History Pre-Grad Intern Victoria Schwartz
I had an incredible experience in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Graduate School Internship course this fall. This class has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my academic experience here at UT. During the course of this semester, I have worked with my graduate student mentor, Julia Gossard, a history PhD student. Julia has been truly an incredible mentor and has given me a wonderful perspective on graduate school. As a result, I feel like I have a great direction in where I am heading as a student. During the course of the semester, Julia and I have extensively explored how studying history is different as a graduate student through studying primary documents, attending a graduate seminar, and learning about historical methodology and historiography. In addition to feeling better prepared for graduate school, I know that I have improved my general writing and analytical skills.
One of the most memorable parts of the semester was attending the Pi Alpha Theta Graduate Student History Conference with Julia. I was a wonderful experience to see the collaborative work that graduate students do for their individual research. Before taking the IE internship, I knew very little about the work that graduate students do outside of the classroom, let alone the importance of academic conferences. Additionally, I also got to meet graduate students from other schools and I had great conversations finding out about their research interests. It was such a unique learning experience!
I know that few undergraduates get this kind of opportunity and I am grateful that I received this chance through the IE program. Before taking part in the IE program I was not sure if graduate school was the right path for me. My experiences this semester, including the Pi Alpha Theta conference, have confirmed for me that graduate study in history is a path that I would like to pursue.