University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

IE Promotes Self-Awareness

October 10, 2012

Since 2004, the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Graduate School Internship has matched more than 1,400 undergraduate students with graduate students and/or faculty mentors.

In a semester, participants gain exposure to graduate school as a potential next step. They work on a research project or paper, present at a conference and gain valuable insight by talking regularly with their mentor. Whether a student then decides to apply to graduate school is a personal decision, however, it is the process of learning about and considering the option with full disclosure that is the goal. Moreover, there are the additional benefits of gaining confidence, presenting to an audience with authority, and becoming more self-aware about post-graduation plans.

Current IE student Alejandra Gonzalez and her mentor Lucia Cardenas provide an example of what an IE match can accomplish for both participants. In the following video Alejandra and Lucia discuss what IE has done for them.

Alejandra also shares these words:

I am studying bilingual education, and after listening to Dr. Maria Franquiz, curriculum and instruction professor, speak about her research I became intrigued with her work. After expressing an interest to assist her project and learning more about the research process, she introduced me to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Grad Internship. The IE program has allowed me to expand my horizons as an undergrad and venture out into the world of graduate school.

Being a first generation Latina student, education has always been very important for my parents. My father has always said that the reason they sacrifice so much for my siblings and me is because he wants us to succeed in our studies and focus on making our educational dreams come true. I would love nothing more than to make my family proud.

After joining IE and showing interest in graduate school, I have become more involved in the College of Education and have developed amazing networks. My mentor Lucia and I have developed a trusting mentor-mentee relationship; it has allowed us to share different perspectives and provide feedback from different generational views.

A reward of my IE involvement includes being appointed to the 2013 Bilingual-Bicultural Faculty Search Committee as the undergraduate student representative. I have also received information about graduate school programs and scholarships available here at UT. This would not have been possible without my involvement in IE.

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