Are you looking for a rewarding professional development experience –a chance to enhance your teaching portfolio? Does working one-to-one with bright, talented undergraduates who someday might be graduate students excite you? Let me tell you about a wonderful mentoring opportunity, as well as a chance to earn a $1000 award and receive a partial travel grant.
The Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Graduate School Internship enables undergraduate students (particularly juniors and seniors) from all colleges and departments at UT to explore graduate education (conducting research, writing for scholarly audiences, participating in seminars, serving as teaching and research assistants, publishing articles in professional journals, etc.). It is also an opportunity for graduate students like you to experience teaching and mentoring in a different way than typically gained through being a teaching assistant or assistant instructor. Since graduate student mentors for the IE Pre-Grad Internship work one-to-one with undergraduates, the experience is similar to the kind of relationship that faculty members and graduate students develop. In other words, serving as a mentor will prepare you for the role of a professor working with would-be graduate students. In collaboration with the intern, you design a semester long curriculum based on what you consider most important in experiencing and/or preparing for graduate education. The idea is to expose undergraduates to the culture of your discipline and graduate study through a variety of formal and informal activities.
We have discovered that the real driving force behind the success of the internship is the graduate student “mentor.” If you spot a promising and enthusiastic undergraduate student (in your lab or class as a TA/AI) who might be interested in pursuing graduate school – or perhaps one that wouldn’t have considered the opportunity without encouragement from you – I invite you to approach him/her about this internship. If you don’t know of anyone in particular but would like to serve as an internship mentor, please talk to your faculty or contact the Undergraduate Advisor in your department (all of whom have just received an announcement about the pre-grad internship to forward to undergraduate students) for the names of possible interns.
This internship has had some remarkable “unintended consequences,” raising awareness of graduate school among underrepresented minority and first-generation students (neither parent completed a college degree) at UT. The internship, therefore, is a chance for graduate students to make a difference by mentoring students who might otherwise not have thought of further education as a possibility following graduation.
If you mentor a first generation or economically disadvantaged undergraduate you may be able to receive a $1,000 stipend through the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. This stipend is through the new Kuhn Intellectual Entrepreneurship Awards, awards designed to encourage both first generation and economically disadvantaged undergraduate students to pursue their academic passions and to seriously consider graduate study. These awards are intended to support and encourage students to pursue opportunities that further enrich the Pre-Graduate School Internship experience. (e.g., traveling to conferences, potential graduate school visits, research endeavors, supplies, books etc.) For more information, go to:
NOTE: You do not have to apply for this award. Your undergraduate intern will apply, and if they receive an award, you AUTOMATICALLY will receive a matching award. If you already are working with undergraduates you think may qualify, please make them aware of this opportunity.
Also: Because of the generosity of several UT deans, grad student mentors for interns who do their pre-grad internship in programs in the following colleges will be eligible to receive travel grants to help cover part of the cost of attending an academic conference (with their intern)— Law, Public Affairs, Communication, Architecture, Liberal Arts, Information, Pharmacy, Social Work, Business, Education, Natural Sciences, Fine Arts.
To learn about the IE Pre-Grad Internship (including FAQs, examples of internship activities and a copy of the internship contract) check out:
A wonderful video about IE is at:
If you have questions about the internship or Kuhn Awards, please feel free to contact me at: Tommy Darwin firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Rick Cherwitz at email@example.com.
Thank you for your support and interest.