“IE serves as an incubator permitting students to engage as entrepreneurs to find their own intellectual sweet spot and what they are passionate about. IE replaces the conveyor-belt motif of ‘apprenticeship-certification-entitlement’ with one of self ‘discovery-ownership-accountability’ wherein students are encouraged to be responsible and accountable to themselves for constructing an educational and career pathway responsive to their own needs.” – Keith McDowell, Austin American-Statesman
IE Pre-Graduate School Internship
The objective of the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship is to connect undergraduates with faculty and veteran graduate students in their field of study to explore those unique aspects of graduate study that make it distinct from the undergraduate experience. The Pre-Graduate School Internship is available to all undergraduates at UT-Austin in all colleges and schools. Internships are based on the ability of the student to find and gain the consent of a faculty member and/or graduate student willing to supervise the internship.
IE is both a philosophy and a pragmatic program that empowers students of diverse backgrounds to take ownership of their education and cultivate an experience that honors their interests, strengths and aspirations. Seventy-two percent of IE participants are first generation, underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students. This is not a coincidence. The philosophy of Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) shows promise as an approach to increasing the number of persons of color who attend graduate school. The value of IE as a mechanism for increasing diversity inheres in its capacity to allow students to become entrepreneurs–to discover otherwise unobserved connections between academe and personal and professional experiences.
The spirit of intellectual entrepreneurship seems to resonate with and meet a felt need of minority and first-generation students, facilitating exploration and innovation. IE implores students to create for themselves a world of vast intellectual and practical possibilities, acquiring the resources needed to bring their visions to fruition. IE changes the metaphor and model of education from one of “apprenticeship-certification-entitlement” to “discovery-ownership-accountability.” Learn more about IE on the about page.
The IE Mentorship
Graduate students have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students by guiding them through a process of academic and professional self-discovery. Become a mentor or read more about our mentors. Become an intern or read more about our interns.
“I’m proud that The University of Texas at Austin is home to the Intellectual Entrepreneurship consortium (IE). Since 1997, the consortium has strived to live out the highest ideals of academic life. Whether helping students find their true passion, exposing first-generation college students to the world of graduate studies, or enabling students to better serve society, the consortium has touched the lives of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members in profound ways. I look forward to seeing how this initiative continues to inform our national dialogue about the role of higher education in society, and I encourage the support of this important work.” – Bill Powers, Former University of Texas at Austin President
The IE Model
The IE Internship program introduces students to the intersection of civic engagement, entrepreneurship and cross disciplinary studies. This holistic approach to academia is helping redefine the higher education experience for many underrepresented students. Learn more about the significance of this model.
“Never has it been more important to foster partnerships among all types of public and private entities. The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program leverages collaborations to meaningful effect, finding the confluence of common sense and common will.” – E. Gordon Gee, West Virginia University President
The IE Diversity
In 2006 IE became part of the newly created Division of Diversity & Engagement (DDCE), a vice presidential portfolio dedicated to integrating diversity into the core mission of the university and integrating community engagement into teaching, research and service.
“From its onset, the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) program has been intentional about its mission and philosophy as it relates to diversity. That is why approximately 70% of IE participants have been first generation, underrepresented students or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. By empowering students to discover their own passion and then making the resources needed to bring their vision to fruition available, IE has successfully brought the spirit of entrepreneurship to students who otherwise may never have had such an opportunity.” – Leonard N. Moore, Interim Vice President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement