LBJ School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Jonas Miller
"I am new to mentoring, and I found the IE experience to be encouraging and edifying. The thought processes required to explain a concept to someone new to the field are also helpful in solidifying our own understanding and beliefs about those topics. The role of mentor is also a satisfying one for someone who likes to teach, as I do. I found my intern, to be an able and willing participant, which made the whole experience more pleasant.
My intern was a pleasure to work with, always friendly and accommodating. He set himself an ambitious schedule of meeting me weekly for lunch, attending some LBJ speaker events and writing response essays to the material we discussed. He joined me at a student government meeting to observe our processes, and he attended a student-run meeting where we discussed the tricky policy situation in Afghanistan.
At some of our lunch meetings, we discussed career opportunities in public affairs as well as medicine, law and business. We talked about the nature of public affairs work and contemplated its strengths and weaknesses. He became interested in a few policy issues and attended two or three policy talks during the semester as well.
I assigned him short response papers from the policy talks, which he delivered with an eagerness for criticism. We then discussed his writing strengths and weaknesses, as well as differences in style when writing for undergraduate and professional audiences. His writing showed improvement. Finally, over the course of our time together, he seemed to refine career goals somewhat, and seemed further along in his decision process by the end of the semester."