Communication Studies Senior Devin Ruthstrom

Devin RuthstromThe 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.

My mentor, Gary Beck, created a comprehensive and accountable program--complete with a screening interview-for his interns from which I benefited greatly. This program included

  • Reading Deep Survival in the mindset of resilience
  • Graduate course visitations
  • Review of the vitae process
  • Review of the classification of schools
  • Reading through primary sources to be used in a literature review
  • Data coding and analysis

Why Graduate School?

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:

  1. Questions are unanswered within my major. In a lifelong pursuit of knowledge I could benefit from further learning how to learn right now.
  2. I love the sense of community within the graduate courses I've visited. Not only is there a closer bond among peers in these seminars, there is also a higher standard of clearly articulated, intelligent conversation.
  3. Competition in the job market will continually be on the rise as bachelors become the new high school diploma and masters become the new undergraduate degree. Developing a competitive advantage is a worthwhile pursuit.
  4. Synergy is in motion as I have become accustomed to a fast-paced life of balancing work, school, community involvement and relationships. Taking a "break" could reduce motivation.
  5. The timing is great for me personally and in the market to continue my education.
  6. I feel I have strong current rapport with UT faculty that may not be as relevant several years from now if I were to wait to attend graduate school.
  7. In a recent conversation with the Associate Dean of the Business College at the University of Houston-Downtown, he stated his opinion in simple terms: "It sounds like you're ready to go to graduate school."
  8. Among many passions, I have a growing desire to teach at the college level.

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