Soth

Physics Pre Grad Intern Sunny Soth

“My biggest revelation after finishing the IE Pre Grad Internship experience was that graduate school was not a “glass ceiling” that I would never be able to reach because of my economic and socioeconomic upbringing; but rather it was a possibility. The reason I say this is because I came in with a fixed mindset that only people who go to graduate schools are those who want to spend all their life working in a research laboratory and publishing articles that only 1 other person will ever read. Instead graduate school is a forum for people who want to make a contribution, or positive change in our world. It doesn't matter what the research is in, because whether you are in a laboratory finding ways to treat cancer, or you're looking at ways to try and get people to buy a product, or analyzing methods of communications or making education more accessible to underprivileged backgrounds, you're making a difference in the world. While I undertaking IE, I felt many times that I just wasn’t someone following another person around and taking notes; I truly felt like I was a graduate student, from attending meetings held by the TA’s after every laboratory, to shadowing him on his Quantum 2 class, to making quizzes and tests, to undertaking complex projects that explain the phenomena we live in, and couldn’t be more thankful for this experience. If it weren’t for this experience, I would not have considered graduate school. Because of IE, I am much more likely to go to graduate school as a result.” Read more.

Jessica El-Khoury

Journalism (Communication Studies Pre Grad Intern) Senior
Jessica El-Khoury

"The IE program has opened my eyes and taught me how huge of a commitment grad school really is-at first I started worrying whether or not applying was the right decision, but gradually I knew that all I needed now to succeed was determination and dedication." Read more.
Watch her video clip

Aida Prazak

Sociology/Social Work Pre Grad Intern Aida Prazak

"I hope people can see what the IE Pre Grad Internship program has done for me. The fact that this program is called Intellectual Entrepreneurship is nothing short of ingenious. An entrepreneur is a businessman (person) who takes a risk. Entrepreneurship is a risky business venture which tries to creatively use sources to produce a product that would maximize the profit margin. Our objective this semester was to decide if we want to go to graduate school and, if so, what is the most efficient way to accomplish that. By being paired up with mentors who have been through the process, we take advantage of their experience and efficiently minimize our learning curve which increases our intellectual profit margin. This ultimately maximizes our tuition dollars. If it were not for the IE program I would still be pursuing graduate programs in public policy or law, when that really is not where my heart is. I was able to discover this in one semester as opposed to several years---the ultimate in efficiency." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip

Brandon Nichols

Biomedical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Brandon Nichols

"As part of my IE Pre Grad Internship as a junior I attended the Biomedical Engineering Society conference in Pittsburgh, PA. This was a critical step for me as it was one of the experiences ultimately leading to my decision to pursue a career in science. This bolstered my decision to go to graduate school. I found it relatively easy to interact with those involved in my research areas. Not only did attending this conference reinforce my decision to stay in academia, it also helped provide a means to get there." Read more.

Annie Paige

English Literature Pre Grad intern Annie Paige

"Ultimately, my experience in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program has been edifying and illuminating. I've enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the culture, cost, and reward of graduate school. This course has reminded me of my deep love for learning and my thirst for knowledge. I love reading texts, I love analyzing literature, I love writing my thoughts down in a way that no one has ever quite articulated in the same way before. The IE program offered me an inside glance at graduate scholarship and I am hopeful to continue my research in an English graduate program." Read more.

Gabe Sepulveda

Law/Public Policy Pre Grad Intern Gabe Sepulveda

The first in his family to graduate from college, Gabe explains why participating in the IE Pre Grad Internship was one of the best decisions during his time at UT, helping him to discover his true passion. Read more.

Anahi Bendeck Sierra

Architecture Pre Grad intern Anahi Bendeck Sierra

"Born and raised in a country where more than two thirds of its population lives in poverty and five out of ten suffer from extreme poverty, I feel tremendously blessed to have the opportunity to be a student at this prestigious university and participate in a program [IE] allowing me to contemplate my future. The greatest discovery of my overall IE Pre Grad internship experience is too ironic to believe: I do not want to pursue a graduate degree in architecture. For this, I thank UT and the IE Pre Grad internship. Through a combination of awesome classes and a great mentor, I am now in interested in pursuing a Master's in City and Regional Planning. Experiencing the expansion in Austin and the planning happening on a daily basis has been a great influence on my decision, but I have also realized that my country needs someone who is able to plan and support the development of a third world country-and I want to be part of that transformation. The University of Texas should be proud to have students participating in the IE program, since this is the first step into a worthy life of success." Read more.

2017 UPDATE: Kudos to IE Pre Grad intern Anahi Bendeck Sierra who has been accepted into the Community and Regional Planning graduate program in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. “My IE experience,” she notes, “undoubtedly allowed me to better position myself to stand out amongst the highly qualified applicants for the Community and Regional Planning program. I have to admit, every day I wonder where I’d be both professionally and academically if I had not been part of the IE program, as the exposure to graduate school and the mentoring have significantly influenced many of the goals I’ve set for my future.”

Megan Nations

Audiology Pre Grad intern Megan Nations

“The IE program has been one of the most important steps for me to prepare for this next phase of my education and learn how I can contribute my education to society. Some of my successes this semester include constructing a literature review extracted from seventeen research articles, establishing my research focus, getting IRB approval, beginning Phase I of data collection for my research that I will construct this summer, representing IE students at the DDCE Advisory Council meeting, attending an academic conference in my field, discovering how I can contribute to my field of study, and creating an official detailed timeline for my graduate study pursuing my AuD and PhD. Thanks to the IE program, this has been a successful semester in my development to prepare for graduate school.” Read more.

Marisa Ortega

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Marisa Ortega

“I am honored to be an Alumni of the IE Program and Kuhn Scholar, which has showed me that my opportunities are endless. As a first generation college graduate, my education has helped me find my passion, values, and has helped shape who I am becoming.” Read more.

Lily Maldonado

Law Pre Grad Intern Lily Maldonado

"As a first-generation college student, I never had the guidance of a parent or older relative to help me through the decisions I've made thus far in my academic career. From the application process to universities, deciding where to go and finding the best fit for me, I felt that I have gone through this short journey so far a bit blind-sighted. Fortunately for me, I decided to read through one of my pre-law emails and came across an event for an information meeting about a law undergraduate mentorship program called the IE Pre Grad Internship. Within a few short days, I realized that this program was going to offer me an opportunity unlike what I had ever received before. Nobody ever wants to admit that they don't have it all together, and I believe this is where the IE mentorship program really stands apart from the rest. Many of the IE graduate students mentors with whom we undergraduates are paired, have dealt with some of the same issues we currently are facing, and can in turn share with us their wisdom and advice based on their experiences so far. Overall, I am very thankful for the opportunity this mentorship program has granted me. It did in fact help me decide if law school was going to be the right fit for me, and that it is just as important to find out what I don't want as it is important to find what I do. I was also thankful to have received surprising advice I otherwise would have never had expected that I will take with me-the most important being not to make school my entire life and identity; balance of "me" time is key to staying sane." Read more.

Bryan Song

Neuroscience Pre Grad Intern Bryan Song

Bryan, who now is an NSF predoctoral fellow completing his Ph.D. at Harvard, discusses the impact IE had on his life as a researcher. Read more.

Shari Wells

Radio-TV-Film Pre Grad Intern Shari Wells

"My experience in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate Internship was, by far, the biggest influence in my decision to attend graduate school and I would enthusiastically recommend it to any student trying to figure out if graduate school is right for them." Read more.

Chelsea Jones

Educational Psychology Pre Grad Intern Chelsea Jones

Chelsea explains how working with a mentor from a similar background helped her overcome fears about graduate school. Read more.

Andrew Thach

Pharmacy Pre Grad Intern Andrew Thach

"The IE program really allowed me to get a great understanding of myself, what graduate school is about, what it takes to succeed in graduate school, and how to get there. Through the IE program, I was given the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington to present the results at the American Pharmacist Association Annual Conference. During the presentation, I really did feel like the expert, because the research I was conducting was very unique. One of the most memorable experiences at the conference was having a long conversation with a professor, he asked if I could email him a copy of the research poster. It truly made me feel like all the hard work that went into the research project was meaningful. One of the greatest things about the IE program is that it forces its interns to learn about themselves. One of the highlights of the IE experience was being told by a professor in the College of Pharmacy that she sees my passion in research and I should go straight into graduate school. I was in shock when I first heard this, because I had never considered graduate school as an option. I am currently preparing myself to apply for graduate school in the fall. I plan to use the resources that are provided by the IE program to learn more about graduate school and the things I need to consider." Read more.

Kassandra Martinez

Psychology Pre Grad Intern Kassandra Martinez

Kassandra explains how IE helped her land a major research position. She describes how the IE experience started a conversation about graduate school, helped her to find her passion, and refined her research interests. Read more.

Corney Sanders

Public Policy (LBJ) Pre Grad Intern Cortney Sanders

"My journey with the IE program has changed my life one step at a time and my experience is a great story to tell. Having a master's in Public Policy will allow me to help with practical implementations on a local, state, and federal level around topics/ issues about which I am most passionate. I know that the IE program acted as a catapult to new dreams, bigger goals, and a game plan to being successful in the near future. IE is the most diverse and innovative academic program on campus thus far. It is the first program I have been in which I don't feel like a number or an odd ball. I become important because I have a team of people that cares about my future endeavors and goals in life. IE opened my eyes to new possibilities and made me realize that the first step is the best step to the next step towards the future." Read more.

Stephanie Wells

Nutritional Sciences Pre Grad Intern Stephanie Wells

"With its focus on preparing students to be successful in academia beyond an undergraduate degree, the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship has undoubtedly been one of the most valuable and practical educational experiences of my undergraduate career. As a first-generation college student, I spent most of my time in school completely ignorant of what attending graduate school actually meant. It was always a mystery, a concept that seemed to have importance but remained elusive. Navigating undergraduate classes with no advice or insight from my family was difficult enough, let alone attempting to decipher what graduate students do. Participating in this internship has given me confidence that I will be able to succeed in a graduate program and that it will be a truly rewarding and enriching experience, allowing me to pursue my passion for nutrition and disease prevention in a highly focused setting. The thought of having to design my own research project used to be daunting, but helping my mentor with her research has given me more clarity on the type of work involved and what to expect from such an experience. The IE Pre-Graduate School Internship has left me with a sense of accomplishment and given me confidence in my future academic endeavors." Read more.

Rachel Snavely

Geography Pre Grad Intern Rachel Snavely

"Participating in the IE program has had an enormous impact on my academic career. It gave me the opportunity to explore a field of study-Geography-I otherwise would not have been able to, and it influenced my choices in furthering my academic career. I know that by working on my research project, participating at a poster session at AAG and potentially getting my work published will open up lots of doors for me when I begin applying to graduate school. I would not have had the opportunity to do any of this had I not enrolled in the IE program and I am I am truly grateful for that." Read more.

Katelyn Woolheater

Public Health Pre Grad Intern Katelyn Woolheater

"Entering my final year of undergraduate studies in the public health program of the College of Natural Sciences, I was looking for opportunities to begin exploring what might come next. The IE Pre Graduate Internship was an ideal fit. The program granted me the autonomy to find my own mentors and set up an internship that was most suited for my objectives. Overall, my internship has been a huge success. I am so thrilled to have been a part of the growing community and look forward to seeing where the program is taken. I benefited from the direct exposure to graduate school in the classroom and getting to know peers and professors. The relationship I fostered working with my mentor on a research project has made a significant impact on my perspectives and decision making towards my post-graduation path." Read more.

Rosa Pruneda

RTF Pre Grad Intern Rosa Pruneda

"I couldn't be happier to have participated in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE) this semester. My experience at The University of Texas at Austin would have been completely different if it weren't for IE. Through IE, I have met wonderful mentors, faculty and students who have all been very supportive. Before taking part in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium, the idea of moving on to graduate school had never crossed my mind. Coming from a family of four siblings and being the first to attend a university, a Bachelor's degree was considered the highest of all accomplishments for my family and me." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip of Rosa

Carlos Morales

English Pre Grad Intern Carlos Morales

"My experience with the IE program has not only been worthwhile one, but a crucial component in my undergraduate education, as well. When I first heard of the program I wasn't completely sure of whether I would want to go through with it. I decided to read up on the program. I saw basic theory behind IE, saw the kind of work that was involved, and read the testimonies of students who previously undertook the program. All of the students interviewed got something beneficial from the program. With that in mind, I knew the IE program would offer a multitude of experiences, and for every student the IE program has something different to offer. What I got out of it isn't necessarily what another will. That's the beautiful thing about the IE program; it recognizes the student body, undergraduates, not as a homogeneous collective, but heterogeneous one, and acknowledges that, acts accordingly, and provides a unique experience for everyone." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip

Laura Gonzalez

Costume Design Pre Grad Intern Laura Gonzalez

“My greatest change through the IE Pre Grad Internship was really my understanding of where I am as a designer. I feel so much more confident and comfortable in my ability because of the intense focus specifically on my own growth. It is such an honor and privilege to get this experience while an undergraduate. I think this is what I will carry the most from this course. I will remember that belief in myself is what is most powerful when learning a new skill or expanding a skill I already have. I am so excited to have had this experience and I am a better artist and creator because of it!” Read more.

Mera Baker

Communication Studies (Law IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior Mera Baker

"While the IE internship really motivated me to pursue my passion for law, my growth as an intellectual entrepreneur showed me that I would personally prefer a more indirect approach. I thus decided that, before I went to law school I wanted to use the knowledge that I had already developed to contribute to something greater than myself. I chose to apply for a movement that I supported and strongly believed in: Teach For America. I realized that law school will always be there and it can wait, but change is desperately needed now." Read more.

Read about Mera's acceptance into Teach for America

Robert McDonald

Communication Studies Pre Grad Intern Robert McDonald

Following completion of the IE Pre Grad Internship in 2007, Communication Studies student Robert McDonald went on to earn his Master's at UT in Rhetoric and Language. In the fall of 2010 Robert began his PhD at the University of North Carolina. Robert describes the role played by IE in his academic and professional development, noting how it allowed him to "peer over the edge into a world that excited him."
"" Watch a video clip of Robert

Sarah Kettles

Clinical Psychology Pre Grad Intern Sarah Kettles

"Thanks to the IE program, I am now deeply involved in research that I am passionate about. Some of the activities that I participated in this semester include hands-on research, a trip to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention in San Francisco, California, and a much deeper understanding of graduate school and the life of a graduate student in Clinical Psychology. I have many plans for my future at UT and in graduate school. I am extremely grateful for everything that IE has exposed me to and all the doors that have been opened because of my participation in this program. I cannot wait to see what the future of my undergraduate years hold and I know that because of this program, I am much closer to achieving my dream of becoming a clinical psychology doctoral student." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip
Sarah Selected UT Researcher of the Month

Sarah Talks About Research Begun in IE

Elysse Delia Alvarado

LBJ (Global Studies) Pre Grad intern Elysse Delia Alvarado

"The IE Pre-Graduate School Program has been an invaluable experience and one of the most influential parts of my college career. It is so easy to get lost in the shuffle at a university as big as UT Austin and feel as if you are simply another cog in the wheel, but my experience as an IE intern has been completely different. My mentor has been a great partner for me during my last semester of college and has challenged me to do more than what I ever thought I could do. I have also been able to focus on my interests and exploring what I want to do with my career instead of just meeting a degree requirement. Due to my time in the IE program, I can start my post graduate life as a more confident, goal oriented individual in pursuit of life-long learning." Read more.

Joseph Gallardo

Law Pre Grad Intern Joseph Gallardo

"To say the Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship was an amazing experience for me would be such an understatement. I came across this opportunity at such an ideal time in my life. I've always been very interested in pursuing Law, but not everyone agrees; the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program provided enough insight for me to know that, despite the opinions of others, Law is in fact what I want to do and there are no doubts about it." Read more.

Mark Townsend

Math Education Pre Grad Intern Mark Townsend

"IE not only prepared me for graduate school, but changed my mindset as a teacher. I treat my students with more autonomy. My high school kids need to be intrinsically motivated in their education; this is an opinion that I gleaned from the IE program, which emphasized that we should be internally driven in order to succeed." Read more.

Victoria Schwartz

History Pre Grad Intern Victoria Schwartz

"I had an incredible experience in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Graduate School Internship course this fall. It undoubtedly has been one of the highlights of my academic experience at UT. Before taking the IE internship I knew very little about the work that graduate students do outside of the classroom. One of the most memorable parts of the semester was attending the Pi Alpha Theta Graduate Student History Conference with my mentor. My experiences this semester, including the conference, have confirmed for me that graduate study in history is a path that I would like to pursue." Read more.

Sophia Poitier

Philosophy Pre Grad Intern Sophia Poitier

"One of the main 'take aways' that I have gotten from the IE experience is to be assertive when it comes to your field of study. The IE program has given me the confidence to go beyond the minimum requirements and reach out to others in the department. I discovered that this is how you really get involved in your field because it is the only way people know that you are serious. I have also been able to lay some worries to rest since I have been involved with IE. After seeing what grad classes are like and talking with professors and grad students, I feel as if I have a handle on the graduate school world." Read more.

Paulina Sosa

Law Pre Grad Intern Paulina Sosa

Paulina describes how the IE Pre Grad Internship gave her the experiences and guidance needed to prepare for law school. Through work with her law student mentor and attending a conference at the Stanford Law School, Paulina notes how IE enabled her to discover her passion, ascertaining the ways a law degree can be used to address social causes such as poverty and domestic violence. Read more.
"" Watch a video clip of Paulina

Ja-Michael Darnell

Theatre Pre Grad Intern Ja'Michael Darnell

"As a result of IE I wrote a ten-minute play called The Electric Lady that was selected for the 2013 UT Bridge Festival and was requested to be produced again in the course, 'Producing the Black Performing Arts.' I will now enter into the last semester of my undergraduate career with more knowledge about playwriting and graduate school with a host of connections." Read more.
""Watch a video clip of Ja'Michael

Sonia Trujillo

Civil Engineering (Geotech) Pre Grad Intern Sonia Trujillo

"Applying to UT began as curiosity of how much there was left to see and how far I could go. Now that I am here, I feel like one of the most fortunate people in the world. In the same way, I was extremely curious about applying to graduate school. As a first generation student attending college, sometimes it is overwhelming to even consider this idea. That is why I really appreciated the opportunity to participate in the IE Pre Grad Internship; graduate school seems less foreign and more possible to achieve. Because of IE I now plan on pursuing a graduate degree." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip

Ashley Carlisle

Government Pre Grad Intern Ashley Carlisle

"Before I began this semester I held completely different preconceptions and images of graduate seminars, graduate students and post-graduate research. I am so glad that I chose to participate in IE. I am sad that I will no longer be in an official mentor-student relationship with my mentor Michelle; however I know that as I continue my research this next year, she and my advisor Dr. Bryan Jones will be available to aid my pursuits in any way they can. I cannot thank the IE program enough for facilitating such a valuable, helpful and rich experience. Not only was I able to grow as an individual and researcher, but now I am more inspired than ever to explore my options for graduate school." Read more.

Queen Ekejija

Law Pre Grad Intern Queen Ekejija

"Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) is one of the best things that happened to me during my time at the University of Texas. Sometimes my aspirations get the best of me and I do not know how to accomplish them. I am thankful for the IE program because I have learned so much about myself, my capabilities, and the value of going outside of your comfort zone and networking. My mentor is an amazing person who really cares about my success. She inspires me more than she will ever know. Actually seeing someone who is where you want to be is a phenomenal feeling. The best thing about this internship was having someone to look up to. I have decided that law school is somewhere I want to be in the future after graduating and working."
"" Watch her video.

Travis Alexander

Literature Pre Grad Intern Travis Alexander

"Over the course of the IE internship, my desire and resolve to apply for graduate school were strengthened; at this point, it is simply something I have to do. I have moved from seeing graduate school as a means to an end--a necessary path to being a professor and researching--to seeing it (the doctoral program in literature) as something entirely valuable in its own right: the best way to spend six to eight years. During the semester, a professor told me that 'if there is anything other than graduate school that could make you happy, don't go.' At this point, there is nothing that would make me happy in that way." Read more.

Madeline Keulen

Business Pre Grad Intern Madeline Keulen

Madeline describes how her IE experience took her to Rome this summer to conduct research on entrepreneurship and the startup community in Italy. She also notes how IE continues to impact her future plans as an entrepreneur and MBA student. Read more.

"" Watch a video clip of Madeline

McCombs Today Story about MadelineJo

Anna Johnson

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Anna Johnson

"Starting the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program was at once exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Never before had I taken a class which promised to give that much leeway and the ability to pursue your own path. In many ways, I had already made up my mind about graduate school. I wanted to pursue a Masters in Clinical Social Work at UT, starting the spring semester of 2012. Even though I thought my mind was open to other options, I really was expecting the IE Program to simply confirm this plan. After hearing Dr. Darwin's introductory speech at the first meeting, however, I truly began to explore every aspect of graduate school and investigate whether it would be a good fit for me. Instead of taking it as a given that I should go to graduate school, the program afforded me the ability to consider any other options; as a result, I feel more secure in my decision to apply. I am truly thankful for the IE Program; without it, I might not have explored all my options, and would never have made the connections that have inspired me." Read more.

Shameeka Lewis

School Psychology Pre Grad Intern Shameeka Lewis

“Before the IE program, I was unsure about my career. After being matched perfectly with an amazing IE graduate student mentor in UT's School Psychology doctoral program and learning so much from her, I was able to discover my passion of helping children.” Read more.

Ausannette Garcia

LBJ School of Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern Ausannette Garcia

"Participating in the Pre Graduate School internship, Intellectual Entrepreneurship, was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself, and especially my future. As an undergraduate student, it is difficult to know what the realities are of graduate school and what one can expect to have to accomplish as a graduate student. In addition, many undergraduates are still struggling simply to figure out what it is they plan on pursuing for the rest of their lives. The end product of my involvement in the IE Pre Grad Internship was a much more informed and confident self. By being able to witness and learn more about graduate school, I have more fully discovered my interests and feel much more prepared to take the next steps toward pursuing my graduate degree." Read more.

Tiffany Nguyen

Pharmacy Pre Grad Intern Tiffany Nguyen

"One of the biggest things that the IE program contributed to my learning experience was the opportunity to attend a conference. My mentor applied and was accepted to present her research at the Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting 2009, held in Chicago. As the event was nearing, I helped her edit her poster, and from that experience alone, I realized that it's not only about carrying out the experiment, but also relaying the information so that others can understand and use your findings to further their own research. As one of the youngest attendees there, a lot of the information being shared flew over my head since they were targeted for people in this discipline who already have a thorough knowledge of neuroscience, but just the fact that there is so much going on to discover more in this field really made an impression on me. .I briefly described her research methods and results to the best of my understanding, and surprisingly, it was fun! Before I knew it, I was answering some other graduate students and professors from renowned institutions!" Read more.
"" Watch a video clip

Student's experience featured in Longhorn Pharmacy Focus

Kendall Miller

Anthropology Pre Grad Intern Kendall Miller

"Overall, the Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship helped me more than I imagined. I felt so lost in the beginning of the semester and doubted everything from my major to life after school. The intellectual Entrepreneurship program helped me to map out what I want to do, what is possible in my field of interest and how to achieve my goals. Now I have a clear-cut path of what I want to do, and I have learned to be flexible and realize that things have a way of working themselves out. It also taught me that it's a lot easier to get what you want if you just reach out and grab it. Every chance I get a recommend this program to friends and classmates because it has been an incredibly helpful and rewarding experience." Read more.

Daniel Perenyi

Communication Pre Grad Intern Daniel Perenyi

"Sometimes the IE Pre Grad Internship isn't just about graduate school; it also is about 'embracing gusto' and putting one's ideas to work. Daniel explains. Read more.

Meghan Graham

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Meghan Graham

Meghan explains how IE provided experiential learning, prepared her for graduate school and made possible an opportunity to serve underserved communities. Read more.

""Watch a video clip of Meghan

Graham Selected to Deliver Convocation Speech

Shama Momin

Psychology Pre Grad Intern Shama Momin

"Through IE I was immediately offered various opportunities that otherwise may not have been available to me. From day one, I was incredibly grateful to be part of the program. I am now one step closer to my goals and the skills I've gained throughout this internship have prepared me well for graduate school and beyond. I've gained hands on experience in research and how to implement and conduct experiments, how to do data analysis and so much more. Without the IE program and without my mentor, I would not have been able to truly find my passion. It's never too late to do the IE program; it's a great way to explore the field you want to work in and the career you'd like to go into." Read more.

""Watch a video clip of Shama

Cyrus Huncharek

Government Pre Grad Intern Cyrus Huncharek

Cyrus explains how the IE Pre Grad Internship experience not only gave him a glimpse into the life of a graduate student, but how it helped him realize his passion for academic research. Read more.

Dana Al-Hasan

Public Health Pre Grad Intern Dana Al-Hasan

IE student Dana Al-Hasan, completed her Master's at the UT School of Public Health. She explains how through IE she discovered a passion for and ability to do research, electing to pursue a doctorate and conduct research in order to improve public health. Read more.

Luis Gutierrez

Mechanical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Luis G. Gutierrez

"There are rare moments in our rushed lives in which we find ourselves stopping for a moment, just trying to see where are we, what are we trying to accomplish, where are we heading, and how are we getting there. This semester, the IE Pre Grad Internship gave me one of these unique opportunities. I was not sure about what to expect from this program. Actually, at the beginning, I was a skeptic because it seemed to me too open, too ambiguous, and without any defined path to follow. But it turned out that the huge degree of freedom enhanced my overall experience at UT and helped me redefine what I would like to do with my career. I also discovered that autonomy and ambiguity are not rare in graduate school; I learned that many times there is no syllabus to follow and you are supposed to find your own way." Read more.

Adiah Oreyomi

Law Pre Grad Intern Adiah Oreyomi

"The greatest reward that I gained from the IE internship is the understanding that I can do more things with my time and that I could do those things well. Before this internship I was hearing from many people that I should take it easy when it came to course loads, enjoy college and have fun. Well that is good and well for some people but after trying that for a semester I saw that was not what I wanted. I resolved within myself to finish school early and to not just only apply myself to school. I would volunteer my time while in school and get a job or two or three. And that is what I did! I graduated in three years, completed two internships, and am currently working on one, worked several jobs, volunteered and still maintained a good GPA. I truly believe that the IE Program and the people it allowed me to meet are greatest influences that motivated me to accomplish my goals. I know I would not have been able to receive these opportunities without this program." Read more.

Charles Douglas

Electrical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Charles Douglas

"I have learned much in the span of one semester. I used the IE Internship to conduct research about solar panels and extrapolate useful information from all the data I came across. To work on this research, I looked at a specific problem that I encountered earlier in my college career and tailored everything towards solving that problem. I came into the IE program with no prior research experience, but I come out of this internship with a better idea of what I'd like to end up in my future. By attending a conference related to the research I did during this internship, I interacted with respected researchers and industry people of the field. As a result of IE, I take with me in-depth experience and a newfound interest in the renewable energy field." Read more.

Aislynn Fulton

Speech-Language Pathology Pre Grad Intern
Aislynn Christine Fulton

"Just two months ago, I thought my long-term goals were lofty. I didn't think I was cut-out for research or graduate school. However, the IE Pre Grad school internship has opened up amazing opportunities to me--to accomplish things I never thought possible in my undergraduate career...or lifetime for that matter. It's been a lot of hard work -- reading and analyzing academic articles, writing and drafting research literature, creating experimental paradigms, communicating research ideas to others, etc. -- but well worth it -- without a doubt." Read more.

""Watch a video of Aislynn

Alejandra Gonzalez

Education Pre Grad Intern Alejandra Gonzalez

Bilingual Education student Alejandra Gonzalez, the first in her family to attend college, discusses the many rewards of being enrolled in the IE Pre Grad Internship--including becoming more involved in her college and developing important professional networks. She and her mentor built a trusting mentor-mentee relationship, allowing them to share different perspectives and provide feedback from different generational views. Read more.
"" Watch a video clip of Alejandra and her mentor

Ana Margarita Aguirre

Architecture Pre Grad Intern Ana Margarita Aguirre

"Being the first in my family to attend a university, I had many struggles knowing right from wrong on a variety of topics dealing with college. It was not until the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program that I really began to finalize my decision to want to go to graduate school. In all aspects, the IE program has been one of the best decisions that I have taken during my time here at UT. I love the fact that the course is designed around the interest of each student; it's not one syllabus that pertains to hundreds of students. The IE program allows each student to gain and benefit as much as they want. This program has pushed me even more towards wanting my master's degree and I cannot wait to get started on the process. Going into the program, I had so many uncertainties and honestly, I was lost. I only knew general information and it was limited. A semester later, I am full of such knowledge over graduate school in general and the field I wish to pursue my master's in architecture." Read more.

Tammie Beassie

English Studies Pre Grad Intern Tammie Beassie

Tammie talks about how the IE Pre Grad Internship enabled her to discover her passion and learn how to conduct original research.
"" Watch Tammie's IE Video
Read about Tammie's acceptance into Teach For America

""Watch Tammie's updated video (2016)

Joey Sorenson

Government Pre Grad Intern Joey Sorenson

"IE really helped me think long-term about how to best put my skills to use in a career that I would enjoy and excel at. IE was a tremendous asset in helping determine what I wanted to do with my life." Read more.

Jessica Preston

Nutritional Sciences Pre Grad Intern Jessica Preston

"Being an IE intern truly gave me the confidence and foresight to know that furthering my education through graduate school was the right choice for me. IE has propelled me to the place I am now, a graduating senior ready to pursue a new adventure, attending my dream graduate program in a subject I am passionate about!" Read more

Falil Oritola

Public Health Pre Grad Intern Falil Oritola

The first in his family to earn a graduate degree (Master's in Public Health), Falil explains the contribution of the IE Pre Grad Internship to his academic success.
"" Watch a video clip of Dan

Ashley Middleton

Communication Studies Pre Grad Intern Ashley Middleton

IE Pre Grad intern Ashley Middleton, a first generation student, completed her PhD at the University of Illinois. During her master's program at UT, Ashley twice served as an IE mentor and at Illinois she developed a small scale version of IE. Ashley describes not only the benefits of being an IE intern but how it propelled her to 'pay it forward' as a graduate student mentor. Read more.

Yvonne Cruz

Latin American Studies Pre Grad Intern Yvonne Cruz

IE Pre Grad intern Yvonne Cruz, the first in her family to attend college, will be pursuing a dual master's in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies at UCLA next fall (2012). She was awarded a Graduate Opportunity Fellowship which covers tuition and includes an $18,000 stipend. Yvonne attributes much of her success to IE. Read more.

Kelsey Spector

Philosophy Pre Grad Intern Kelsey Spector

"Participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program was truly an enlightening experience. Not only did I come to know the culture that is graduate school and academia, but I came to better understand myself as a person. This experience was truly instrumental in reinforcing my strengths, shedding light on my weaknesses, and presenting me with situations which were extremely challenging but from which I've grown. An opportunity to publish in a journal would be truly incredible and I have the IE program to thank for this opportunity and so many more. Moreover, if I have learned one thing it is that the pursuit of justice and the human good require action and engagement with the society in which one lives. I can only hope to share this passion for learning and personal growth with my students." Read more

Shan Modi

Biomedical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Shan Modi

"Although graduate school is far in the future, the IE Pre Grad Internship allowed me to learn the key aspects of being a graduate student, namely learning how to be an independent researcher, learning how to deal with failure, and learning how to perceive graduate school as a whole. I would not trade the experience I had this past semester for anything, as my mentor truly helped me grow into a more responsible individual, and showed me how to enjoy research rather than view it as a burden. Through IE, I was able to take a more active role in research, becoming more of an independent researcher, rather than depending on my graduate student for guidance. I became more attuned to what failures meant in the realm of research, and learned what steps to take to overcome these failures. Most importantly though, I was able to communicate effectively with my mentor about her experiences in graduate school, and get an indication of how graduate school would be like for me in the future." Read more

Kameke Brown

Psychology Pre Grad Intern Kameke Brown

"IE was central to helping me move much more quickly through my undergraduate career. This is due to the fact that it helped me to clarify my goals and the steps necessary to attain them. Through IE I was able to experience the life of a graduate student more directly and to gain insight into their daily lives, take part in research, and regularly interact with graduate students and faculty members. I doubt that I would have moved through my undergraduate career with the same sense of focused direction had it not been for the IE program." Read more.

Chance Lee Vaughan

Educational Administration Pre Grad Intern Chance Lee Vaughan

As part of his IE experience, Educational Administration intern Chance Vaughan made a presentation at the Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Conference in Costa Mesa, California--a trip that exposed him to a community of scholars in his discipline and put him in a better position to make a decision about whether to pursue a graduate degree. Read more.

Lauren Ayres

Communication Sciences and Disorders Pre Grad Intern
Lauren Ayres

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate as an intern in Dr. Bharath Chandrasekaran's lab through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program. The experience has been invaluable for several reasons. First, it enhanced my candidate profile for graduate school and helped prepare me for the rigorous round of doctoral interviews I recently completed. Second, it has helped me gain a more realistic understanding of the research process. Third, it has helped me gain important technical and organizational skills. Fourth, it has exposed me to cutting-edge research and helped me hone my ability to review research. Fifth, it has helped me build relationships that are of personal and professional value. In sum, it has been a rewarding experience. Ultimately, I received admissions offers from all thirteen schools to which I had applied for either the Master's or the Master's / Ph.D. program. I received strong funding offers from more than half of those schools. I believe the research experience gained as a result of my participation in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program is largely to credit for my successful applications." Read more.

Biomedical Engineering Pre Grad Intern George Malik

"For my IE Pre Grad Internship I had the privilege of working in Dr. Christine Schmidt's biomedical engineering laboratory. This lab group works mainly in the tissue engineering arena where over the past decade tremendous growth has occurred. What makes this area of research so fascinating is that it deals with the artificial development of different forms of tissues that could potentially act as an alternative to organ transplantation. More and more each day as a result of the IE Pre Grad Internship, I feel like my mindset becomes closer to that of a graduate student versus that of an undergraduate student. I no longer think in a 'yes man' manner in lab but am constantly thinking through experiments and trying to find new ways to make things more efficient or think of new ways to teach the other undergrads how tasks should be completed. I am thinking about the entire lab group instead of simply the tasks that I need to complete. The creativity that is needed as a graduate student in biomedical engineering is really starting to come out in my work and I have been very fortunate to be able to work in a lab that has been so conducive to my learning." Read more.

Mishon Lecheler

Neuropsychology Pre Grad Intern Mishon Lecheler

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has been a life changing opportunity. It has opened doors of opportunity that otherwise never would have been opened. I have gained valuable research experience, neuropsychological assessment training, and I am continuing the process of gaining level-2 training for MRI certification. Not only have I developed these important skills for my field of interest, I have worked closely with my mentor on developing timelines and strategies to help successfully prepare for applying to graduate school. The internship allowed me unrestricted insight into the lives of graduate students, from witnessing what graduate level courses are like, to discussing the social life and personal financing of graduate school. I am leaving this internship with a greater understanding what I need to do to get into graduate school, what it will be like when I get there, and what will be expected of me as I progress through my educational career toward becoming a neuropsychologist." Read more.

Dustin Stonecipher

History/American Studies/Creative Writing Pre Grad Intern
Dustin Stonecipher

"I came into the IE Pre Grad Internship program looking for a guide to getting into a History graduate school program. I love to write, and I know I want to be a professor someday, so I thought History was my best bet. However, this internship program became more than just a roadmap to graduate school. It completely turned my life around. After talking and meeting with my mentor, telling her specifically what my interests in History and English were, she pointed me somewhere I hadn't even thought of for one second. She told me that a major already exists that combines History and English: American Studies. After looking up various American Studies programs online, I was smitten. This was exactly the combination of History and creativity I have always wanted to do!" Read more.

Read an op-ed by Dustin commenting on his IE experience.

Hillary Sotello

Community and Regional Planning Pre Grad Intern Hillary Sotello

"When I entered the IE Pre Graduate School mentorship program, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to go to graduate school in Community and Regional Planning. However, my opinion has changed. Every time I immerse myself whole-heartedly in to a pure academic lifestyle, I yearn for the 'real' world. Though I have chosen not to attend graduate school and do not know whether I ever will, I do not reflect on this mentorship experience as a negative in the least bit. IE was absolutely invaluable to me in the sense that it really gave me a much better sense of what was in store if I had chosen to go straight through to grad school. It is something for which I am unprepared, unready and unwilling to make way for in the next few years. Through my IE mentor and other graduate students I have gained a more clear and realistic understanding of her workload and the sacrifices she makes. I know I am not ready. Perhaps I had a romantic view of graduate school. However, I have since learned that graduate school requires lot more commitment than I had imagined. I feel that I would be able to handle the workload and do very well but not with my current obligations and responsibilities with work and life. I don't feel that I am above graduate school or think that I do not need it but I do know that I cannot give what it requires. Nor do I want to, yet." Read more.

Catalina Galindo

Law Pre Grad Intern Catalina Galindo

"The IE experience has changed my life in many ways. I was terrified about even applying to law school but now that I have spent so much time with my mentor and many attorneys I feel a lot more confident than I did before. Going into this program I was a little unsure of whether I truly wanted to pursue law. My goal in life is to help as many people as I can by changing their life in some way. I thought that I could only do this through social work but now that I know that I can also live my dream as an attorney, I am more motivated and determined to pursue my dreams. IE is an experience that everyone interested in graduate school should have. One might feel like they are sure of what they want to do. But this program taught me that the only way to be sure of what you want to do is to experience it first hand and have someone guide you." Read more.

Christina Ngo

Sociology Pre Grad Intern Christina Ngo

"I really do want to grow up to be like my IE Mentor, Esther. She is a ridiculously successful, independent, well-educated woman that knows what she's doing. It is a shame that other undergraduate students have not had the chance to interact with a graduate student like I have this semester. Without the IE program, I would not have had the opportunity to take part in all of the different experiences or meet these successful academics. Graduate school before the IE program was a vague possibility in my future, but now at the end of the program, I know graduate school will certainly be an adventure I will be undertaking in a few years." Read more.

Jacob Catano

Physical Therapy Pre Grad Intern Jacob Mitchell Catano

"My involvement in the IE pre-grad program has enabled me to perceive physical therapy school as a goal that does not seem as abstract anymore, but rather a goal of concrete existence. This has been an invaluable experience to me. I have discovered that it is okay to feel uneasy about the future because it is perfectly normal. For example, during the interviews that I conducted this semester with my mentor and with members of UT faculty, I learned that many of those successful individuals emulated the nervous mindset that I have today. However, despite their anxiety about their future, each of those individuals made it to graduate school. I now understand that even though I still worry about what my future will consist of, in the words of my UT professor, Clint Tuttle, "Everything is going to be ok" because the stress that I experience is an indicator that I care." Read more.

Jeff Coursen

Chemical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Jeff Coursen

"An education from the University of Texas at Austin is extremely valuable. It can provide a confused youth direction in professional life and the knowledge to pursue that direction. For me, being a part of intellectual entrepreneurship enhanced both of these aspects of my education. I learned what a career in research consists of. This helped me to explore options for my professional life. Going into the program I was sure I was going to become a physician that did strictly clinical work, but now I would like to combine research. I also learned some interesting things about neurobiology. This gives me background knowledge if I want to pursue research in this area in the future." Read more.

Anna Gonzalez

Classics Pre Grad Intern Anna Gonzalez

"" Watch a video clip of Anna

Elizabeth Williams

Studio Art Pre Grad Intern Elizabeth Williams

"My experience with the IE program put me in intimate contact with graduate students in the University of Texas Studio Art program. Not only my mentor, but a collective of graduate students have aided in shaping my ideas about professional art and practice. I treated the IE experience as a warm-up to entering a master's program. I wanted to work closely with graduate students so that I would be required to think about the work that I was making on a higher level, and so that I could gain an understanding of the mentality of a graduate art student: how they worked, what was expected of them, what their academic goals were relative to the idea of making art." Read more.

Chrissy Grigalis

Professional Accounting Pre Grad Intern Chrissy Grigalis

"Coming into this program, I knew nothing about graduate school. I had no close relatives with a graduate background---it was virtually up to me to figure out what it was all about. When I stumbled upon the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program's Pre Graduate School Mentorship, I signed up immediately. It was one of the best decisions I could have made for my future. The most beneficial thing about this program is the valuable knowledge you gain and the unique experience you're allowed. Not many undergraduates get to sit in on graduate level classes, meet with graduate faculty, and learn hands-on information from current graduate students. This program has allowed me to see firsthand what it's like to be in graduate school and the hard work that it entails. Immersing myself in the graduate student culture has given me the motivation to work even harder to achieve my educational and career goals." Read more.

Chrissy's experience with IE is featured in TEXAS Magazine.

Nathan Bunch

Higher Education Pre Grad Intern Nathan Bunch

Nathan describes how his work with a doctoral mentor in higher education policy helped focus his interests in student affairs and prepared him to pick the best program in which to pursue graduate study. Read Nathan's IE Reflection.
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Katelin McCullough

Classical Archaeology Pre Grad Intern Katelin McCullough

"I enrolled as an IE Pre Graduate Intern to gain insight into what graduate school entails and if it is the right goal for me to pursue. As an undergraduate in Classical Archaeology I have always known that in order to turn this major into a career a PhD was necessary. However, as an undergrad whose parents never achieved their bachelor degrees much less their PhDs, I was terrified that I would be inadequate for the task and not be able to succeed or even be accepted into a program. This internship has helped to solidify an idea of what graduate school is actually like and has made me more aware of what I have to accomplish as a student in my junior year so that I will be prepared for the application process next year and how to succeed in a program afterwards. This internship has changed the way in which I look at graduate school as an option for my future. I have become more aware of what graduate programs are looking for in applicants, something of what it takes to thrive while in graduate school, and some of the options available in the academic and professional world." Read more.

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Physics Pre Grad Intern Ellen Hutchison

"Through the IE Internship I learned that my career is now in my own hands. I learned that safety in experimental physics is of utmost importance. I learned valuable skills that will be useful for future research. I learned about the culture of graduate school, which is a complicated culture which I had to experience myself-nobody could describe, and I know how to deal with fellow researchers and graduate students. I learned from my boss about work standards and ethics in physics. I learned about the importance of precision and accuracy. Sometimes professors in physics (and other areas) are so fixated on their own research that they forget to train future academics and professionals. This is why I appreciate the IE Internship; it is not an endeavor for mere personal gain but an endeavor for young people and our future. It is important for students to think about the future and make the right decisions with guidance, so the fact that the guidance is structured and formalized in such a way is very helpful."

Lloyd Scott

Educational Administration Pre Grad Intern Lloyd Scott

"When I first read the article about the internship course I almost cried with joy. It spoke to me: Lloyd this is an opportunity to take all those jumbled ideas you have jotted down on notebook paper and napkins, leather bound and two steps from being feasible. The key part the really struck a chord with me was the use of entrepreneurship and how it was adapted to this social context. Everyone has dreams but as students especially during the undergrad years most of our time is restricted to the class room and the text book. This internship was focused on my specialty: entrepreneurship; exploring, taking risks, developing something new that never before existed. Throughout high school and my first year of college ideas were always banging on the walls of my skull I saw this internship as the chance to finally breakout and make a difference in the community and the world." Read more.
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Evangeline O'Keefe

RTF Pre Grad Intern Evangeline O'Keefe

"I had decided I didn't want to pursue a graduate degree, but my mentor Courtney and IE helped me see how important and helpful a master's can be to a filmmaker's career. This just goes to show what IE encouragement and your own passion and determination can do." Read more.

Teri Adams

Women's and Gender Studies/Sociology Pre Grad Intern Teri Adams

"I really enjoy being an investigator. The IE Pre Grad internship I did with Rita Stephan this semester was the catalyst for me to make the decision to follow my heart into my research. Among many things I've taken from her guidance is the importance of my own experience, specifically, that the documentation of my own experiences is something that has academic value. I am grateful for the process I had with the IE internship and with where I'm going with my research. I feel more confident in my ability to choose a good graduate program because I will be looking more at faculty and methodologies that can help me develop as an investigator. I am so excited about setting forth on the research track I've discovered for myself, and the potential within this work to transform the lives of women and their families." Read more.

Benjamin Bamgbade

Chemical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Benjamin Bamgbade

"A famous person once said, 'An educational system isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn't teach them how to make a life.' This is essentially why I decided to partake in IE Pre Grad Internship this semester. Through working with Richelle Thomas, my grad mentor, and attending the various IE events, I have learned so many important things that I may not have ever known about graduate school. Participating in IE this semester showed me the differences between graduate school programs, what to expect, how to improve my chances of admission, and a basis to start my criteria list for deciding which schools to apply to. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to partake in the IE program this semester and the experience that I have gained from this program is priceless." Read more.

Roxanne Garza

Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern Roxanne Garza

"" Watch a video of first generation Pre Grad Intern Roxanne Garza describing how IE was a "life changing experience," helping her "realize that getting a master's degree in public policy was the way to turn my passion into a practical career." Read more....

Case Ramsey

Philosophy Pre Grad Intern Case Ramsey

"More than anything, I learned in IE what being a graduate student means. What really stuck out to me was the importance of taking your education into your own hands and having a clear idea of what you need to do and what you want to do. My mentor stressed the fact that most of the learning that goes on in graduate school happens outside of the classroom. I experienced this first hand while sitting in on his classes. It also became increasingly clear that other students are a great tool for learning one's craft and staying motivated. The contagiousness of their motivation even had an effect on me and spurred me on to spend extra time on assignments for my other classes. As my mentor pointed out in the interview I did for one of the IE assignments, one of the most rewarding things about being in grad school is being surrounded by other graduate students who are working on and excited about a variety of really interesting topics." Read more.

Ashley Garcia

Radio-TV-Film Pre Grad Intern Ashley N. Garcia

"As a first generation college student, it is hard to understand the process of acquiring a higher education after obtaining a bachelor's degree, but my IE mentor helped me learn more about my own interests and guided me through graduate school experiences that will surely help me in the future. The IE program has been very beneficial to me. Not only have I met a great advisor but I have learned skills necessary for the near future. It also helped me find a once in a lifetime opportunity that will broaden my horizons in my academic career: I was one of only twenty students nationally selected to participate in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University." Read more.
"" Watch a video clip of Manu's Gone to Texas presentation

Ashley Vehslage

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Ashley Vehslage

"I'm a dreamer. I have known this about myself since I was a little girl. So in choosing to pursue a degree in advertising, I thought I was making the only logical choice. That is until I actually got into it and realized that my dreams went much deeper than an ad campaign or a logo on a sign. Through IE I felt like Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland; this class was my discovery of the rabbit hole. The IE program has helped me see past the beaten path and enabled me to think outside the box I created for myself. I will be applying confidently for graduate school in Social Work to dream how the world will be different. And to think, I was going to limit myself to billboards and magazine spreads." Read more.

Nicholas Navarro

Communication Studies/Business Administration Pre Grad Intern
Nicholas Navarro

"I am excited to have a newly redefined vision for my remaining time as an undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin; through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Graduate Program, I gained invaluable knowledge about completing both a Master's in Business Administration and Master's in Communication Studies, both of which I plan to pursue, and also found an avenue in research for applying what I have currently learned through the undergraduate programs I am a part of. This internship has broadened my horizons and expanded my outlook on academic and research opportunities in my areas of study." Read more.

Kim Hoffman

Sociolinguistics Pre Grad Intern Kim Hoffman

"My goal for the IE internship was to learn about grad school and ultimately decide whether it was something I wanted to do. Looking back, I know I've come a long way from that point. Before this year, I never felt that graduate school was within my reach. I will be the first member of my family to graduate from college; graduate school was a complete mystery to me, and it seemed way beyond my own potential to achieve. Now, however, I feel confident in my decision to apply to PhD programs for sociolinguistics." Read more.

Jodyann Dawson

Public Affairs/Social Work Pre Grad Intern Jodyann Dawson

"This semester, I embarked upon a new journey by enrolling in The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program. Designed to give students a hands on experience for graduate level programs, the program has helped to shape and transform me into a much better student. I am a first generation college student in my family, as well as a previously enrolled youth from the Texas foster care system. My history of resilience can be noted since I was 11 years young. Despite my obstacles, I have always maintained my desire to pursue a higher education. This internship opportunity was a catalyst in doing such; it helped to support my professional aims and current educational pursuits by helping to build a foundation for my future career goals." Read more.
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Amarachi Amuneke-Nze

Pharmacy/Toxicology Pre Grad Intern Amarachi Amuneke-Nze

"I have treasured every second of IE. The Pre Grad Internship allowed me to see first-hand what the life of a pharmacy graduate student is like. One of the most rewarding aspects of the program was being able to develop relationships with my mentors and principal investigator. One can't help but be inspired to follow in their footsteps. With the interview session assignment I was able to ask questions that gave me insight into who they are as individuals, what makes them tick, and how they applied that to graduate school and their current area of research. This program has given me more insight into graduate studies and research and helped me decide whether or not it's a path I want to follow." Read more.

Steve Moore

Advertising Pre Grad Intern Steve Moore

"Going into the IE Pre Grad Internship, the idea of writing a research paper with basically no guidelines was a new experience. Through the Internship I enjoyed being able to write what I wanted to write, and on my terms. If this is what graduate school is going to be like, then I will enjoy it. What was achieved through this internship is a much greater understanding of the premise of graduate education. It is because of IE that I will be able to better make my decision about graduate school." Read more.
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Gunyan Singh

Biomedical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Gunjan Singh

"The IE Pre Grad Internship greatly helped pave the path that I hope to be in professionally. IE allowed me to learn many key aspects of becoming a graduate student especially learning how to be a researcher, how to deal with failure, and how to manage my time. I hope to continue this project through my senior year and hopefully all that I have learned this semester will aid me in receiving an M.D. and a Ph.D." Read more

Michelle Sparks

Sociology Pre Grad Intern Michelle Sparks

"As a first-generation college student, I found the IE Pre Graduate School Internship to be an extremely valuable experience. With the help and guidance of Danielle Dirks, my mentor, this has been a semester of academic discovery and self-growth. When the semester began, I had three major concerns. First, I wanted to find a more healthy work and life balance. Second, I needed to create an academic road map that would lead me to a career as a Sociologist. Finally, I also had a desire to feel connected to my fellow students, and to find leadership opportunities on campus that I would be able to add to my resume. I am happy to report that as the semester comes to a close I have made much progress towards reaching each of my goals." Read more.

Mareike Janiak

Psychology Pre-Gran Intern Mareike C. Janiak

"My dad once told me, when I asked him why he chose to be a chemistry professor, that he just knew as soon as he took his first chemistry class in 9th grade. Something just drew him to it and fascinated him and now I realize that I feel the same way about psychology. The IE program has done that for me. I never seriously considered becoming a professor until I attended the second IE meeting of the semester. I have known for a while that I want to do research and now it seems silly that I didn't consider becoming a professor sooner. The Q&A session with the professors during the second meeting made me realize that academia is a good career choice for me. I love doing research and even though I used to think that I would never want to teach, I realized that that is not the case anymore. In fact, teaching a college class about a topic that I am truly passionate about is something that excites me." Read more.

J'Kerian Morgan

Electronic Music Composition Pre Grad Intern J'Kerian Morgan

"This semester has been invaluable to me--especially in terms of growth. Over the past few months the IE Pre Graduate Internship taught me more about myself as a composer and about what I might do in graduate school. The IE experience taught me, to my surprise, that the cliche 'never give up your dreams' actually has some merit! Now that the semester has come to an end, I can genuinely say that I accomplished my goals--even surpassed them." Read more.

Sannah Khan

Neuroscience Pre Grad Intern Sannah Khan

"At the beginning of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program I was expecting to see what life would be like as a pharmacy graduate student. What I experienced was much more and it was a once in a lifetime experience. This past semester has been one of the most memorable experiences; it has increased my passion for pharmacy, it has provided me with a way to see how alcohol can become an addiction, and it is wonderful to have a mentor who graduated from pharmacy school. I learned about life, how graduate students manage their time, I got to meet wonderful people and the lessons I learned from this program is something I know I wouldn't be able to get in a classroom." Read more.

Eric Pittman

Slavic Languages Pre Grad Intern Eric Pittman

"The IE program has been invaluable to me. We started out with the goal of helping me get a better understanding of graduate life in the humanities and I feel that we have more than exceeded that goal. I have an exponentially better feel for what life as a graduate student would be like and how I would need to prepare for it. I also feel that I have grown as a person. The best thing this program has done is to give me more information so that I can decide whether or not I want to continue to graduate school and if I will be happy there. I sincerely hope this program continues. The opportunity it provides is one of the best ways to help students figure out what direction they want to take, and after talking with my fellow participants I know they feel the same way." Read more.

Sociology Pre Grad Intern Krysti Turnquest

Krysti explains how she found her path from a sociology undergraduate degree to civic engagement specialist to social justice educator to graduate study in urban policy. Describing the journey, she discusses how IE helped guide her. Read more.

Luis Galindo

Electrical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Luis Galindo

"I have grown up with an uncle who makes higher education a priority. Since my decision to come to The University of Texas, he planted the idea of graduate school in my head. He gave me the basic run down of what exactly it is, but never thoroughly explained it. Through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program (IE) I had a great opportunity to see what life as a graduate student was and to engage in research on renewable energy. It was a chance to really understand what my uncle wanted me eventually to do. At first, the thought of writing a lengthy research paper was overwhelming but in fact it came with ease. As I began typing my paper, that was the moment I first realized how much I had benefited from IE. I started thinking; I could really see myself devoting a couple years to researching a topic of interest. Because of IE, I have come to the realization of graduate school and what it entails. Once I am done with my bachelor's degree, my plans are to attend an institution in which I can continue to do research." Read more

Katherine Wallace

Communication Sciences and Disorder Junior Katherine Wallace

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has been an amazing learning experience for me in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Throughout the course of this semester I got to work in a hands-on environment with my mentor, a first year graduate student in the Speech and Language Pathology Program here at the University of Texas at Austin. I was able to actually join in on a graduate school rotation where I got to work with preschoolers around Austin. It was a dream come true! I feel much more prepared now to enter the world of graduate school. I no longer have to worry in wonder about what really goes on in the two years of graduate school because I have been equipped with knowledge of the application process, the curriculum, and the life that comes after receiving a license to practice Speech and Language therapy. I am now more excited than ever to embark upon the journey that is to come after my undergraduate program at the University of Texas at Austin." Read more.

Katherine Sauser

Pre-Law Senior Katherine Sauser

"The IE Pre Graduate Internship Program is the most interesting and helpful class I could have hoped to take as a senior graduating from UT. This class has provided a smooth transition from undergraduate school to law school, and I feel so much more confident and excited about my decision to enter law school this fall." Read more.

Ashley Shew

Psychology/Public Affairs/Social Work Pre Grad Intern Ashley Shew

"I am excited that the IE program taught me so much. By asking me to reflect on my experiences and apply it to my future career, I was able to capitalize on my experience as a research assistant and put it into perspective with my interests and goals. The IE program helped me critically analyze the career of research psychology and helped me see it was not something I was practically suited for. Without IE, I may have blindly made the decision to pursue psychology in graduate school based on the prestige or the understanding that it 'sounded' cool. Just because gender and racial attitudes research was the closest thing to my interests at this research university, doesn't mean it is the best career fit. Through my personal explorations as a result of IE, I was able to think outside the box of our institution and see how other fields or other universities might better help me in achieving a fulfilling career." Read more.

Katie Lee

Pharmacy Pre Grad Intern Katie Lee

"As a student, I have always experienced anxiety when it comes to talking with teachers and professors, but the IE Pre Grad Internship and traveling opportunity helped me ease that stress, and grow closer to a professor who I am actually going to be taking a class with this coming fall. This never would have turned out the way it has if I hadn't taken part in the IE Internship. IE has definitely helped change my life." Read more.

Shabab Siddiqui

LBJ School of Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern Shabab Siddiqui

"My experience as an IE Pre Graduate School Intern did not crack open the door to a graduate education for me; instead, it swung up open the door of my undergraduate education. The IE program helped me realize my role and my blessing as a student at this university. People on the Forty Acres and beyond want to see students succeed and are willing to lend advice and guidance. I began to think differently in classes as seemingly mundane as Arabic and Managerial Accounting, and to see connections between them. I e-mailed professors across campus to see if they would be willing to lend me a little bit of their time to guide me on a project. I started asking different questions in class and attending lectures and talks as they fit in my schedule. There was a new found wholesomeness and appreciation of my surroundings, making me realize why I came to college and what I came for. Right now, I might be able to delineate tangible things that the IE experience has done for me. The prospects of not simply what has been but instead what can be is the defining, resounding contribution to my education as a person." Read more.

Hardev Singh

Human Development and Family Sciences Pre Grad Intern
Hardev K. Singh

"I am glad to be one of the many students who partook in the IE Pre Grad internship; this has been an eye-opening journey of 4 months and it has crystallized my vision and provided direction, helping me decide that I will eventually venture into graduate student life. It has been my lifetime vision to become competent in a field that allows me to make a difference in people's lives. That was the primary reason that inspired my family and me to make a move to settle in the United States in 2008. Although I started my journey at the University of Texas with a desire to become a physician, I now have discovered that my true passion is in learning about how humans grow and develop, how the human mind acts and what causes it to do so. The IE experience was enriching: it provided me an opportunity to learn, explore and experience aspects of graduate study that are distinct from my undergraduate experience. It provided me with a broader canvas to discover graduate life and brought me a step closer to the real life experience of pursuing a career." Read more.

Jelisa Robinson

Theatre Pre Grad Intern Jelisa Robinson

"I've learned more about graduate school with this IE internship than I could have by reading an article on a website, listening to a lecture, or going to an advisor. I got the real details from someone who was doing what I desire to do, following her passion and forming a career path. Even if I don't do graduate school, I have taken a lot from this program, but mainly that using your passions to create change is a vital part of being an artist. I can only hope that my art makes the much needed positive impact in the lives of others." Read more.

Michelle Mejia

RTF Pre Grad Intern Michelle Mejia

"Coming into this program I must admit I felt alone to a certain degree with this idea of grad school. My parents only got so far and no one in my family has pursued education post undergrad. Plus, I don't hear or read about people like me in these roles. I am a first generation Chicana student at this institution of higher ed. I know I am not alone here but sometimes it sure does feel like I am. I am pursing a career in a field where men have historically dominated the field and women are every once in a while given the chair to edit." Read more.

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Educational Administration Pre Grad Intern Marco Estrada

"As a participant in the IE Pre Grad internship, I was extremely fortunate to receive funding to attend the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Conference. This one event had a profound impact on me - I felt so motivated and inspired by the people who attended that conference. For once in my life, I felt very sure of myself, very sure that if these people are capable of such great things, I could achieve great things too. It was during that weekend that I committed to myself, that I would do something for myself and for my family; I would do my best to earn a doctoral degree. In the past, a doctoral degree never seemed appropriate or even plausible but seeing those people there and hearing their words of encouragement really inspired me." Read more.

Carolyne Smith

Chemical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Carolyne Smith

"The IE program has been a wonderful opportunity for me to become comfortable with the idea of myself as a graduate student. Before I started shadowing my graduate student and attending the monthly meetings, I didn't know what it really meant to be a graduate student and even less about the commitment it involved. The IE program was a useful way to connect with this other world about which I was unaware. As part of the IE Internship, I was invited to attend the American Chemical Society National Conference in Washington, D.C. by my graduate student mentor. Seeing the number of professors, industry people and students at the conference made the Ph.D. path seem a little less lonely." Read more.

Kimberly Kresta

Child Development (Nursing IE Pre Grad) Senior Kimberly Kresta

"My experience with Nursing school graduate mentor, Henry Guevara, has opened my eyes to research and how graduate programs work. He guided me in recruiting participants, presenting at conferences, writing abstracts and creating posters for conferences. I had never really thought about getting a PHD but now I am planning on applying for the program that will begin next June." Read more.

Nickalas Bilotta

Government (Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern) Junior Nickalas Bilotta

"What makes the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Graduate School Internship program such an invaluable resource is how it allows students to adequately adjust their own intern experience to what their individual uncertainties might be about graduate school. The culmination of my IE pre-graduate internship was the unforgettable opportunity to attend my first academic conference this past April in Chicago. I was a part of that crowd of minds. I was able to talk with graduate students and professors to get a deeper insight into the depth that political science affects our daily lives. What I learned was that I could be completely satisfied living the life of an academic---something I would have never even thought of without seeing examples of such people with my own eyes. I began to understand that an academic life is even imaginable for students without a family background in academic studies." Read more.

Albert Heo

Sociology Pre Grad Intern Albert Heo

"At the start of the internship, I set out to learn about the specifics of the graduate school experience, but I ended up learning so much more. Writing the dissertation and attending classes are a big part of being a graduate student, but I learned that merely attending graduate school is not the whole experience. Working with my mentor helped me understand that applying what I learn in school to the real world is what actually makes a difference. Because of the nature of the field of sociology itself, I realized the importance of 'opening people's eyes' and how that would be possible only if I go outside the ivory tower of academia, where I would merely be writing papers for other sociologists to read. Experiencing new environments and actually interacting with the people I talk about in classrooms and read about in textbooks will enrich my graduate school experience, and I see no reason to rush anything and become constrained by a certain pathway right now." Read more.
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Jimmy Hammond

English Pre Grad Intern Jimmy Hammond

"In addition to improving my knowledge of campus resources and my knowledge of my topic, participation in the IE Pre Graduate Internship has helped me to hone my skills as a researcher and writer. Perhaps the most significant skill I have acquired through my involvement in the Pre Graduate school internship has been something I am almost embarrassed to admit I did not learn earlier - that beginning to write a research paper is crucial in exposing what information still needs to be researched. I have learned to write more clearly, and my experiences in conducting research have helped me to improve my ability to focus on scholastic tasks. Because of the positive impact this course has had on my work ethic and performance, I am continuing to view graduate school in English as a viable and desirable track for my future." Read more.

Jimmy accepted by Teach for America

Kristen McNeal

Advertising Sophomore Kristen McNeal

"My IE Pre Grad Internship in advertising with Glynnis Johnson taught me more than I had expected to learn. I learned about graduate professionalism in the workplace, the complexities of research projects and the interdisciplinary issues that cross between communication, marketing and advertising. The internship has demystified the graduate school process and even opened my eyes to other areas of academic interest. I now see graduate school as a more viable option." Read more.

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Art History Pre Grad Intern Lauren Aduddell

"I feel as though I gained a lot through this internship. Not only did I learn about what graduate school would be like, but I given the chance to discuss my opinions and thoughts on education in general with a professor with whom I would usually feel completely disconnected. This opportunity made me realize that professors want to talk with and help students. Before, they seemed very unapproachable. I am definitely considering attending graduate school in the future because of this internship." Read more

Oscar Ayala

Biomedical Engineering Pre Grad Inter Oscar Ayala

"The IE Pre Graduate program connected me with a team of engineers, scientists, physician scientists, doctors, and graduate students. It was this link which allowed me to explore the field of biomedical engineering and the people who will help you get where you want to get to in the future. It also offered me the opportunity to learn about myself and my capabilities both inside and outside of the laboratory. I have learned how to manage my time more efficiently to not only accomplish more things throughout the day but actually understand the type of issues I may face in or outside the lab. In addition, my work involvement gave me a taste of how both engineering and medicine can be integrated." Read more.
img src="../images/video_icon.jpg" alt="""" width="48" height="48" align="middle" /> Watch a video clip

Ayala showcases research at the Texas Capitol

Lauren Ayers

Public Affairs (LBJ School) Pre Grad Intern Lauren Ayers

"The IE pre-graduate internship program allowed me to experience the day to day reality of the LBJ School in the areas of graduate research, professional development and class dynamics. Most significantly IE enabled me to become an unofficial graduate student; I was able to slip into classes and informal lunch sessions as a de facto student of sorts. In this mode, I gained a behind-the-scenes, indispensable experience. This has inspired and excited me about academia, governmental and non-profit work. Because of the IE program, I've gained greater confidence in myself, pinpointed my motives for pursuing graduate school, and feel more certain about my goals." Read more.

Nhat Minh Ho

Civil Engineering Pre Grad Intern Nhat Minh Ho

"The IE Program gave me a very unique opportunity to have a closer look at the graduate research culture and examine my own capability to excel in such an environment. This internship was probably one of the keystone experiences to find my inspiration. I have gained what I expected to gain and beyond from the IE program. It helped me decide what I want to do with my life after graduation. I learned that, for a good engineer, the outcome is not about getting the highest GPA, or graduating early, or getting the first job; it is realizing one's lifelong dream." Read more.
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Martinique Jones

Educational Psychology Pre Grad Intern Martinique Jones

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program has been of much value to me. My mentor has helped me discover my personal, academic, and professionalinterests, own my academic and non-academic capabilities, and hold myself accountable for all my responsibilities and endeavors. The philosophy ofthe Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program includes helping individuals engage in 'discovery, ownership, and accountability.' As I reflect over this semester, I realize that I have experienced this transformation first hand. Read more.

Noah Galton

Pre-Law Senior Noah Galton

"Thanks to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Internship, I was given the unique opportunity to see if law school was right for me. After going through the law school application process, participating in law school classes, and attempting writing assignments geared toward first-year law students, I feel confident that I am, in fact, ready for the next level." Read more.

Joanna Thaler

English/Comparative Literature Pre Grad Intern Joanna Thaler

"As part of the IE Pre Grad Internship I was able to travel to Harvard University with my graduate student mentor, to attend the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association. It was this conference experience that really solidified my desire to enter into the world of academia. Though it seems scary and extremely difficult at times, I tell many people that I honestly cannot wait for the day that I am as exhausted and frustrated as those professors and graduate students who are living my dream. I could not have had this life-changing revelation without the IE Internship, and I will recommend it to anyone!" Read more

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Astronomy Sophomore Alysha Shugart

"Graduate school had always seemed like and unreality. Through the IE Pre Grad Internship, I found that it wasn't a necessity or a luxury, but a commitment and passionate devotion to the study. Graduate school is a door that opens to a hallway, full of more doors, stretching on almost endlessly. It allows for a substantially more expansive path of discovery, which requires an immense obligation that begins as early as undergraduate school. After this mentorship, I've found that, despite everything it requires---the work, the time, and the knowledge---continuing my education at a graduate school is the best path for me, even though it may look like a pretzel." Read more.

Jose Hinojosa

Electrical Engineering Pre Grad Intern Jose Hinojosa

"After struggling with my first few semesters the IE Pre Grad Internship was exactly what I needed because not only did it help me prepare for graduate school, but it also helped me get on track, set goals for myself, and strive for success. GPA is a very important aspect of applying to graduate school, and a good GPA comes with preparation, goals, and work ethic. I will always remember the opportunity that I was given in participating in the IE program, and it will be my inspiration to achieve my goals." Read more.
"" Watch a Video Clip of Jose and His Mentor

Ryan Sanchez

Economics Pre Grad Intern Ryan Sanchez

"Other than what I learned about graduate school by participating in this program, the IE Pre Grad Internship provided me with a great networking chance. This semester I learned how important networking is, and this allowed me to meet several people who, in my mind, are a step ahead of the crowd because they have a desire to achieve more than a bachelor's degree. The networking I did in this program inspired me to create a website (which is still in the making) dedicated to providing a platform for introvert students to network. This website wouldn't have happened if I hadn't participated in the IE program." Read more.

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Geology Pre Grad Intern Julie Helfrich

"Through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship course I created and conducted my own research project while learning valuable information about graduate school. My project allowed me to discover the methodology of research as well as my individual interests within the field of hydrogeology. The course also helped me learn the specifics of the application process and much more about life as a graduate student. This information has been especially valuable throughout the semester as I prepare to enter graduate school next fall. I believe the knowledge I have obtained through this program will allow me to find an appropriate program and graduate research project." Read more.

Apurva Sarathy

Neurobiology (Kinesiology Pre Grad Intern) Senior Apurva Sarathy

"The IE pre-graduate school internship has helped me gain perspective on what I need to accomplish in terms of the graduate school application process, contacting prospective faculty and chalking out my specific research interests while preparing for the life that awaits me in graduate school. I cannot see myself in any other career path and any doubts I had regarding graduate school before undertaking the pre-graduate school internship have now been washed away." Read more.

Larrissa Roberts

Communication Studies (Human Relations) Pre Grad Intern
Larrissa Roberts

"I cannot be happier with my decision to do the IE program, as it clarified so much in my life. Because of the IE program, I now know exactly what I want to do (with some small decisions yet to be made). I have applied for competitive graduate schools, run my own research study, assisted on another project that Dr. Anita Vangelisti and Alexa Hampel are currently working on, and honed my time management skills, as well as pushing my personal boundaries. The most rewarding part of the semester was attending the National Communication Association (NCA) annual conference. NCA was the best academic experience of my undergraduate career so far. It was because of this that my decision for graduate school was finalized." Read more.

Dean Pham

Ethnic Studies (Educational Psychology Pre Grad Intern) Senior
Dean Pham

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has helped me discover that we as humans are dynamic, every-changing beings. As time changes, so do our own interests. I started out only interested and exposed to UT's M.Ed. program in Counselor Education and now, I'm looking at faculty research areas and interests at universities across the country in a variety of programs, from master's programs in Asian-American Studies to Ph.D. programs in the History of Science and Medicine. I now know I can do anything I want, I can fuse a number of ideas together. I just have to reach out and ask first. This internship symbolically opened the door for me to graduate school". Read more.

Jessica Wang

Business (MBA) Pre Grad Intern Jessica Wang

"Through the IE Pre Grad Internship, I learned that I am specifically interested in MBA programs. It has been something I've always been interested in; and after sitting through some classes and interviewing an actual graduate student in the business school, I have become even more interested." Read more.

Karen Rodriguez

Theatre (Performance as Public Practice) Pre Grad Intern
Karen Rodriguez

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Internship has been a significant asset in gaining the necessary experience to decipher whether or not graduate school is the next step in my career path. Not only did it give me the experience and practice in the field in which I wished to expand my skills and knowledge on, but it also allowed me to realize whether or not it is truly the profession I want to pursue in the future. It is as if I have a better idea of who I am as a person, and what kind of career would best suit me. And thus, I leave with just that - a feeling of excitement." Read more.

Hilario Lomeli

Curriculum and Instruction (Texas Center for Education Policy) Pre Grad Intern Hilario Lomeli

"As a third year senior at the University of Texas I knew very little about graduate school. Through my faculty mentors and the IE resources available I learned the essentials of graduate school: How to balance work and class, why go, what will you learn, how much will it cost, were questions that fully answered and explained. I learned the value of attaining a post graduate degree. My mentors demonstrated the excitement and joy of changing the world around them. I didn't know it was possible to enjoy your job so much. This TCEP/IE internship taught me that the only thing necessary to take action was the will to do so." Read more.

Shaylyn Mooney

Social Work/Law/ Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern Shaylyn Mooney

"Through the course of the IE Pre Grad internship, I expanded my knowledge about social work careers, especially the role of social workers in policy and government, and explored my various degree options for graduate school. The program has changed my perspective on graduate school; I have become more confident about my abilities to receive another degree, and am more knowledge about the culture and expectations of graduate school." Read more.

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Math Pre Grad Intern Vladimir Coxall

"My IE internship has been an invaluable experience in helping to prepare me for graduate school. By participating in it, I was able to get a clear picture of graduate school, starting from how to make the transition as an undergraduate to daily life in grad school. Some of what I learned was surprising and some not so surprising. Overall though, I learned how to further my ambitions as a mathematician and what the road ahead will be like. I gained a network of people with whom I can solicit information and experience." Read more.

Robyn Kellogg

Russian and East European Studies IE Pre Grad Intern Robyn Kellogg

"Researching graduate school fields, departments, and funding possibilities, and attending a conference in my field have helped to shape my decisions about graduate school for the future. I realize that had I not been a part of this IE Pre Graduate school internship, I might not have gotten the opportunities to meet so many important people within my field at this point in my career. I admit at times I almost gave up on graduate school to begin with but can now safely say I will be attending graduate school upon my undergraduate graduation and had it not been for this program (and my mentor) giving me opportunities, I would still be a lost undergraduate merely floating along." Read more.

Agha Raza

Marketing/MBA Pre Grad-Intern Agha Raza

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has been extremely rewarding for me, both professionally and personally. It made me realize that I'm specifically interested in an MBA in the field of marketing. A lot of my friends had terrorized me about getting enrolled in graduate school. Of course I knew it would be more demanding and challenging than undergraduate education. My IE mentor has regularly been involved in teaching me how to prepare for and survive graduate school. He has always reinforced my thoughts about getting enrolled in graduate school, and presented his own experience to suggest how I can make mine even better. He put me out in the open with all the research work to make me realize that there was nothing that was impossible, and I too realized that over time. His determination and hard work were truly an inspiration for me. With him it has been a learning and rewarding experience." Read more.

Debbie Velasquez

Advertising (Educational Policy Pre Grad Intern) Senior
Debbie Velasquez

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has prepared me emotionally and mentally for graduate school. Even though I am a McNair scholar and expected to enroll in graduate school for August 2010 I felt insecure and scared. Once again, I felt the same stress I did when I was senior in high school. After meeting so many Latinos with stories and backgrounds similar to my own, I feel like graduate school is attainable. Overall, I feel more confident about choosing grad school and accepting the things I can't control. The IE experience has opened a window of opportunities that I might not otherwise have had." Read more.

Adrian Rodriguez

Mechanical Engineering Senior Adrian Rodriguez

"Through the course of my studies in college, the thought of attending graduate school always has entered my mind, but I feared I knew too little about the application process and which schools best suited my interests. I was not sure what the correct path I needed to take to make graduate school a reality. After taking the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Graduate School Internship, I feel like I know now what I need to do. A great part of IE was my ability to take part in its diversity group that would meet separately during the semester. Those meetings gave the opportunity to open up a discussion where I felt comfortable." Read more.
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Andrea Nguyen

Government Pre Grad Intern Andrea Nguyen

"I embarked upon this mentorship with absolutely no intention of attending graduate school. I signed up for Intellectual Entrepreneurship because of simple curiosity to find out exactly what graduate school entailed - the amount of work required, the opportunities available during and after graduate school, the classroom culture, etc. Before this whole experience, I was completely mystified by the entire graduate school process and was unaware of the benefits that it could provide me. I began this mentorship without expecting it to change my plans after graduation. However, this mentorship has introduced me to all of the different opportunities that graduate school can provide and has made me realize that this might be the more appropriate choice for achieving my future goals." Read more.

Ashley Gallegos

Art History Senior Ashley Gallegos

"More than anything, the IE Internship afforded me the opportunity to participate in a mentorship with a doctoral student who provided me with invaluable guidance about what to do with the rest of my life. One aspect of this internship that proved to be the most beneficial is the continuous dialogue between me and my mentor. Previous to this experience, I had never talked to someone who had experienced graduate school, someone with whom I could talk through my frustration or insecurity about my future. Without the opportunity to work alongside my mentor, I am uncertain if I would have come to the same conclusions about attending grad school or at least feeling reassured about abandoning the idea to go at all." Read more.

Devin Ruthstrom

Communication Studies Senior Devin Ruthstrom

"The key to a successful intern/mentor relationship in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program is having great expectations and consistent accountability. Entering the IE program, I was seeking direction as to whether or not I desired to, and could benefit from, continuing my education with a masters program and potentially seeking my PhD. My experience with my mentor and other IE interns made the answer clear. After more contemplation and attending the National Communication Association (NCA) Convention of 2008 in San Diego with the help of an IE scholarship, I know why I would like to attend graduate school." Read more.
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Liberal Arts (Educational Psychology Pre Grad Intern) Sophomore
Ehioze Osadiaye

"Looking back on it now, I can surely say that the Pre Grad IE Program has been of a tremendous benefit to me in learning how to network and in helping me shape to my career path. Other than the personal account of students work in graduate school that I was able to contract from my mentor, a part of this internship experience that has proved especially beneficial is the Diversity Meetings; they provided me with a setting specific to my needs as a minority student. It has been my experience that the graduate school process is a different kind of stressor for first-generation students and students of color." Read more.

Meghan Murtha

Classics Senior Meghan Murtha

"The IE Pre Grad internship has helped me to recognize that graduate school can be the right path for me, it can help me to explore my passions and share them with others, and to accomplish my aspirations, as long as I am true to those goals and who I want to be. This internship has helped me to explore and understand academia and the discipline, dedication, and passion that is necessary for a successful career." Read more.

Patrick McMillin

Law Pre Grad Intern Patrick McMillin

"I always knew I wanted to go to law school but could never supplement that conclusion with a strong reason as to why. Being a Government major or having people tell me I'd make a good lawyer just weren't sufficient reasons. I needed to know for myself why law school was a good fit, and the IE program has afforded me such an opportunity. In essence, my internship experience gave me a chance to take law school for a test drive and discover if it was right for me. As the semester comes to a close, I've concluded that law school does in fact fit me well, and I can affirm that statement as a result of the IE Internship." Read more.

Jennifer Aguirre

Public Affairs (Non-Profit) Pre Grad Intern Jennifer Aguirre

"When I first came into the IE Pre Grad Internship I had a vague idea on what the non-profit sector did and the role they play in our community. I knew non-profits helped many people, had different goals, and raise awareness to many people. Taking this internship has broadened my views on non-profits. My mentor took me under her wing and really exposed me to the world of non-profits. She also prepared me for graduate school. I was able to research many graduate schools. This experience is something I will never forget because, for the first time here at UT, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I left my undergraduate studies." Read more.
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Chris Ogbonnaya

Business/Social Work Pre Grad Intern Chris Ogbonnaya

Scholar-athlete Chris Ogbonnaya discusses his passion for pursing a graduate degree and how working with his IE Pre Grad mentor, MBA student and former UT football player Dallas Griffin, helped him move forward on this path. He explains his desire to learn about the interactions of media, sports, the stock market, and especially how each side uses the other to promote their business. Read more.

Lauren Nance

Civil Engineering Senior Lauren Nance

"My IE Pre-graduate internship this semester has helped me gain a better grasp on what going to graduate school really entails. I have learned that graduate school requires a lot of hard tedious work and that it takes a lot more dedication than pursuing an undergraduate degree. Although graduate school is a lot of work, I saw the important role that graduate research plays in our society and how exciting it is to be a part of something that big." Read more.

Hang Nguyen

Chemistry (Pharmacy Pre Grad Intern) Senior Hang Nguyen

"I now have a clear path for life after undergraduate studies and am so glad I took the IE Pre Grad Internship. I really wished I had known about this course/sooner so that I might have set a clearer path earlier in my college career. I tell all my friends that the IE Pre Grad Internship is one of the best things I have come across in college. We will just have to see what is in store for me in the future and I can't be happier to now have plans after graduation next spring." Read more.

Whitney White

Pre-Law Intern Whitney White

"The IE Pre Grad Internship program helped bring a new level of clarity and perspective. The experience convinced me that I am Law School material. As a minority student and someone who is the first to graduate in my family, I sometimes doubted my ability to succeed at a graduate level or if I am smart enough to get in. But during this internship, the different mentors and students at the meetings encouraged me that it is possible and that everyone has something to offer. Sitting in law classes and seeing only a few minorities represented in the class room motivated me to help increase the numbers and provide a different perspective for law schools and future clientele. Because of the IE internship I am no longer doubtful of my ability but excited about the challenges and successes I will have on the road to Law School as well as those in Law School." Read more.

Dustin Earnest

Liberal Arts (Business Pre Grad Intern) Junior Dustin Earnest

"Intellectual Entrepreneurship is a remarkably fitting name for the course that I have just experienced. I was in control of organizing and managing my education experience. I was exclusively in charge of what I got out of the class. The hands on experience that I gained from this internship is incomparable to anything else I could have learned in a traditional classroom setting." Read more.

Ann Itnyre

Communication Sciences and Disorders Junior Ann Itnyre

"I originally decided to participate in the IE mentorship program to gain clinical experience needed to be a speech-language pathologist assistant which does not require a graduate degree. I was solely focused on graduating from college and getting a job. However, because of my mentors guidance and encouragement I am applying for graduate school for the fall semester." Read more.

Kimberly Lewis

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Kimberly Lewis

"Overall, many of my expectations and ideas about graduate school were corrected during the IE Pre Grad internship. I learned that my perception of academia as a career was wrong. Even though my preconceived notions about graduate school and academia were wrong, I would not trade this experience. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, because when I choose to enter into graduate school I will not be shocked by the reality of the environment. I will be in a position of leadership among some of my peers. I know I have begun a lifetime journey in research and education and, despite the potentially negative things I learned, I am still passionate about pursuing this future. Every undergraduate should be as fortunate as me to participate in such an internship." Read more.

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Law Pre Grad Intern Aisha Heath

"This semester has presented me with the opportunity to dive straight into the life of a law student. The IE pre-graduate school internship has opened my eyes to several different aspects of what it takes to get into law school, succeed there, graduate and practice in the field. The highlight of my internship was when I was able to get a travel grant that allowed me to attend a law student conference in March for black law students. I was very impressed with how many black students there were, and how many wanted to get into the law field. I got to see black men and women who were top lawyers in their field and at their firms; there were also distinguished judges who were African-American also." Read more.

Xuan Le

Psychology Senior (Social Work Pre Grad Intern) Xuan Le

"The great part of the IE Pre Grad internship is that it allowed me so much flexibility to explore intellectually with fellow students, graduate students going through the process, and professors who have been there done that, and are still learning throughout the way. As a result of these experiences, I am able to define what social justice means to me and how I want to use my agency to remedy the problems I see in society." Read more.

Michael Turner

History (Rhetorical Studies and History IE Pre Grad Intern) Sophomore Michael Turner

"My path is distinct from many other undergraduates who come to college straight out of high school, and then decide on post-graduate options afterward. That process was opposite for me: attending graduate school was the primary aim of my decision to return to academia in my mid- to late-twenties, and choosing an undergraduate program was secondary to that aim; it was purely a matter of finding how to best prepare myself for the work I had already discovered I needed to do as writer, scholar, and citizen. The IE Pre Grad internship has, in many ways, been my salvation. Participating in it has provided by far the most valuable and enlightening resource and experience to date by which I could spend time examining my decision to return and the environments its consequences occupy." Read more.

Pam Cardona

Government Senior (Italian Studies Pre Grad Intern) Pamela Cardona

"The IE internship has given me even more confidence than I expected to gain when I first started. I thought I needed more clarity and a better understanding about how graduate school worked and what was expected. Instead I feel that the main focus during this internship was not on graduate school but rather on me. And it was through learning more about myself---what it is that drives me---and where I want to go, that I learned more about the role that graduate school could play in my future plans. The IE internship has been yet another stepping stone in uncovering the path in which my passion is taking me." Read more.

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Journalism (Law Pre Grad Intern) Senior Etherial Edetan

"This semester I was privileged to participate in the IE Pre Graduate Program. In all three years here at the University of Texas at Austin, there is no other experience that can compare to what I've learned from this program. As a small child I dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Somewhere along the way that dream was lost in the wind and it wasn't until last year that I realized that my destiny lay in law. My participation in the program has given me much insight into the steps I need to take to get in and be prepared for law school, find the right law school and stay on track once I get there." Read more.

Lindsay Thomas

Communication Science and Disorders Junior Lindsay Thomas

"I have discovered a countless number of things thanks to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship. I have discovered that jumping straight into something you are afraid of, is the only way to overcome that fear and learn from it. I have rediscovered the potential I have in myself. I have found joy in helping others, which is a great feeling knowing I will be doing so for the rest of my life. I feel more prepared for the tasks that will be given to me in the future. And I am now not so afraid of graduate school and the lions that come with it because I have already overcome that fear of the lion's den." Read more.

Jose Torres

Pre-Law Intern Jose Torres

"While I was enthusiastic about graduate school, I was now with the problem of figuring it all out in terms of what I wanted to do and how I was to get there. Beyond this, I needed to convince my parents that it was a good idea. As a first generation college student I've needed to convince my family that today more than just a four-year college experience is needed. I understand them because it can seem like I am stagnant for years after high school with no sign of moving forward. However, as other first generation students may understand, convincing the incredulous and unhopeful is something that I have been made accustomed to and learned to do effectively. To my rescue came the IE program. As I have now gone through the IE program, I feel as certain as ever that I not only need but also want to pursue an education in law. The IE mentorship has made me realize the possibilities that exist after earning a legitimacy that comes with a law degree." Read more.


Rogelio Martinez

Neurobiology (Pharmacy/Neurobiology Pre Grad Intern) Senior
Rogelio Martinez

Rogelio discusses how the IE Pre Grad Internship enabled him to conduct research, travel to an academic conference, witness the lifestyle of graduate students, and win an Undergraduate Research Fellowship for an original project proposal. Read more.

Student's experience featured in Longhorn Pharmacy Focus

Ashley Woodall

Audiology Junior Ashley Woodall

"Going into the IE program I was fairly certain that I wanted to go to graduate school to be a clinical Audiologist and treat patients. Now, I am seriously considering a more research-oriented path of study, and possibly the pursuit of a PhD. I had never assisted in any kind of research before this internship, and now that I have had this opportunity I am tremendously motivated to be involved in independent research. When I signed up for the IE program, I never imagined that I would be conducting research and then presenting it to some of the leading Audiologists and Hearing Scientists in the country!" Read more.
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Pre-Law Intern Jayme Daniel

"I strongly believe that my participation in the IE Program has made a considerable impact on my decision about whether to pursue a career in law. Through IE, I gained a backstage pass to the inner workings of a prestigious law school, acquired hands on experience in a growing law firm, and attended a pre-law conference." Read more.

Ada Mi-Sedhi

Social Work Junior Ada Mi-Sedhi

"The IE Pre Grad Internship was a great experience and opportunity for considering graduate school. It was also an important avenue for self-exploration. Working together with a graduate student, I discovered many paths I had never considered in the field of social work and actually got to put skills I learned in class into action and through research!" Read more.

Brandon Hunter

Latin American Studies Junior (Anthropology/LAS Pre Grad Intern)
Brandon Hunter

"My IE Pre Grad internship research project has been both challenging and fun, and has given me a good idea as to whether graduate education is right for me. Being a recipient of an IE Travel Grant allowed me to attend a graduate student conference in Chicago, allowing me gain a perspective on graduate school, and my area of interest, that otherwise would have been unavailable to me. As the first generation in my family to attend college, this program not only taught me about what to expect from graduate school, but also reaffirmed my commitment to post-undergrad education as well." Read more.

Danielle Porter

History (African History IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior Danielle Porter

"The IE Pre Graduate School Internship has been a great experience and has taught me a lot. It did not change my mind about going to graduate school; in fact, it strengthened my decision to attend. However, it forced me to figure out why I wanted to attend, which was truly beneficial. It also allowed me to see that graduate school is not merely an extension of undergraduate work. It is considerably different, both in the type and quantity of work. I also learned that in order to make it through graduate school, I need to improve my time management skills. Going into the internship, I had many goals for the semester. I truly wanted to gain a greater understanding of the field I am interested in while also preparing for graduate school at the same time. Simply saying that I achieved these goals would be an understatement, because what I gained from the experience was so much more." Read more.

Esmeralda Rodriguez

Education Policy Pre Grad Intern Esmeralda Rodriguez

"When I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to someday attend a university; but my knowledge of higher education pretty much ended there. It was not until a couple of months ago that I even realized that there is such a thing as graduate school and, until my participation in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, I never once thought about even attending it. Working with my mentor, I came to understand that a Master's degree or PhD mean far more that just being able to research. It is about producing knowledge and letting the academic world know. I realized that conducting a research is not just about trying to find an answer to the question posed, it is instead trying to answer something about yourself---that there is something in everyone's lives that are the reason for the production of such knowledge in the first place. Perhaps this is the most valuable thing I learned from the IE program and my mentor." Read more.

Samantha Guerra

Pre-Law Junior Samantha Guerra

"The past three years I have been in a constant battle with myself questioning whether or not going to law school is something that I truly want to pursue. I had come to doubt whether I was willing to commit to being a law student and if practicing law was even a profession I was interested in doing for the rest of my life. Fortunately, the IE Pre Grad Internship program has given me the opportunity to shadow a law student as well as work with an attorney allowing me to confront my concerns." Read more.

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Rachel Roos

Psychology Junior Rachel Roos

"As a mentee in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program at the University of Texas at Austin, I had the unique opportunity to see first-hand both the grit that goes into graduate study and the rewards earned for that hard work. Over the past few months, I followed in the footsteps, literally and figuratively, of a graduate student in the Psychology Department. One of my jobs as her mentee involved working as a research assistant in the Li Lab. Here I got to see first hand how graduate research is conducted because I was one of the actual people running participants and entering data. Another part of my internship involved shadowing my mentor in her capacity as teaching assistant for a PSY418 lab section. This was very beneficial for me because I had the unique opportunity to serve as a sort of assistant to the teaching assistant. I helped students understand concepts and also graded or pre-graded papers and assignments." Read more.

Chase Maxwell

English/Plan I (Music Pre Grad Intern) Junior Chase Maxwell

"More than anything, I would say that my participation in the pre-graduate school IE mentorship has taught me about myself; about my own desires and ambitions. I entered the mentorship uncertain as to whether or not I wanted to go through another four years of college. Because of this indecision, I sought to utilize the mentorship program as a means of weighing the pros and cons of graduate study against one another, thinking, all the while, that I would encounter a simple yes or no conclusion. The resolution I came to was an emphatic, simultaneous, yes and no!" Read more.

Sarah Walker

English Sophomore Sarah Walker

"I found the IE experience to be a very rewarding one. I learned that the most successful grad students are the ones who genuinely love what it is they are researching. I also learned that there is a community that is perfect for me-a place where people get paid to read books they love, analyze them, talk about them with other smart people, and, eventually, be recognized as experts in their field. IE has solidified that grad school is definitely for me." Read more.

Raymond Tambe

Business (Pre-Law Intern) Sophomore Raymond Tambe

"The IE pre-graduate internship program has been invaluable to me as a tool in learning about graduate school opportunities and furthering my knowledge of why to go to law school, how to get to law school, and what to do after law school." Read more.

Amelia Conine

Mathematics (Statistics) Junior Amelia Conine

"At every stage in life you reach a point where you have to make a decision about what the next stage is going to be and how you are going to transition from one chapter to the next. I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to the life of a graduate student before having to make any concrete decisions. Not only has the IE Pre Grad Internship answered and uncovered a lot of the unknowns about graduate school, but I have met many amazing people throughout the semester." Read more.

May Chou

Chemistry (Plant Biology Pre Grad Intern) Junior May Chou

"I knew that graduate school would take a lot of devoted effort, time, and hard work. Even though I have had experience in an undergraduate research lab for a year and a half and saw firsthand the research and hard work of a graduate student, I still did not know a lot about graduate school until I enrolled in the IE Pre-graduate School Internship program. I was able to have a mentor who taught me so much and answered many of my questions I had about graduate school." Read more.

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Pre-Law Intern Brandon Guidry

"When thinking about the IE Program, words can't even describe how beneficial this experience has been for me. I came into this opportunity with very little knowledge of the field (Law) I aspired to pursue. Through the IE Program, I have learned a lot that will help me in following the Law career path. I truly learned a lot this semester; not only about law, but also about myself. I have grown to be more cautious of my academic standing, and how to balance it and my personal life. I've watched first hand how it is to be a student taking courses at the graduate level. After seeing this, it only makes me want to go to law school even more. In a sense, I can't wait!! Just witnessing the networking opportunities as well as the helpful and friendly people is enough to outweigh the amount of work it would take me to succeed." Read more.

Carol Leung

Social Work Pre Grad Intern Carol Leung

"The IE Pre Grad internship has helped me understand what I want to do in the future with my masters in social work. Being able to be trained to conduct research has made me realize that my passion in social work will also be conducting research. I want to become a social work researcher to find out the major mental health issues affecting Asian immigrants and their children so that effective interventions can be planned. My career goal is to become a social worker who will promote cultural awareness among diverse population, especially Asian immigrants, regarding the different rates of culture adaptation between parents and their children." Read more.

Shenise Sampson

English/RTF (Women's and Gender Studies IE Pre Grad Intern) Junior Shenise Sampson

"The IE Pre Graduate Internship not only offered me the opportunity to understand and learn about graduate school life in an academic sense, but a personal one as well. I gained an opportunity to learn about the graduate school application process, how to research graduate schools and programs suitable for my interests and passions, and how my success does not have to be limited by background or worries concerning financial options. I encourage more African-American individuals, like myself, to consider options for graduate school. This program provides resources for undergraduate students in preparing for their future after college. Read more."

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Herberto Nieto

Electrical Engineering Senior Heriberto Nieto

"The IE Pre Graduate Internship helped me understand that I did not want to pursue a Master's degree in the Electrical Engineering department. I found that I preferred being an engineer whose expertise is not confined to the specific details of one technical area. I have been researching the options available for engineers in law school. A career as a Patent Attorney would allow me to make great use of my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering while not limiting my pursuit of higher education to engineering." Read more.

Augustina Okeke

Liberal Arts (Law Pre Grad Intern) Junior Augustina Okeke

"It is one thing to learn a trade or skill by self- research and practice but to acquire the proficiency in a specified area requires hands on experience and guidance. Through the IE Pre Grad internship I was given the opportunity to participate in a career related field, become actively aware of current issues in law, meet professionals who can be utilized as future networking contacts, and develop self-confidence as I identified my own skills and strengths through this mentorship." Read more.

Liliana Barrios

Plan II (History and Mexican American Studies IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior Liliana Edith Barrios

"I enrolled in the IE Pre Grad internship not because I was trying to determine whether I wanted to go to graduate school (this has always been an aspiration of mine), but because I wished to learn more about myself and my true personal desires apart from anything that has been socialized into me. Thanks to the advice and moral/personal support that my Graduate Student mentor has given me, I am now more confident in myself and more confident in my passions. Needless to say, I do love what I love, I know not how I even came to doubt this. It was this process of questioning and doubting, however, that has allowed me to expose my subconscious intentions in order to put them into perspective. I plan to continue this process so that I can improve as an artist for artists must know themselves truly and freely. Thanks to this program I have taken the first step." Read more.

Sara Cohen

Human Development and Family Science Junior Sara Cohen

"I had a wonderful and enlightening experience with the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program. experience primarily consisted of working with Amy, my grad mentor, in the editing phase of a research paper, investigating the life of a graduate student, and attending faculty seminars in the Department of Human Ecology." Read more.

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Curriculum & Instruction (Bilingual Education) Senior Irma Aguirre

"Participation in the IE Pre Grad internship helped me see that I want to give back to my community. Through the attainment of my PHD, I hope to coordinate pre - service teacher programs to help train tomorrows teachers. I now know that the more I become educated, the better equipped I will be to train teachers to be more progressive and be aware of the fallacies of the education system, as well as the socio-cultural factors that affect the cognitive development of the students, which go hand in hand with their success and self-perception." Read more.

Veronica Luna

Anthropology Senior Veronica Luna

"The IE Pre Grad Internship Program has been the most rewarding and beneficial experience during the last four years at the University of Texas-Austin, in both my academic and personal life. My mentor has served as a role model and exposed me to academic life as a Latina, something the typical minority student at UT would never experience. My experiences through the IE Program are valuable resources that I will draw upon for years to come and I intend to use the IE philosophy in the future. My graduate mentor's guidance and the opportunities she afforded me have reshaped my conception of academia and lifted the cloud of mystique that surrounded graduate school." Read more.

Shawn Lauzon

Liberal Arts (Law and Sociology Intern) Senior Shawn Lauzon

"I began the semester with the goal to begin graduate school for Sociology in Fall 2009. I had already taken the GRE and scored a 1410. I received A's in both of my upper divisional Sociology classes, and they were both fascinating. I stopped in during office hours for a couple professors and had good conversations with them. In short, everything seemed positive on my way towards becoming a sociologist. Now, after much debate, I am planning on entering law school rather than sociology. I am glad of this change, and I can thank the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program for helping to adjust my career focus." Read more.

Shanae Simmons

Sociology Junior Shanae Simmons

"My most important and revealing experience in the IE Pre Grad Internship was learning about the experiences of others and their reflections of their personal journeys through graduate school. After having heard some of the ropes concerning graduate school, I found relief and confidence. I was able to identify what my future could entail, making me less uneasy of the process as a whole. My idea of drudgery associated with getting higher degrees morphed into one of anticipation." Read more.

Derek Davidson

History Senior Derek Davidson

video iconWatch a video clip of Derek discussing the many things he learned from participating in the IE Pre Grad Internship, including the fact that this experience allowed him to explore the culture of graduate study in a way that otherwise might not have been possible. Read his written statement.

April Guajardo

English (Social Work Pre Grad Intern) Senior April Guajardo

"The IE Pre Grad Internship program and Lacey (my mentor) have been an asset to my future graduate career. I would have been lost, confused and unprepared without them. I now feel more aware and confident of what is about to happen and I am not afraid to ask questions or go looking for answers. I feel luckily and blessed to have been apart of something that has helped my future academic plans and possibly learn some of the techniques to succeed in school and life." Read more.

Busola Ogunnaike

Human Biology Senior (Public Health Pre Grad Intern) Busola Ogunnaike

"The IE Pre Graduate School internship has truly been an eye opening experience. Without this opportunity I probably would have been rushing my application and could quite possibly have missed out of getting into good schools. I feel more focused about what I want to do and cannot wait to actually realize my dream of reducing the health disparity between privileged and underprivileged populations." Read more.

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History Senior Juan Jose Becerra

"Through the IE Pre Grad School internship I attained substantial and critical knowledge that will help me prepare myself for my future-graduate school. The internship provided me with an inside look/preview at the life of an applying undergraduate, graduate student, PHD student, and onto the life of a practicing PHD professor. The fact that the program was self-paced also gave me many opportunities to attain what I thought was essential in this experience." Read more.

David Liu

Electrical Engineering Junior David Liu

David discusses how his IE Pre Grad internship revolved around a research project: building a guitar effect pedal. He explains how this initiative taught him much about research, the importance of advanced education and the freedom in graduate school to pursue a topic of interest. Read more.

Diana Doan

Nutrition (Public Health Pre Grad Intern) Sophomore Diana Doan

"The IE Pre Graduate Internship opened up my future to an unknown world. My experience with the internship surpassed all my expectations. I had incredible mentors, and a wonderful support system. I heard so many amazing talks from various speakers. I got to experience my first conference and learn more about the world of public health. I have such a better idea of how to go about things now, and I really am set in heading towards a higher degree after I finish my undergraduate studies." Read more.

Jennifer Hinojosa

Communication Sciences and Disorders Senior Jennifer Hinojosa

Jennifer discusses how the IE Pre Grad internship prepared her for graduate school by: involving her in an ongoing research project, enabling her to observe clinical therapy, and meeting with veteran graduate students who showed her the ropes. Read more.

Jennifer Krug

Psychology (Neuroscience IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior Jennifer Krug

"Time spent during the IE Pre Grad internship gave me valuable opportunities to evaluate the many aspects that make up the grad school experience. These experiences included valuable wet lab practice and research familiarity in my area of interest, the chance to interact with mentors and top researchers in the neuroscience field at the annual meeting of the Pavlovian Society, observing and at times assisting my mentor TA a lower division biology class and learning the countless rules that one must follow when conducting research on live animals. The most imperative lesson I have learned is to make sure that I visit the lab I intend to apply to! Maybe even plan a couple surprise visits." Read more.

Sarah Fard

Educational Psychology IE Pre Grad Intern Sarah Fard

"I have never been nave to the commitment it takes to succeed in graduate school, yet, before my IE Pre Grad internship experience, the commitment seemed overwhelming and intimidating. Surviving graduate life now seems to be in the realm of possibility. Although my commitment was always strong, the internship has helped me gain perspective so that I am now confident that the value of a graduate degree to my career goals will be enough to motivate me even during the most frustrating times." Read more.

Justin Hilburn

Computer Sciences (Math Pre Grad Intern) Senior Justin Hilburn

"I'm very grateful that through the IE Pre Grad Internship I had the opportunity to learn more about myself and discover whether grad school is right for me. Regardless of whether I decide to pursue a career in academia or not I am certain that my experiences this semester will help me succeed." Read more.

Radha Vyas

Geological Sciences/Geography Senior Radha Vyas

"At the beginning of the semester, I fully intended to proceed to graduate school for a master's degree after I finished my bachelor's degree. As the semester progressed, I discovered that there was a lot more that I needed to understand both in school and in life before I could commit myself to another two years of school. As part of the IE Pre Grad Internship, I was lucky enough to attend the Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Meeting all of the faculty and students there helped me to gain a new perspective and become even more enthusiastic about geology. It helped me to strengthen my decision to join the work force, and even made me all the more excited about working as a hydrogeologist. It also helped me to still be enthusiastic about some day returning to school." Read more.

Sienna Irwin

Astronomy Senior (Science Journalism Pre Grad Intern) Sienna Irwin

"As a science student, I wanted to see if I could make it as a science journalist. As a result of the IE Pre Grad Internship I now have a much better idea of where I want to go with my career, I'm planning on going to graduate school in science journalism and I know that I'll make it through just fine." Read more.

Chun Jung Chen

Biochemistry Senior Chun Jung Chen

"Besides getting experience in conducting research, the IE Pre Grad Internship gave me a chance to realize that research is not the only responsibility of a graduate student. Similar to an undergraduate student, graduate students also as to juggle the responsibilities of conducting research, going to class and working as a teaching assistant. All of these responsibilities are actually interrelated." Read more.

Yousef Seedham

Mathematics Senior Yousif Seedham

"The IE Pre Grad Internship opened for me a window so I can look at a small part of what grad school is like; this experience has forced me to question my motives and reasons. I had the chance to follow, interview and act like a grad student. Even more importantly this internship enabled me to speak and interact with other students dealing with similar questions and doubts about their decision. Simply put, IE allowed me to try living the life of a grad student for a semester before committing to becoming one." Read more.

Alletia Smith

Pre-Law Intern Alletia Smith

"Having the opportunity to participate in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship internship has been one of the most hands on and useful classes I have taken at this university. From weekly meetings and law society activities, to interning at a law firm and also attending conferences, I was able to see all sides of not only what law school would be like, but also the different aspects and areas of practice a law degree can be applied to. This class was really helpful to me as a 1st generation college student and an African American female, showing me why I should continue higher education past my bachelors. With this class I was able to gain a lot of very important information about what I need to do to become a better law school candidate." Read more.

Lauren Hutchison

Marketing Pre Grad Intern Lauren Hutchison

"I first learned about the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship program during a presentation about graduate school last fall. I jumped at the opportunity to immerse myself in a course that allowed undergraduates to simulate a graduate student lifestyle. It has been a wonderful experience. I plan to study for the GMAT this summer and take the exam sometime next fall. I will apply to marketing PhD programs in December." Read more.

Heather Jo

Government (Sociology IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior Heather Jo

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship has truly opened my eyes and given me insight into what I can expect from a life of a graduate student. Furthermore, without this opportunity, I would have found out the hard way if a certain path was right for me or not. Throughout this semester, I found myself talking to professors, advisors and reading the reflections from the other IE students about their journey in learning about graduate school. I had to completely abandon my pre-conceptions about graduate school and I learned from my mentor and the other graduate students during the discussion panel in one of the IE meetings about what to expect." Read more.

Bryan Richardson

African American Studies and Cultural Anthropology Senior
Bryan Richardson

"The IE Pre Graduate School Internship was an important experience. It allowed me to glimpse the intricacies and everyday activities of graduate students and university professors. It has solidified my decision to pursue graduate study and to teach on the collegiate level. As a result of this internship I have realized both the dearth of scholars of color in academia and the importance of the particular projects that these scholars often choose to research. Overall, it proved that the work I intend to do is important and lacking in much of the current literature on gender, sexuality, and queer theory. I am now even more convinced that I was meant to become a scholar." Read more.

Michelle Horstmann

Speech Language Pathology Student Michelle Horstmann

"The IE program allowed me to face my fear of grad school. Without the IE program, I would have felt lost in my decision. Instead, I was guided and nurtured under wonderful mentors." Read more.

Margorie McLenan

Pre-Law Senior Margorie McLenan

"Overall the Pre Graduate Internship Program has been a great benefit to my personal growth not only as a prospective law school student but as a person. Through this program I have been able to assess some of my fears when it comes to my future and also explore the myth that is law school. This has been especially beneficial to me because I come from a home where neither one of my parents attended graduate school programs and thus were not a resource to me when it came to advising." Read more.

Lauren McCarty

Music Studies (Instrumental) Senior Lauren McCarty

"The IE Pre Grad Internship gave me a new perspective for fulfilling that about which I am passionate. One thing that stuck out to me when faculty members came to speak with interns was that each one of them said something like, 'if you are not passionate and don't love what you are in, then get out now' It didn't matter if it was liberal arts, mathematics, science, or music as long as it was what you love then pursue it with all you have." Read more.

Elsa Yeung

Biology (Ecology, Evolution & Behavior IE Pre Grad Intern) Senior
Elsa Yeung

"The IE Pre Grad internship allowed me to experience a slice of life in graduate school and has helped me reach my current decisions about what I will do in the recent future to achieve the goals of my distant future. I have learned the ups the downs of creating a research project and I have had a peek into the current world of research, which I hope to soon be a part of. I am happy to have been a part of this internship and will definitely use the knowledge I have gained from it in many years to come." Read more.

Jennifer Adams

Speech-Language-Pathology Junior Jennifer Adams

"The IE Pre Grad Internship allowed me to be completely honest with my grad mentor and ask her questions that I thought I was expected already to know: from how to apply to grad school to data analysis. If I hadn't participated in this program, I don't know if I ever would have had such a real and meaningful understanding of what grad school is like! After a semester of shadowing a grad student, I feel prepared to apply to a graduate program and I now know that it is a part of my future that I look forward to, rather than something to fear." Read more.

Jessica Eaglin

Journalism Senior (and LBJ School of Public Affairs Pre Grad Intern) Jessica Eaglin

"Overall, this mentorship has solidified my interest in obtaining a M.P. Aff from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in the near future. It has also motivated me to study leadership in graduate school and inspired me to lead ethically as a future politician." Read more.

Michael McGehee

Government Senior (Pre-Law Intern) Michael McGehee

"The most valuable thing I gained from the IE Pre Grad Internship is assurance that the legal field is something I want to pursue. Epictetus, the person credited for starting the philosophical view of stoicism, says that, if a person wants to truly pursue a career, he or she must find out what it entails. This course allowed me to heed Epictetus words of wisdom because I was able to find out more about law school than otherwise would have been possible." Read more.

Shanetta Tyre

Social Work Senior Shanetta Tyre

"Through interviewing local social workers in the area of interest, researching schools online, talking with current graduate students, attending information sessions, and visiting campuses, I finished this semester with a better sense of what graduate school will be like and which school might be best for me. Dedicating a semester to investigate graduate school has taken away some of my anxiety about graduating." Read more.

Damilare Ajibade

Biomedical Engineering IE Pre Grad Intern Damilare Ajibade

"I chose to involve myself in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship partly because I saw it as a way to gain some insight into the inner workings of Graduate school specifically in the biomedical field. I certainly see the benefit of the program; it has helped me understand what it takes to be successful in graduate school apart from the desire to work hard and learn. Graduate school can be very rewarding if I do my research ahead of time and make sure that the project, school, and professor that I work with are the best fit for me." Read more.

Gloria Gonzalez

Human Biology Senior (ITP Criminology Pre Grad) Gloria Gonzalez

"The IE Pre Grad Internship is not just any class but it is a one that has allowed me to discover a lot about myself. It has also forced me to reevaluate my goals and figure out what I really to do with my life. The internship made me realize that once you find something you are passionate about you should pursue it. And above all, consistent with the purpose of the internship class, I learned that what you gain from life is determined by what you put into it." Read more.

Ariell Hardy

Human Development and Family Sciences graduate Ariell Hardy

"'All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education' (Sir Walter Scott). By participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, I have taken a 'hand' in my own education. My mentor was Sydnye Allen, a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. Sydnye was a great match for me as she is an African-American female, like myself, and has numerous interests similar to mine. I am proud to say that next year, I will be moving to New York, New York to attend Columbia University! It is amazing to me that I applied to six graduate schools and I have been accepted into every one! I attribute much of this success to the help of my wonderful mentor, Sydnye and the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program!" Read more.

Ariell's experience is featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cristina Limas

Communication Studies graduate Cristina Limas

"The IE Pre Grad School Internship was more than a learning experience--it was a life experience. For the first time, I got a taste of what graduate school is all about. A doctorate was something I had never considered, but now I feel it is one career path I would want to pursue. The IE program broadened my career choices." Read her comments.

Christina's experience is featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

An article about Cristina appeared in On Campus.

Victoria Bilban

Accounting (Economics IE Pre Grad Intern) Sophomore
Victoria A. Bilban

"It was through the IE internship that I was able to gain a better grasp of the subject matter I wish to pursue going forth with my undergraduate education. While I no longer wish to pursue graduate work in economics, I have reaffirmed my love for the analytical and theoretical. It is through this internship, that I was exposed to a real life application integrating economic models, math, and business. It is this that I wish to pursue more fully. I am so thankful I took on this internship at an early stage in my undergraduate career (as a sophomore)." Read more.

Danielle Folsom

Government/Communication Junior Danielle Folsom

"For many students the IE program can solidify an already chosen life plan and start the path to making it a reality; for students like me it can change their entire future goal. I found the IE program so rewarding and helpful in my exploration of graduate scholarship, because the parameters of the internship allowed me to sample and accomplish so much within a short period of time and while in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. Graduate study requires a lot of planning and soul-searching before one decides to devote his/her life to it, and the specialized nature of each internship, working one-on-one with a graduate or faculty mentor, allows a person to explore, question and grow without fear, not unlike the entire graduate school experience itself." Read more.
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Ana Lucia Hurtado

Psychology senior Ana Lucia Hurtado

Ana undertook the IE Pre Grad Internship in the School of Law, working with faculty in the Children's Rights Center (CRC). The internship dispelled many of her misconceptions about law, showing her how law school and a legal career might fulfill her personal and professional commitments.

Ana Lucia's reflections on her IE internship were published in a 2007 article in Change Magazine. In addition, Ana Lucia wrote about how the IE philosophy might be used to improve undergraduate education in an Op-Ed in the Dallas Morning News.

Ana's story is featured in the Austin American-Statesman.

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Applied Learning & Development Senior Elizabeth Camarena

"I realized that the ideas I had about graduate school were not clear and realistic prior to the internship and its experiences. I was able to really see what grad school was all about and have it demystified. It was a wonderful experience to be able to investigate the 'ins' and 'outs' of the graduate school application process. The relationship between my mentor and I has grown to allow us to continue working on ideas in which I can continue observing, learning and growing." Read more.

W. Ryan Powers

English graduate Ryan Powers

"In a way, the IE internship is a culture study. Participants in the program explore today's society, specifically that immediate dogged competition int he scholarly world. The program does not offer a text book to study from, notes to take, or a new vocabulary to ingrain in your mind. The program does offer a field experiment, in whcih you can live the professional life or something like it for a few weeks and experience first hand the demands of studying and producing, thinking and working at the same time." Read Ryan's internship summary.

Angela Yang

Asian Cultures and Languages (Pre-Law) Senior Angela Yang

Angela discusses her unique journey and what she discovered about herself and her aspirations during the course of the IE Pre Grad Internship. Read about her epiphanies and how her plans are changing.

America Perez

CSD (Speech/Language Pathology) senior America Perez

"Currently, I am a senior at the University of Texas at Austin and I'm majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. As a senior I was faced with many important decisions that could determine the outcome of my life. There are many options after graduation, but my first thought was to continue on to graduate school and become a speech pathologist. Although this was my first choice I wanted to make sure it was the right choice for me. Now, near the end of the internship, I'm even more excited to go to graduate school than before. I feel that this internship offered me the opportunity to see how different graduate school is compared to studying as an undergraduate; it also reassured my decision of attending graduate school." Read more.

Evan Autry

Pre-Law senior Evan Autry

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship experience not only exposed me to different ways of thinking; it changed my life. Everyday--students and faculty alike--wake up and dedicate their time to pursuing a better world. The study and promotion of human rights cannot limit itself to academia, so most of these people play dual roles of scholar and activist. As an intern, I had the opportunity to explore how I wanted to make a difference. The IE internship at the Center for Human Rights and Justice allowed me to grow intellectually, experience graduate school first hand, and granted me a wonderful perspective about human rights and global affairs." Read more.

Mayra Hernandez

Social Work senior Mayra Hernandez

"Participating in this Intellectual Entrepreneurship course has been one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. As a child, I always envisioned myself as a successful, educated and professional individual; however, I never knew exactly what it meant to be any of these three things. My parents never had the opportunity to get a high school or even college education, yet they always pushed my brothers and me to work hard in school. Taking part in the IE Pre Grad Internship really helped me define who I am, what I want in the future, and discover what it means to be a successful, educated and professional individual." Read more.

Mayra's story is featured in the Austin American-Statesman.

Mayra's story is spotlighted in a UT web banner feature.

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Emily Underriner

Civil Engineering Senior Emily Underriner

"Through the IE Pre Grad Internship I feel I have had a glimpse into the world of graduate students that I would not otherwise have had. I was introduced to the reality of research not just coming together and working smoothly, but rather requiring new thought, hypothesizing, trying things out, and not always working. This is a reality of research and graduate school that I believe engineering undergraduates do not understand until thrust into it." Read more.

Mead Turner

Geological Sciences senior Mead Turner

Sometimes the biggest revelation emerging from students' experiences in the IE Pre Grad Internship is that pursuing advanced studies may not be the "right" decision---or at least not in the immediate future. This was the discovery made by Mead Turner. Read more.

Uche Osamor

Mechanical Engineering Senior Uche Osamor

"The pre-grad internship experience not only gave me a better insight on research but it also changed my perceptions about the graduate experience. I would recommend this program to others because it has been both a valuable and rewarding experience for me." Read more.

Sociology and Law IE Pre Grad Intern Tina Le

"One thing I learned from being in the IE internship from working with my mentor is that the only constant thing in school is change. Before this internship, I would have thought taking a year off was a bad idea, but after listening to current graduate's students about what they have done in the past, or wish they would have done, helped guide me in making my decision. Through this program, I am able to admit, I'm not ready for graduate school and I'm glad I realized this now rather than later." Read more.

Brianne Cryer

Anthropology Senior Brianne Cryer

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship was instrumental in clarifying my reasons for going into higher education, assisting in my decisions of what and where I want to study, and defining the necessary course for accomplishing my ambitions. The work I am doing with my graduate student mentor has helped this goal become reachable as she provides guidance in my application process and the defining of my interests. Her presence has been a significant resource that I did not have before the internship." Read more.

Jesus Correa

Neuroscience (Psychology) senior Jesus Correa

"Until participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship I was feeling very set on only medical school. The IE Internship opened my mind up to the MD/PhD path! For that I am thankful. I feel more confident than I used to about choosing the MD/PhD path in neuroscience. By learning more about the MD/PhD program, I learned that I can combine my interests in research with those in clinical responsibilities. The ability to coherently discuss what I like about research and even specific research problems is something I improved on during this internship. I gained a better understanding of what I want to do and what path to take as well." Read more.

Kate Kovac

Spanish (Hispanic Studies) senior Kate Kovac

"Being able to participate in the IE Pre Graduate School Internship in the fall of my senior year is possibly the most useful and relevant experience I have had this semester with regard to my future. Before partaking in my internship, I had always assumed that I would attend graduate school even though I did not know for what specifically. Over my course of undergraduate study, interests outside of my field became very apparent and interrelated though very different from my chosen major of Spanish. I didn't quite know what to make of my interdisciplinary interests, and frankly, was starting to get scared with what was to come. Luckily, the Pre Graduate School Internship and my mentor Erin Redmond came before things got scarier." Read more.

Andrew Kelson

Business (MBA) Pre Grad Intern Andrew Kelson

"I spent the majority of my time during the IE Pre Grad internship shadowing my graduate student mentor. Being that I'm interested in getting an MBA, it was a unique experience to be able to walk step by step through the past few months with a first-semester MBA student. I was able to see how much time, teamwork, and mental toughness is needed to make through a first semester. I must be able to manage these three aspects of grad school in order to be successful. Through working with my mentor I have learned not only about the MBA program here, but also about what it takes to be an organized businessman as well as someone who pursues everything they wish in spite of the strains several tasks may put on you." Read more.

Sherry Cheng

Electrical Engineering/Plan II senior Sherry Cheng

"My internship this semester turned the myth of graduate research into a realizable goal. I used to say I was interested in going to graduate school, but I never actually knew what that meant. After taking on this internship, I'm relieved to find that I enjoy it. And I can make a better judgment about whether to pursue a PhD in the future." Read more.

Dariela Almeda

Biomedical Engineering Senior Dariela Almeda

Dariela discusses how the IE internship allowed her to learn about graduate school by working in the laboratory with her graduate mentor. She explains how she traveled to a scholarly conference as part of the internship and how this helped her decide that graduate school and research are the right career choice for the future. Read more.

Michael Kneeland

Corporate Communication Senior Michael Kneeland

"Whether a student is looking to experience what research and dissertations are about or how to write a personal statement, the IE program is the best pipeline of information for graduate school. The IE program allowed me to shift my focus from merely midterm/exam cram to really applying my knowledge base to practical settings, notably analytics. The work I did in IE was a great platform for me to decide that an advanced 'applied' degree was definitely in reach." Read more.

Kathleen Rust

Physical Anthropology Pre Grad Intern Kathleen Rust

"Not only did this internship give me the opportunity to learn more about anatomy and research, it also taught me more about myself and what future I would like. I have a passion for learning and exploring new research and feel that I would do well in graduate school; however, from this internship I now recognize the many different factors in deciding if and when to attend graduate school. My internship led me to new ideas regarding graduate school and has even led me to consider medical school. Quite honestly, I would have made some hasty decisions to go straight into graduate school if I had not been given the opportunity to participate in this internship. If anything, I am now fully equipped to make the right decisions for myself regarding graduate school and my position in academia in the future." Read more.

Alejandro Rodriguez

Theater & Dance Senior Alejandro Rodriguez

"My parents are Mexican immigrants and so I didn't have much experience getting into College in the first place and much less Grad school. The IE Pre Grad School Internship allowed me the opportunity to really know what I was going to be, really research good grad schools and what to look for in a grad school. I don't think there is another experience that could have taught me more about graduate school than this program." Read more.

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Alejandro's experience is featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Andrew Smith

Musicology/Ethnomusicology Senior Andrew Smith

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Grad Internship was an excellent opportunity for me as an undergraduate student to explore and give myself a responsibility that I hadn't had as an undergrad here at UT. I think that what I've taken most from the experience is actually the relationship that I gained with my mentor." Read more.

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Melissa Montes

Business (Marketing) Pre Grad Intern

"Going into this internship, I didn't know a single thing about grad school. I didn't even know the difference between a Master's and a PhD. I've learned so much it's truly beyond anything I would've expected to get out of this course. I have so much knowledge I know I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise that I almost feel like this internship course should be a requirement for all undergraduate students. The IE internship course gave me more than any textbook or lecture could've given me. It gave me knowledge of what I'm capable of becoming and the endless possibilities the future holds for me." Read more.

Justin Jefferson

Biology (Molecular Biology Pre Grad Intern) Sophomore
Justin Jefferson

"Enrolling in the Pre Graduate School Internship has been very beneficial to my decision on whether or not I will be attending graduate school. There were many truths that I found about graduate school. I strongly recommend this program to any person considering going to graduate school. In this program, the truths about graduate school were brought to light, and I mean everything from financial to social issues. I was paired with a great mentor, Deena Walker, and she gave me great insight on what graduate school would be like." Read more.

Allison Archer

Audiology Senior Allison Archer

"The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program has been invaluable to me! I had both a grad student mentor and a faculty member who oversaw us. The most initially helpful aspect of the internship was getting to discuss graduate school applications and GRE preparation with my student mentor. Being the first person in my family to go to Graduate School, and not having older friends in college, I had no idea that there even was such a thing as the GRE! I've also been able to sit in on hearing screenings and hearing aid fittings; I have not only seen how the procedures are carried out but also how the students interact with the patients and make them feel comfortable. Before the IE program, I had not known how much the students actually worked with patients or that they actually started meeting with them in their first year of graduate school." Read more.

Pascale Jbeily

Human Relations (Communication Studies) Senior Pascale Jbeily

"What an educational and life changing experience it has been @ The University of Texas-Austin through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship course work. It all began when I had raised questions about what my purpose in life could possibly be after undergrad work. Perhaps the most amazing opportunity that I was granted, also through the IE program, was to attend The National Communication Association Convention in Chicago. It was a 4-day ordeal, which answered all my questions and allowed me to shift my way of thinking from the undergraduate way, to reallocating into the end of the spectrum, which took me to finding out more about the students who don't stop until they reach their Ph.D. title." Read more.

IE Alum Featured in Austin Woman Magazine (February, 2011).

Gabriel Sepulveda

Government (Law IE Pre Grad Intern) Junior Gabriel Sepulveda

"Throughout someone's college career there are many decisions that must be made, like majors, minors, and future plans. Unfortunately none of these decisions are ever easy and some students are left with perplexing dilemmas. In order to best facilitate such difficult choices there are steps students can take to help guide them to hopefully the right decisions. In all the tools available to students nothing can compare to the IE Pre Grad internship. The benefits of this internship can not be understated. It truly helped me solidify my interest in a career in law and more specifically my desire to be a corporate lawyer. I do not know how I could have amassed this wealth of knowledge about Grad school without this internship." Read more.

IE Pre Grad School Internship: What Mentors Say

Clare Brock

Government Graduate Student Clare Brock

One of the best indicators of IE’s success is how it continues to be exported to other universities. Professor Clare Brock, a former UT IE Pre Grad Internship graduate student mentor, explains how her rewarding IE experience is leading to the development of a similar initiative at TWU. Read more.

Matt Bowers

Kinesiology and Health Education Doctoral Student Matt Bowers

"Having spent the past two semesters working with three undergraduate interns through the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, I can assert without reservation that the IE experience represents what a world class university education should be: personal attention between students and mentors, the freedom to pursue intellectual interests in a relatively autonomous environment, and the promotion of a culture that values the process of learning as much as the outcome. IE is an opportunity to discover - or rediscover - the meaning of education." Read more.
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Jessica Kemp

Law Mentor/Intern Jessica Kemp

Jessica Kemp (JD, 2010), a first generation student, details her experiences as an intern and mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program.
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Eben Gering

Biology (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) Graduate Student
Eben Gering

"Mentoring through the IE program proved a steep but useful learning curve for me, and the skills I obtained will be tremendously helpful in advising future researchers at the undergraduate or graduate level. I am now more comfortable cultivating every component of a research project, from inspiring questions to devising experiments and analyses to answer them. Mentoring was not easy. In the end there are many things I would have done differently. But I'm grateful to the IE program for allowing me to make these 'mistakes' before I have graduate students of my own! And I'm doubly thankful that Ashley is enthusiastic about continuing to work with me. I think we are proceeding in exciting directions, and that I will continue to learn and take joy from my experience as a mentor." Read more.

Jenna Hanchey

Communication Studies Graduate Student Jenna Hanchey

“I was on the job market this year, and my mentorship experience was continually brought up in job interviews. Serving as an IE mentor is part of what helped me secure a position as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. As part of my new job, I will be serving as the faculty mentor for the Lambda Pi Eta Society, a national undergraduate communication honor society. I already have a number of ideas to improve the society; working with Brandon (my IE Pre Grad intern) helped me to understand what kinds of opportunities students need and want in learning about communication.” Read more.

Elle Shuo Jin

Clinical Neuroendocrinology Graduate Student Ellie Shuo Jin

Ellie Shuo Jin describes how being an IE Pre Grad mentor has been one of the most valuable experiences in her graduate career. Read more.

Niamh Kelly

Linguistics Graduate Student Niamh Kelly

"Being an IE Program mentor provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the factors that motivated me to attend grad school in the first place. It reminded me of my passion for linguistics and on the life experiences that brought me here. I plan on being a professor some day and this experience allowed me to improve those skills and to see things from the perspective of an undergraduate student - something that is too quickly forgotten!" Read more.

Rian Carkhum

Education Policy and Planning

Rian Carkhum, a first generation doctoral student, served as a Mentor in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Internship program. Rian had the honor of introducing the President of the United States when he spoke on campus in August, 2010. In this video Rian describes her role as an IE Mentor, explaining how she helped her intern navigate the pathway to graduate school.

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Nick Brody

Communication Studies Graduate Student Nick Brody

Nick was an IE Pre Grad intern and served as an IE graduate student mentor several times before receiving his PhD from UT in 2013. He explains how vital IE was to his academic and career development. Read more.

Veronica Rivera-Negron

Theatre and Dance IE Pre Grad mentor Verónica Rivera-Negrón

“One of the most rewarding experiences I had so far in graduate school was working as a mentor in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate School Internship. It was very satisfying to witness the professional and intellectual growth of my mentee, Mahalia, as well as mine, throughout the semester and a half we spent together. On a personal level, both my student and I identify as women of color. Therefore, we often discussed the necessity of our voices and experiences being shared in academic spaces, which is why we are very enthusiastic of her future in graduate school.” Read more.

John Lisle

History of Science Doctoral Student John Lisle

"The IE experience is important to both undergraduate and graduate students. Since I'm pursuing a degree in a particularly narrow field, the history of science, I felt it was especially important and encouraging to meet another student with similar interests. Importantly, I knew that because we shared these interests there would be a lot of my own experience to share that would directly apply to my undergraduate's future: the application process, graduate classes, etc." Read more

Megann McGill

Speech-Language Pathologist Doctoral Student Megann McGill

Since arriving at UT, Megann has served as an IE Mentor for 10 Pre Grad interns. She describes how IE enabled her students to gain research and clinical skills and afforded her a unique mentorship experience. Read more.

Julie Milligan Hughes

Psychology Doctoral Student Julie Milligan Hughes

"The best thing for me about being a mentor in the IE Pre Grad internship program is that it has given me the opportunity to practice a role that is very important in my field----to explore and learn what it's like to be personally responsible for the growth of a student." Read more.
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Jessie Yang

Communications Sciences & Disorders Graduate Student Jessie Yang

We are enormously proud of Jessie Yang who during her tenure as a graduate student in communication sciences and disorders served as a mentor for 15 IE Pre Grad interns. Over half of her students have gone on to graduate school-and over half are the first in their family to attend college, come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or are member of underrepresented minority groups. Read what she and her interns learned.

Ruby Olmanson

Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Student Ruby Olmanson

"The IE Pre Graduate School internship allowed for me to invite a Latina undergraduate studying bilingual/bicultural education to participate in a study researching thoughts on immigration/border crossings among Latino elementary students. As an immigrant and a daughter of immigrants respectively, my mentee and I found that our language, traditions and similar cultural experiences strengthened our relationship. Just like my parents were apprenticed by their friends into a scary world that was oftentimes unwelcoming, my time with my mentee has been an apprenticeship into the workings of the academy as well as into the dominant culture in general." Read more.

Deena Walker

Pharmacy (Neuroscience) Doctoral Student Deena Walker

"My role as an IE Pre Grad mentor in the fall of '07 was an incredibly rewarding experience. Usually the students I work with have already determined what they want to do with their future and how to make it work. This was not the case during this internship. I found myself explaining the process of pursuing a graduate/advanced degree rather than teaching new techniques. This was helpful to me because it made me think about my own process and gave me insight into why I chose this path for myself. His motivation and interest in my work served to ignite my passion for my graduate project." Read more.

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Miha Vindis

Global Policy Studies (LBJ School) Graduate Student Miha Vindis

"It is a privilege to work with the next generation of potential graduate students. These are some of the likely future leaders, be it in academia or in practice, and having the opportunity to help them focus their interests is a very productive task. My mentee and I spent considerable time discussing graduate schools, specializations, employment opportunities, the value of experience and various academic issues. I could see how my advice was helping Briar identify opportunities and then tackle them. This was very rewarding, especially for someone who aspires to be a professor. I believe that educating the next generation is the most vital task we can perform -in formal and informal settings." Read more.

Sarah Williams

Audiology Doctoral Student Sarah Williams

"My first year as an Audiology doctoral student at UT Austin has been enriched greatly by two bright and promising undergraduate students in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders through the IE program. I'm proud to have had influence on the success of two women's careers through IE. Making a positive difference, no matter how small, in the future of Audiology and the Communication Sciences, as an IE mentor is something that I will cherish forever." Read more.

Elizabeth O'Brien

History Doctoral Student Elizabeth O'Brien

"The IE Pre Graduate School Mentorship gave me the opportunity to reflect on pedagogical and mentoring strategies, and it facilitated my mentee's transition from an undergraduate student to a scholar." Read more.

Mickey Langlais

School of Human Ecology-Human Development and Family Sciences Graduate Student Mickey Langlais

"As a mentor, I came into the IE experience with the evolving mind of a student who was willing to learn and ask questions. I learned how to conceptualize ideas in a different manner. My intern was always able to give a varying perspective in our research, particularly from the mindset of a minority group, which helped me formulate more distinct hypotheses and research questions. Her ideas were crucial in the development of all of our projects this semester. My intern transformed this semester from an undergraduate student to a confident, experienced scholar." Read more.

Karin Maxey

Germanic Studies Doctoral Student Karin Maxey

"As an undergraduate, I had a faculty mentor who helped me decide what to do after college and how best to pursue my interest in Germanic Studies. Initially, it was this opportunity that inspired me to become a professor, in the hope that I could give that vital experience to someone else. Thanks to the IE program, I was able to start working on that goal much earlier than I expected. On a personal level, being a part of the IE program urged me to reflect more on why I chose to keep studying. My intern inspired me to think about the questions that inspire my own teaching and research." Read more.

Xiao Pu

Electrical and Computer Engineering Doctoral Student Xiao Pu

"I think it's very rewarding to introduce a junior to a research project as part of mentorship such as this. Being an IE Pre Grad mentor is different than teaching a regular class in that the student has to define the project in all stages and organize his time and efforts to finish it. This made the IE internship valuable course." Read more.

Steven James

Philosophy Doctoral Student Steven James

"I have found the IE experience particularly valuable for three reasons. First, it helped remind me about the kinds of issues bright students struggle with when first trying to properly conduct philosophical research. This helped me to think more clearly about the kinds of challenges my own students may be facing when simply trying to engage with philosophical material at the introductory level. Second, it gave me the opportunity to think about how I can be most helpful when students and colleagues come to me for professional advice. Third, the experience was personally rewarding in so far as I felt as though I was having a direct impact on someone's progress with things in which they have particular interests. This is much harder to find in the general classroom setting." Read more.

Jessica Weiss

Art History Doctoral Student Jessica Weiss

Jessica explains how serving as an IE Mentor provided opportunities not
afforded her as a TA or AI--something more akin to the relationship she has with her own dissertation advisor. Read more.

Lacy Urbantke

Communication Studies Doctoral Student (Organizational Communication) Lacy Urbantke

"The IE Pre Grad internship experience afforded me the opportunity to truly witness and have access to the authentic graduate school experience in a way that isn't possible in the traditional classroom setting. Because the curriculum and requirements are negotiated between the student and mentor, access to information and the opportunities for learning were virtually limitless." Read more.

Paul Michels

English Graduate Student Paul Michels

"In addition to watching my intern grow and mature, the IE Pre Grad Internship allowed me to rethink some of my assumptions about my own position within a university, within a college, within a department, with particular faculty, with my colleagues. In assisting my intern to assess her goals, values, and desires for her graduate education, I was simultaneously reassessing my own position within a graduate program." Read more.

Stacy Drake

Anthropology Doctoral Student Stacy Drake

Stacy Drake, who already has served as a mentor for six interns, spent a month this summer in northwestern Belize conducting archaeological research on the ancient Maya. Several of Stacy's IE students worked with her in Belize and another conducted archaeological and forensic investigations in Romania. She describes the importance of this experience. Read more.

Lindsay Olinde

Geological Sciences Graduate Student Lindsay Olinde

Lindsay describes her work this with an IE Pre Grad intern and the many ways it is paying off--including her student being hired as a researcher. Lindsay also describes how being a mentor allowed her to pay it forward. Read more.

Karyn Wheeler

Human Development & Family Sciences Graduate Student
Karyn Wheeler

"My experiences as a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program were completely not what I expected. I went into this thinking I would either have a wonderful new helper who would work with me often, or I would have someone I would need to really 'watch over' and couldn't trust with a lot of responsibilities. Not knowing a lot of undergraduates personally, I didn't know what to expect, but assumed my opinions of my mentee would not change. I couldn't have been more wrong." Read more.

Cecelia Phillips

Studio Art Graduate Student Cecelia Phillips

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has given me the opportunity to not only show a student the pros and cons of graduate study, but to also re-think my own trajectory and to re-affirm the choices that I made myself to arrive where I am at, and I celebrate that opportunity." Read more.

Li Ma

Cell and Molecular Biology Doctoral Student Li Ma

"As a graduate student and IE Mentor, I am very happy to have such a chance not only to help a student learn something in microbiology, but also to gain a valuable experience in teaching. This type of experience is distinctively different from the experience one might gain from teaching a class; it requires extensive interactions and a lot of scientific thinking and doing. This will greatly benefit my future career in academia." Read more.

Lorraine Dong

Information Studies Graduate Student Lorrie Dong

Lorrie Dong describes the mutually rewarding experience of being a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program. Read more.

Meghann Flynn

Social Work Graduate Student Meghann Leigh Flynn

Social Work graduate student Meghann Leigh Flynn shares the joy she experienced as an IE Mentor and anticipates the role reversal she and her intern will now undertake. What a wonderful example of interns and mentors learning from each other and becoming colleagues in the same profession. Read more.

Omar Ochoa

Law Student and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review Omar Ochoa

"I really enjoyed my experience as a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program. I had two students in the fall of 2010 and liked it so much I worked with two more in the spring of 2011. It was exciting to introduce them to classes, professors, practitioners, and other law students so they could get a sense of what life was like in law school and in the legal world. I remember what it was like when I had lots of questions, and to be able to share my experiences with someone who is at the same situation made me feel I was providing a great contribution to someone's education and future. Being a mentor gave me the opportunity to see what it was like to be a teacher and develop an academic relationship with a student. Answering questions about what I do in law school allowed me to reflect on my experiences in a way that makes me appreciate the tremendous experience I've gained. Helping them research the various opportunities in the legal profession has also allowed me to sharpen my own goals." Read more.

William Assaf

MPA Graduate Student Wm. Jamil Assaf

"Working with Christina Grigalis as a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program was a surprising and interesting experience. By sharing my experiences that I have had at The University of Texas at Austin, I have been able to reflect and learn from my own experiences, perhaps in a manner that I would not have otherwise." Read more.

Irene Garza

American Studies (Mexican American Studies) Graduate Student
Irene Garza

"Serving as a mentor to a first-generation college student and fellow Mexican-American through the IE program has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I've had. In writing Eduardo's syllabus, assisting him with the completion of his final research paper, taking him to his first national scholarly conference, or even setting up meetings with UT faculty, I too have honed my skills as the type of educator I hope to be and the type of pedagogy I hope to practice. My commitment as a scholar of color and responsibility to other similarly situated students has grown tenfold a result of participation in IE." Read more.

Caroline Christopher

Child Development Doctoral Candidate Caroline Christopher

"My experience as a mentor in the IE program is one that will stick with me throughout my career. I came to graduate school with two goals in mind. First, I wanted to learn how to be a competent and creative researcher. And, as a distant second, I wanted to get experience teaching and working with undergraduate students. This experience solidified my passion for mentoring. As opposed to my original post-graduation plan of finding jobs involving strictly research, I now plan on seeking out opportunities that allow me guide undergraduates as they work toward achieving their goals." Read more.

Laura Seay

Government Doctoral Student Laura Seay

"Before finding IE, I hadn't had the opportunity to do what will arguably be one of my most important tasks as a professor: mentoring and training a promising student in a one-to-one capacity. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program has been nearly perfect in filling that gap in my training. Working with a bright undergraduate student is rewarding in and of itself, but I've also learned how to advise a student on developing an independent research project, and I hope I've helped her to achieve her goal of being admitted to a prestigious graduate program. IE has also helped me to reflect on the type of educator I want to become." Read more.

Manu Aviles-Santiago

Radio-TV-Film Doctoral Student Manu Aviles-Santiago

"Eight years ago, as an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity of be part of the Summer Research Opportunity Program, a mentorship program. This experience made me realize--among many things-- how powerful an impact an intellectual role model has on the life of an undergraduate student. Because of my experience as a mentee, I realized that an excellent education needs to move beyond the confines of the classroom and I became a big advocate of mentor/apprentice initiatives. Because of my experiences, I decided to take part of the IE Pre Grad Internship." Read more.

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Marc Fleming

Pharmacy Doctoral Student Marc Fleming

"My experience with the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) is one that I will forever cherish. I have been a teaching assistant in the College of Pharmacy for four years, so teaching and advising students was very familiar for me. However, this experience was quite unique for me in the sense that I worked with my student similarly to how an advising or major professor would work with a student. This was particularly important for me because my plans following graduate school are to enter into academia. This experience has given me even more insight into what is required to guide a graduate student through their learning process, while managing your own research and commitments." Read more.

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Rebecca Vincelette

Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Student Rebecca Vincelette

"The IE mentorship program gave me an opportunity to function as a mentor like the kind I had at my small undergraduate university: one where the mentor fosters a relationship with an undergrad to demystify the world of graduate school answering any and all questions about the graduate process and offering pointers for how to open new doors in the beginnings of his/her research career. I wish more undergraduates and graduate students would interact in this manner at UT; I find it's easy for undergraduate and graduate students to remain isolated from one another." Read more.

Claudia Cervantes Nickel

Cultural Studies in Education Graduate Student
Claudia Cervantes Nickel

"'I'm not really sure of what I want to do.' Those were Abraham Peña's words when I first met him almost a year ago when I was his instructor for an Education course. As the end of this semester approaches, I am speechless at the transformation that Abraham has experienced and that I have had the privilege to witness. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program provided me with the opportunity to take part of this exciting, transformative, and empowering experience for Abraham, and in the process I have been impacted too." Read more.

Whitney Hamnett-Pirkle

MBA Graduate Student Whitney Hamnett-Pirkle

"The IE Pre Grad Internship often creates a reciprocal learning relationship between interns and mentors,and this is precisely what Whitney Hamnett-Pirkle was happy to discover." Read more.

Amanda Porter

Communication Studies Graduate Student (IE Mentor and previously Intern) Amanda Porter

"I was both an intern and a mentor in the IE Pre Grad program and have benefited in important ways from experiencing the mentor-intern relationship from both perspectives. As a first generation college graduate, I really had no prior reference for understanding what graduate school entailed; as an intern I developed an in-depth understanding of the graduate school culture. Now I am a graduate student and have taken on the role of being a mentor to another undergraduate student much like myself." Read more.

Luis Bonachea

Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Graduate Student Luis A. Bonachea

"As rewarding as the IE Pre Grad program was for my intern, I have to say it might have been even more rewarding for me. Graduate students entering academia will eventually need to learn to manage graduate students under them. While graduate students have always had the option of getting volunteers to assist them, the IE program formalizes this into a true mentor-mentee relationship, giving me valuable insight into what kind of advisor I will be one day, where my strengths are, and where I still need to improve." Read more.

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Carmen Gutierrez

Sociology Doctoral Student Carmen Marie Gutierrez

"I had the pleasure of working with IE Pre Grad Intern who like me was the first in her family to attend college. She assisted me with research on a Best Practices Review of Transition Planning for Homeless Populations leaving jails. This work will ultimately be presented to the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable. Not only was our work together practical for my intern, but it was incredibly insightful for me; the skills I acquired are invaluable as I act a resource for undergraduates as a TA in the Sociology Department." Read more.

Elias Ponvert

Linguistics Doctoral Student Elias Ponvert

"The IE Pre Grad Internship gave me the opportunity to give a potential future grad student some of the feedback and advice I wish I'd gotten when I was an undergrad. The IE program is unique and of enormous value to UT's educational mission. There simply isn't a similar opportunity for undergraduates or graduate students to receive the experiences and insight this program affords." Read more.

Elisabeth Graham

Music and Human Learning Graduate Student Elisabeth Marie Graham

Mentor Elisabeth explains how IE prepared her intern for a career in teaching. Read more.

Patrick Hickey

Government Doctoral Student Patrick Hickey

"As a mentor, my favorite part of the program is watching the interns mature, grow, and progress throughout the semester. What I like best about the IE program is the mentor's freedom to tailor activities to the intern's interests. I provide interns ideas on potential activities, and then offer them the chance to 'choose' their own adventure. This approach allows interns to take ownership of their academic journey. Watching them mature academically, make their own intellectual discoveries, and thrive on their own after their participation in the program reminds me why I went to graduate school in the first place." Read more.

Beliza Narvez

Theatre (Performance as Public Practice) Doctoral Student
Beliza Torres Narvez

"The IE Pre Grad Internship has been about learning how, like me, my intern (also a Latina student-one of the few in the department) can make her own path as a multifaceted, multidisciplinary artist. When Haydee realized she did not have to choose between one of her two passions she made an immediate shift and proactively - with a few tips I gave her-took steps to become the artist she wants to be. I am confident that soon Haydee will be an outstanding student in any graduate program she chooses to attend. She is the third student who I have mentored through IE and, just like my other mentees, working with Haydee has been as much about introducing her to graduate school life as it has been about creating a beautiful unlikely friendship with someone almost half my age." Read more.

Connie Steel

English Doctoral Student Connie Steel

"I am the first generation in my family to go to graduate school. I was lucky to have a caring professor informally mentor me. Even with her help, I remember having to take extra courses after graduation to complete prerequisites, being puzzled by the expensive application process and reeling with the culture shock of my first year in grad school. Now, I am progressing towards my doctorate and aspire to teach at the university level. I am happy that UT has the IE mentorship program to help de-mystify the arcane protocols and complicated procedures. Taking my intern to a professional conference made it easier for him to see himself as a future participant in an advanced degree program." Read more.

Amanda Towler

LBJ School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Amanda Towler

"I think one of the most important things my intern learned through the IE Pre Grad program is that graduate school is accessible. In the beginning she was intimidated by the idea of 'grad school,' but after seeing it up close, she realized that grad students are not super-geniuses, just ordinary people who are passionate about what they are studying. I also learned a few things through the IE program." Read more.

Oscar Vargas

Plant Biology Doctoral Student Oscar Vargas

Plant Biology doctoral student Oscar Vargas discusses the importance of the IE mentoring experience to one's professional development as a scientist. Read more.

Varsha Dadlani

MBA Graduate Student Varsha Dadlani

"Once students have a true understanding of where their interests lay, the probability of them being successful in the chosen field of work rises exponentially. The IE program offered my mentee (Doug) the perfect platform to achieve this! The experience has been very rewarding for me as well. In addition to guiding Doug's research efforts and giving my input, I have learned from the years of industry experience that he brings to the program." Read more.

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Foreign Language Education (Applied Linguistics) Doctoral Candidate Brandi DeMont

"What I was not expecting from this program was that I would have learned so much throughout the process. The IE Pre Grad Internship allows a graduate student mentor to play the roll that a tenure-track professor might assume. In discussing specific research areas as hypothetical research projects, in browsing my own collection of literature as reading material for my student, and in listening closely to my student's interests and ideas, I realized that I was practicing the roll that I would eventually play as a faculty member." Read more.

Kritika Agarwal

Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Student Kritika Agarwal

Kritika comments on how the IE pre-grad internship was a wonderful experience that enabled her to mentor a motivated undergraduate student interested in applying to graduate school and mixing academics with activism--to reduce gender disparity in access of public health. Read more.

Meredith Wright

French and Italian Doctoral Student Meredith Wright

"Through the IE Pre Grad Internship program, I have come to understand and appreciate the value of mentorship in my own studies. I know that, to expect solid mentorship as I write my dissertation, I need to be able to learn about how to provide that to my own students. Being a part of this program will definitely help me when seeking and providing mentorship in my future as a scholar and educator." Read more.

Anastasia Coon

Theatre and Dance MFA Graduate Student Anastasia Coon

Anastasia describes how, in her role as a mentor in the IE Pre Grad School Internship, she created opportunities for her intern to gain access to graduate level actors and actor training, exposure to Latin theatre artists, and to receive further course work in mask making, mask characterization and solo performance--all of which resulted in her intern being very successful in the creative process and product. Read more.

Juan Carrillo

Curriculum and Instruction Doctoral Student Juan Carrillo

"I sense that my IE Pre Grad mentee has new focus and purpose. She is a gifted student that often complained about her 'boring' non-critical coursework. Through the IE Pre Grad Internship she was able to tap into a space that challenges her to seek new pathways and opportunities. The future looks bright and I am honored to have had the chance to make a contribution to this end." Read more.

Jessica Moore

Communication Studies Doctoral Student Jessica Moore

"I read about the IE program when I was a doctoral student at UT and it seemed like a good way to start developing skills as a mentor since I knew that I would ultimately want and need to mentor undergraduate and graduate students in my career as a professor. Thus, in 2004 I served as mentor for Ashley Middleton. Yesterday (10/9/12) I learned that Ashley, who also served as a mentor during her Master's program at UT, just completed her PhD at the University of Illinois. What a full circle experience!" Read more.

Jessica Werneke

History Graduate Student Jessica Werneke

"Graduate school is markedly different from undergraduate school, in both student life and academic expectations. The IE Pre Grad Internship program provides graduate students with an opportunity to show undergrad students what is expected of them in graduate school, offering students the chance to practice their writing, reading, and research skills." Read more.

Kathleen O'Brien

Communication Sciences and Disorders Doctoral Student
Kathleen O'Brien

"Applying to graduate school and entering my first year of a doctoral program was a scary and confusing time for me. I don't know if I would have been able to do it without the help of some great professors and graduate students. When I was asked by a professor to be a graduate mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program, I thought it would be a great opportunity to be that person for someone else." Read more.

Ashley Smith

Human Development and Family Sciences Graduate Student
Ashley Smith

"The IE Pre Graduate Internship has been an invaluable experience that reinforced my reason for pursuing academia as a career: the opportunity to inspire curiosity in students and the desire to learn." Read more.

Ted Song

Electrical Engineering Doctoral Student Ted Junseok Song

"It has been a great privilege for me to participate in the IE Pre Grad Internship Program. Actually, it changed my mind about teaching. Before participating in IE, I never thought seriously about becoming a faculty member. I wanted to work in industry so that I could contribute to the advancement of technology. However, with this mentoring experience, I learned that how a good education can have a huge impact on students and society." Read more.

"" Watch a Video Clip of Ted and His Intern

Rochelle Roberts

Educational Psychology Doctoral Candidate Rochelle Roberts

"When I decided to participate in the IE Pre Graduate School Internship for this semester, I had anticipated that the experiences I have had so far as a fourth year doctoral student might be helpful to my intern. What I hadn't necessarily anticipated, though, was how incredibly helpful my intern would be to me. Now in the midst of working on my dissertation, I have realized I sometimes forget to take a step back and remind myself of my long term goals of attaining a PhD in Educational Psychology and helping to improve teaching and learning in higher education. My intern helped me reflect on those goals as she sought her own." Read more.

Matthew Tierney

Kinesiology Graduate Student Matthew Tierney

"Before I attended graduate school I wasn't sure how a graduate student's day was structured or the responsibilities they had, and I think shadowing a graduate student has given my IE pre-grad intern a much clearer idea of what to expect. There is also a large difference between studying something and researching it, and getting a taste for research will help her make that distinction. In addition, having someone asking questions about what I'm doing and why I do it has helped me to better understand my own research." Read more.

Laura Spagnolo

LBJ School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Laura Spagnolo

"Being a mentor for an undergraduate student in the IE Pre Grad Internship was a really enriching experience. At first, I didn't realize the impact that this internship could have on students but after meeting with my intern I knew that I could be a valuable resource to him just through sharing my experiences here at UT with him and also telling him about my decision to go to graduate school a few years before. I believe that the most important gain for my intern (who is a first-generation student) was to realize that graduate school is reachable and it depends strongly on his level of commitment and self-discipline." Read more.

Paula Kulis

Civil Engineering Graduate Student Paula Kulis

"I think that the IE Pre Grad internship enabled my intern to apply concepts that she learned in classes to a real situation. She was also exposed to the independent thought that goes into research - we don't have every step laid out for us before we begin, but we decide for ourselves what the next logical step should be as we move along. This mentality required her to take an initiative that is normally not required in class room work. As a mentor, I improved my skills in guiding independent thought without stifling creativity." Read more.

Ja-Mes Sloan

Law School Mentor Ja-Mes Sloan

"Having a mentee was a wonderful opportunity for me to remember why exactly I came to law school. My mentee's curiosity about all aspects of the legal profession was inspiring to me and encouraged me to renew my interest in the law and its pervasive presence in our society." Read more.

Nita Umashankar

Marketing Doctoral Student Nita Umashankar

"My IE Pre Grad intern (Melissa) and I began our working relationship with informal discussions about personal development. Being a sophomore at a large University, it is often customary for students, especially minority students, to feel burdened by not only academic pressures but also social demands. I have found that having a strong sense of self-esteem has enabled me to pursue higher education given my educational and personal circumstances. Hence, I thought it was important to discuss with Melissa issues concerning confidence and self-efficacy." Read more.

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Social Work Doctoral Student Stephanie Rivaux

"In the IE program I had the opportunity to mentor a first-generation undergraduate college student from the School of Social Work and found this to be an incredible journey for each of us. The chance to teach in this individual way was useful, but there was much more than that. The experience reminded me of the amazing wonder of being able to attend school just to 'learn stuff'. By interacting with someone who lacked some of the opportunities I had, but had some opportunities I lacked, I was reminded to appreciate those things I was given, while also continuing to work on those things that were not just handed to me." Read more.

Kerk Kee

Communication Studies Doctoral Student Kerk Kee

"What I appreciate the most about the IE Pre Grad Internship is the opportunity to 'rolel play' an advisor. My career goal is to become a professor and mentor students. However, I have only been a student myself and have never been in a position to mentor students like my advisors do. I never realized how much time and energy my advisors have invested in me as a student until I have done the same for my undergraduate mentees. This experience teaches me what it takes to be a professor and how my future career is going to be. This is as much an internship for me as it is for my mentees." Read more.

"" Watch a Video Clip of Kerk

Amena Moinfar

Comparative Literature Doctoral Student Amena Moinfar

"I did not have a mentor when I was an undergraduate in France. Being from a mixed-heritage background it was not always easy to feel included and accepted. By being part of the IE Pre Grad Internship program this semester, I tried to think of all the questions I had myself as an undergrad and never had answered. By embarking on the journey of the mentorship, I always remembered what I had lacked as an undergrad in terms of support and encouragement." Read more.

Tania Betancourt

Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Student Tania Betancourt

"The IE Internship has been an invaluable experience not only because it allowed me to mentor Dariela in a more formal manner and to be infected with her enthusiasm but, in addition, because it allowed me to learn from other grad mentors also involved in this program. What I have learned here surely will help me as I continue to mentor undergraduate students, but also when I move on to other roles in the future." Read more.

Tim Walker

Government Graduate Student Tim Walker

"Many professors count on their students' picking up the tricks of the trade implicitly rather than explicitly. But some of the professors who have been most helpful to me have made these lessons explicit: they have warned me of likely pitfalls, whether that means evaluating primary and secondary sources, being aware of some of the ideological divides in the profession, or learning how to keep at the work even when big projects begin to bog down. I have tried to do some of the same things for my IE Pre Grad intern, and I think the process has helped both of us to form a better idea of what it means to be a scholar." Read more.

Charles Lu

Higher Education Mentor Charles Lu

"The IE experience provided us the opportunity to see each other not only as a mentor or a mentee, but also as humans. We were able to be open with each other about our struggles, accomplishments, developments, and doubts. To me, this 'human' aspect was the most important because having a deeper understanding of who we are, where we come from, and the direction in which we are headed, allowed us to form a bond that will transcend the IE and university experience." Read more.

Angela Prince

Law School Mentor Angela Prince

"It was fulfilling for me to share my knowledge and experience with my IE Pre Grad intern. She gained a lot of insight into what her life as a law student would be like and what she can do to make sure she is successful once she gets here. Though the semester has ended, our relationship continues. Maureen and I still discuss the law school admissions process and exchange text messages to keep in touch. This was truly a rewarding experience for me as a mentor, and I would gladly embark on this opportunity again!" Read more.

"" See her video

Brandi Matthews-James

Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Student
Brandi Matthews-James

"There are many issues I have faced being a female grad student of color at UT. I am interested in finding ways to address these issues and finding solutions for the problems at hand. Being a mentor in the IE Pre Graduate Internship has given me the tools so that I could reach out to another fellow student of color and guide her through her experiences and the others she will face in the future. It was important for me to find a program which would allow me for to bridge the gap between undergraduates and graduates students of color." Read more.

Watch a video of Brandi and her intern

Shyaam Raman

Electrical & Computer Engineering (Energy Systems) Graduate Student Shyaam Raman

Shyaam discusses how he created opportunities for his intern to get involved with and understand both the teaching and research activities that make up the life a graduate student---and how this experience rewarding for him as well as his mentee. Read more.

Jonas Miller

LBJ School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Jonas Miller

"I am new to mentoring, and I found the IE experience to be encouraging and edifying. The thought processes required to explain a concept to someone new to the field are also helpful in solidifying our own understanding and beliefs about those topics. The role of mentor is also a satisfying one for someone who likes to teach, as I do. I found my intern, to be an able and willing participant, which made the whole experience more pleasant." Read more.

Gabriela Redwine

Women's and Gender Studies and Information Science Graduate Student Gabriela Redwine

"My IE Pre Grad intern's professionalism and intellectual engagement have inspired me to raise my own game. I see this reciprocity--mentor and mentee challenging each other--as the essence of the mentorship experience." Read more.

Robert Ford

Law School Mentor Robert Ford

"As a law student I participated in the IE Pre Grad Internship Program, working as a mentor to an undergraduate student with an interest in post graduate education. This proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience for each of us. On my end, being juxtaposed to such an energetic and eager mentee reinvigorated my own excitement about law school, and literally reminded me of why I am here." Read more.

Karla Cruz

Pharmacy Graduate Student Karla Maria Cruz

"I believe the IE Pre Graduate School internship provides undergraduate students with an invaluable opportunity to explore beyond the walls of an undergraduate classroom. Being a mentor, I have developed leadership and nurturing skills that I did not know were in me. I had the opportunity to be a role model and help someone else develop a profound interest in the career that I am so passionate about." Read more.

Amy Brown

Anthropology (and Latin American Studies) Graduate Student
Amy Brown

"This mentoring relationship has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. My IE Pre Grad intern and I have learned from each other and, as the semester has progressed, have experienced growth and change as our research questions have evolved. We have evaluated and talked through our current respective academic work, as well as our future plans. This has been mutually beneficial." Read more.

Dave Jensen

Mathematics Doctoral Student Dave Jensen

"Acting as a mentor through the IE Pre Grad Internship has given me a new perspective on my academic discipline (mathematics) and my role within it. I probably gained as much from the experience as my mentor did. It was terrific watching him discover something and to see him examine what it means to be a graduate student through honest eyes." Read more.

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American Studies Doctoral Student Christina Garcia

"My participation in the IE program been a great opportunity for me to articulate what I have learned from my own experiences, but it has also been a valuable chance for me to learn from another student who has her own particular life experiences to share. It has truly been a reciprocal relationship. Working with my mentee helped me to stop and think about what I am trying to accomplish as a graduate student, what is most important to me, and the challenges that lie in the process. So much of graduate work, and life itself, is about 'process,' so the chance to strategize and discuss it with another student has helped us both to grow in important directions and to solidify our imperatives." Read more.

Patricia Foster

Educational Psychology Doctoral Student Patricia Foster

"When I first heard of this program, my thoughts were that it might be a nice little experience to be involved with. To help someone find out about the benefits and the effort of the graduate school experience might be valuable or at the very least, useful. Although I was fully committed to the program, to provide any information, help, or guidance that I could, I wasn't sure that my involvement would make much of a difference to anyone, regardless of who I was assigned to mentor. Boy, was I wrong. Anyone who is interested in this program should be aware that it is more than simply sharing experiences and helping someone with the nuts and bolts of graduate school. It can be a life-altering experience, as it has been for me, and the others I have mentioned." Read more.

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David Lewis

Psychology Doctoral Student David Lewis

David describes the intensive research experience his mentee had in the IE Pre Grad Internship---and how that enabled his intern to get a real picture of what graduate school is like. Read more.

2009 Update

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Selynda Garza

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Selynda Garza

"Being an IE Pre Grad Mentor has had quite an impact on my final semester as a graduate student here at UT. As a first-generation, minority student myself, it is good to know not only that this mentorship has been made available to students like my intern, but that it is as effective as it is in producing better prepared, more educated graduates." Read more.

Sophia Lecky

Law School Mentor Sophia Lecky

"Working with the IE Pre Grad Internship program I had the opportunity to mentor a first-generation undergraduate college student. I am personally very interested in diversifying the field of law and this program truly reminded me that by purely giving people opportunities and access to information this will help achieve that goal." Read more.

Emily Grober

Advertising Graduate Student Emily Grober

"As a graduate student mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program, I learned that questions are always welcome and encouraged. I enjoyed sharing my graduate experience with my intern - I also shared my colleagues' experiences as well, so as to give a well-rounded idea of what graduate school is like." Read more.

Rajani Sebastian

Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Student
Rajani Sebastian

"My role as an IE Pre Grad mentor in the spring of '08 was an incredibly rewarding experience. This program gives undergraduates an opportunity to get closely involved with research under a designated mentor. I had the opportunity to provide some insight to two prospective graduate students in my field. In addition, the mentoring experience also helped to widen the perspective in my own little graduate world and remind me of my central motivation for pursuing higher education: to learn and help others learn." Read more.

Erin Redmond

Spanish and Portuguese Doctoral Candidate Erin Redmond

"As a graduate student mentor, the IE internship allowed me to co-design a curriculum, an unusual opportunity for an A.I. and one that will assist in job searching as well as in future work. Even more exceptional was the chance to conduct an informal, one-on-one course whose topic allowed me to reflect on my own graduate school career and further refine my goals." Read more.

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Latin American Studies Graduate Student Kristen Petros

"Perhaps one of the highlights of the IE Pre Grad Internship was the Q&A Session in which all of the interns and graduate student mentors were present. Filemn (my intern) and I both thoroughly enjoyed hearing from a variety of students and learned that many of us shared the same experiences, challenges, doubts, questions and goals as other graduate and undergraduate students at UT-Austin." Read more.

Kathleen Turner

Musicology/Ethnomusicology Doctoral Candidate Katherine Turner

"As a graduate mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program, I was able to work with an exceptional student in a way that very much mirrors what I will be doing in the future as a university professor." Read more

Manoranjan D'Souza

Pharmacology & Toxicology Doctoral Student Manoranjan D'Souza

"The IE Pre Grad Internship is a great program that helps undergrads get closely involved with research under a designated mentor. As a mentor in the program I was able to give my intern an insight into my research work, teach him some laboratory techniques and in the process understand my work better and grow as a teacher. Teaching somebody else is the best way of learning and my experience as a mentor helped me grow both as a teacher and as a graduate student." Read more.

Simine Vazire

Psychology PhD Simine Vazire

Recipient of UT's Outstanding Dissertation Award (2006), Psychology Ph.D. Simine Vazire comments on the important role she played as a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship, helping her intern to get '"way ahead of the game" with respect to graduate school. Simine also notes how the IE program prepared her for the challenges she will face mentoring undergraduates and graduate students as an assistant professor. Read more.

Franklin Heitmuller

Geography and the Environment Doctoral Student
Franklin Heitmuller

"My mentorship was enlightening and useful for future instructional opportunities. As a possible candidate for academic employment, working with students on research projects will be a fundamental responsibility. Additionally, I had to balance the time I could spend with the student with other responsibilities. Such lessons in time management must be learned to become a successful faculty member." Read more.

Claudia Masferrer

Statistics Graduate Student Claudia Masferrer

"Teachers usually like to say that the best courses taught are those where they learned from the students. I definitely think that one of the things that makes the IE Pre Grad Internship program different to any traditional course is its structure, and from there comes its value. Because I was not the 'teacher' but a mentor, the experience of participating in the IE Pre Grad Internship program was interesting and fulfilling: I learned from my mentee and from myself." Read more.

Amanda Barczyk

Social Work Doctoral Student Amanda Barczyk

"The IE Pre Grad Internship allowed me to share my passion for social work and social work research with Ada Mi-Sedhi. My undergraduate intern learned about graduate programs and the research process. For me it was a great opportunity to mentor a student which is a main component of an assistant professor position." Read more.

Connie Johnson

Communication Studies Doctoral Student Connie Johnson

"What has made the IE experience rewarding is its ability to, indirectly, train and prepare me for work as an actual professor in the near future. By assigning regular essay projects, critiquing my mentee's work and offering opinions and suggestions, I now have a taste of what it feels like to be a 'real' professor. Thanks to the IE program, I now have a greater sense of the tremendous responsibility one assumes as a scholar and professor. As women of color, my intern and I were able to connect on levels that far exceeded that of the traditional classroom." Read more.

Nairn Ramirez-Esparza

Psychology Graduate Student Nairn Ramirez-Esparza

"The aspect of the program that I value the most is that it encourages minorities and first generation students to work closely with a graduate student. I wasn't aware of how minorities or first generation students have a harder time pursuing their personal goals. It is clear for me now that if a graduate student serves as a guide or gives a push to the student, it might be possible that more minorities will go to graduate school. This will change many things. If more minorities have graduate education, they will change the future for their own good and the good of their country." Read more.

Nadine Kenigstein

Social Work Graduate Student Nadine Kenigstein

"The IE Pre Grad School Internship has given me an entirely different perspective on graduate school. As I was coming to an end of my graduate coursework, it was refreshing to relive the experience with an undergraduate student on her future journey in that direction. The internship helped Janette see details of graduate life that may not have been understood any other way." Read more.

Henry Guevara

Nursing Doctoral Student Henry Guevara

Henry discusses how through his mentorship in the IE Pre Grad Internship his intern learned about the research process and was able to prepare (and have accepted) a scientific poster for presentation at an academic conference. Read more.

Morgan Ward

Marketing Doctoral Student Morgan Ward

Morgan describes how the IE Pre Grad Internship enabled her mentee to become involved intensively in a research project---from a literature review to data collection and analysis to the preparation of a paper. Morgan notes that as a result of this internship her mentee discovered that she has the aptitude and commitment to be a great PhD student in the future. Read more.

Matthew Kilberger

Physical Anthropology Graduate Student Matthew Kilberger

Matthew discusses how the IE Pre Grad Internship gave his mentee experience in research methodology and data collection, as well as allowing him to work on his career goal of becoming a university professor. Read more.

Rotimi Ojifinni

Materials Science and Engineering Doctoral Candidate
Rotimi A. Ojifinni

"I was an IE Pre Grad Internship mentor to Uche Osamor, a junior student in Mechanical Engineering during the fall 2006 semester. In the spring 2006 I mentored a junior in Electrical Engineering. Ultimately, it was as much fun and learning experience for me as for the interns. We have continued our mentoring relationship beyond this formal pre-grad internship. In fact, Onikepo went on to go to Australia and she is doing research in the United Kingdom right now." Read more.

John Dennis

Psychology Doctoral Student John Dennis

The IE internship allowed Jesus to learn what he loves and to increase his chances of gaining acceptance to the top graduate research programs. One result of this internship is that Jesus was accepted into the Psychology Department's Honors Program and invited to join the Jones lab. ...more...

Yie Yang

Speech Pathology Doctoral Student Jie Yang

As part of the IE Pre Graduate School Internship, my intern and I attended an academic conference. For my intern, it was a great eye-opening experience to meet and listen to the talks of experts from around the world. Although she may not have understood everything that was presented at the conference, she at least was able to relate knowledge that she learned in class to research currently being undertaken. For me, this was my third IE mentor experience. The IE Pre Grad internship benefits graduate students, helping foster our development as effective teachers. One of my friends who already is a professor said that she wished she could have known how to be a mentor when she was a doctoral student. Read more.

Elizabeth Alexander

Educational Psychology Doctoral Student Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth talks about how the experience of working with her IE Pre Grad intern, was invaluable on both sides---how being a mentor was truly collaborative. Read more.

Jessica Cassidy

Dual Degree (Public Affairs-LBJ School-and Law) Graduate Student
Jessica Cassidy

Jessica describes how she got more than she bargained for by serving as an IE pre-grad mentor. She discusses how much she learned from her intern, wondering if like many professors she gained as much--perhaps more--from mentoring as the student did who studied with her. Read more.

Taylor Sultan Quedensley

Plant Biology Doctoral Student Taylor Sultan Quedensley

"The IE Pre-graduate internship was a dynamic experience that contributed greatly to my first year as a doctoral student. I was extremely fortunate to have worked with a motivated and hard-working undergraduate. The internship is a program that is ideal for graduate students who are on an academic career path." Read more.

Athena Stacy

Astronomy Graduate Student Athena Stacy

"The IE Pre Grad Internship gave my mentee, Alysha, a very nice introduction to life in astronomy. What I learned as a mentor is that this information is not always readily available to all students. The information has to be sought out. I was very happy to participate in this program and help get to inform a student about what it means to be an astronomer and what it takes to become one." Read more.

Hope Cummings

Human Development and Family Sciences Grad Mentor Hope Cummings

"In spring of 2005, I received an email from my graduate coordinator recruiting graduate students and their mentors to participate in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program. I was a third year graduate student and had never heard of the program before. The email immediately took my interest, particularly because it had a goal to increase minority and first generation undergraduate students' participation in graduate school." Read more.

Gary Beck

Communication Studies Doctoral Student Gary Beck

Gary discusses how being a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship enabled him to work with a variety of undergraduates with different interests in Communication and the value for interns of such one-to-one mentoring. Read more.

Dallas Griffin

MBA Student Dallas Griffin

"The IE Pre Grad School internship afforded me a valuable way to share my experience in the MBA program with another person who is interested in pursuing the same goals that I am working towards now. The common drive and passion for education that my mentee and I both share has resulted in a wonderful experience for the both of us." Read more.

Dallas' experience with IE is featured in TEXAS Magazine.

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Nicole Laster

Communication Studies Doctoral Student Nicole Laster

"As a 4th year PhD, I have worked with six undergraduate students in the pre-graduate school internship. Based on my experience, I offer future mentors the following takeaways: (1) self-select your partner, one that is built on a previous successful classroom relationship; (2) be flexible and tailor the projects to student interest, but maintain a sense of control about your goals and needs; and (3) realize that you can learn and benefit from this process just as much as the undergraduate." Read more.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student
Rajeshwary Tayade

"Research requires a lot of self motivation and perseverance and that is what I tried to get across to my IE Pre Grad intern. As a graduate mentor it was a rewarding experience for me to talk and motivate a student towards research. This experience should be valuable if in future I decide pursue a career as a faculty member." Read more.

Olivier Tchouaffe

Radio-TV-Film Doctoral Student Olivier Tchouaffe

Olivier explains how being a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship allowed him to work with bright undergraduates and how he was able to help them build their research skills. He notes that the value of this experience goes well beyond what transpires in a classroom. Read more.

Andrew Davidson

Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Graduate Student Andrew Davidson

"For graduate students, there is no better way to really learn material than by having to teach the information yourself. Through the IE Pre Grad Internship I profited greatly in both my mentoring skills and my understanding of my research by explaining the details to someone else on a daily basis. My intern and I presented our research findings at the American Society of Microbiology annual conference in Toronto with the help of an IE Pre Grad Travel Grant. The conference was a great experience for the both of us, and it was exciting to present our research on such a large international stage." Read more

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Art History Graduate Student Susanna Reynolds

"Being a mentor in the IE Pre Grad Internship program caused me to reflect on the value of graduate study in relation to the working world and to recall some very important tips about job searching--something I will be engaging in quite soon!" Read more.

Additional IE Testimonials