To celebrate the end of the fall semester, we’re highlighting four profiles of students who have discovered their career paths in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Grad Internship Program. Read on to learn about their future endeavors in the fields of law, medicine, education, urban planning and social work.
Irnela Bajrovic, biochemistry senior and Kuhn Scholar
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 IE Pre Grad 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 IE experience conducting hands-on research, presenting at lab meetings, attending a national conference [made possible by an IE Kuhn Scholars award and a Pharmacy/IE Travel Grant], observing a TA session, interviewing my mentor and my principal investigator. My time in this 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.
Callie Crispin, religious studies senior
The most valuable part of the IE experience was the confidence I gained as I acquired knowledge about law school. Because I will be the first member of my family to attend graduate school, I thought I would be going through the daunting application process without adequate guidance. Fortunately, IE gave me the support I needed. For example, my IE law student mentor, David, worked with me on preparing parts of my applications, such as resume, personal statement, and the additional essays (most schools ask for 1-3 additional essays). My mentor also helped me decide which law schools to consider by focusing on characteristics such as U.S. rankings, location, private/public, size, tuition prices.
David McDonald, education senior
Throughout my schooling experience, I have noticed that there are issues in regards to education. But participating in the IE Program has allowed me to truly understand the amount of work that needs to be done to create an education system that gives ALL students the opportunity to be successful academically, professionally, and as leaders in the community. I was able to work with graduate students, faculty and staff who are actively working on programs and searching for solutions in education. From this experience, I have decided to continue my journey to create a more inclusive and equitable education system in America with the Teach For America Corporation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
Anahi Bendeck Sierra, architecture junior
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.
A vice presidential initiative within the DDCE, IE is an inter-collegial consortium of colleges and schools across the UT Austin campus. Its mission is to educate citizen scholars who creatively utilize their intellectual capital as a lever for social good. Visit the IE website for more details and to read more testimonials by students and alumni.