Communication Studies Senior Devin Ruthstrom
The 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:
- Questions are unanswered within my major. In a lifelong pursuit of knowledge I could benefit from further learning how to learn right now.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The timing is great for me personally and in the market to continue my education.
- 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.
- 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."
- Among many passions, I have a growing desire to teach at the college level.