Government Doctoral Student Laura Seay

Laura SeayThe IE program was the missing piece in the puzzle that is graduate training. As part of my PhD program, my department and the university provided great opportunities to develop as a scholar and teacher, and I'd even practiced administrative tasks like organizing a conference or running meetings of other graduate student instructors. But before finding IE, I hadn't had the opportunity to do what will arguably be one of my most important tasks as a professor: mentoring and training a promising student in a one-to-one capacity.

The Intellectual Entrepreneurship program has been nearly perfect in filling that gap in my training. Working with a bright undergraduate student is rewarding in and of itself, but I've also learned how to advise a student on developing an independent research project, and I hope I've helped her to achieve her goal of being admitted to a prestigious graduate program. IE has also helped me to reflect on the type of educator I want to become. Helping my mentee to understand how I got to this place in my life has also been very rewarding as I'm finally seeing how all the pieces fit together. And, of course, I've developed some sympathy for my advisors as I've experienced a few frustrations similar to those I've certainly caused my supervisors over the years as I missed deadlines and meetings. I highly recommend that graduate students, especially those who are interested in developing professionalism in this oft-neglected area, sign up to mentor a student through IE.