Human Development and Family Sciences graduate Ariell Hardy

Ariell Hardy"All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education" (Sir Walter Scott). By participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, I have taken a "hand in my own education." I feel this way because this class is like no other.

Participants are not obligated to study or take tests; instead we choose our own interests and goals and must be self motivated to complete them. My main focus during this program was preparing for graduate school, as I am a graduating this May and wish to start graduate school fall 2006. My mentor was Sydnye Allen, a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. Sydnye was a great match for me as she is an African-American female, like myself, and has numerous interests similar to mine, such as music and traveling.

After my experience with this program, I am more prepared to enter graduate school. It is no longer a mystery to me! I am aware of the enormous amount of reading, writing, and responsibility required, but I am not fearful of the new experience. I know one of the first things I need to do upon entering Columbia is to "Network, network, network!" In addition, I learned that I should treat graduate school like it is a full time job and to remember that "Life is about progression, not perfection!" All of the information I have gathered has made graduate school seem more real to me now. Through this program I have gained confidence, knowledge, and assurance that graduate school is not just a dream, but something that I am really capable of doing and completing.

Overall, I have had a great experience participating in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program. Whenever someone asks for suggestions on how to be successful at the University of Texas, I mention that they must "have a hand in their own education" and experience the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program, as it has helped me take another step towards my dream. When I was first considering graduate school it seemed like such a task. I heard comments like, "do not be surprised if you do not get in the first year you apply" and "apply to numerous schools, because you are sure to be rejected from some of them." After hearing things of this nature, I was very scared about whether or not I would actually get accepted into one of the schools of my choice. I was especially doubtful about being accepted into my top choice school, Columbia University. I am proud to say that next year, I will be moving to New York, New York to attend Columbia University! It is amazing to me that I applied to six graduate schools and I have been accepted into every one! I attribute much of this success to the help of my wonderful mentor, Sydnye and the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program!

Ariell's experience is featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.