LBJ Graduate Student Mentor Kendra Kreider

The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program provided me with an opportunity to mentor a first-generation college student on the eve of her graduation. It was an opportune time to meet Darlene Thompson, as she was eagerly awaiting the culmination of all her hard work and beginning to consider her next steps. I was privileged to spend time working with a student as perceptive and thoughtful as Darlene. Since she already possessed the qualities of a successful graduate student -drive, dedication and curiosity, among others - the greatest asset I had to share with her was my experience. I strived to create experiences that would expose her to graduate school and graduate life by inviting her to LBJ to meet with professors, participate in classes and attend speaking events. I made it a priority to engage with her candidly by discussing my personal path through academic and professional life after college. I hope these experiences will serve her well as she begins to make decisions about her own course.

I believe that mentorship is a component of scholarship, and I am so glad that I discovered the IE program as a way to give back to the next generation of graduate students. A diverse student body is essential to a rewarding learning environment in graduate school, and I am committed to the belief that the base of applicants to graduate programs should be ever expanding. The IE program is a wonderful initiative to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to place themselves among this group, and I hope that by serving as a graduate mentor I am helping to facilitate this process.