Social Work senior Mayra Hernandez

Mayra Hernandez Participating in this Intellectual Entrepreneurship course has been one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. As a child, I always envisioned myself as a successful, educated and professional individual; however, I never knew exactly what it meant to be any of these three things. My parents never had the opportunity to get a high school or even college education, yet they always pushed my brothers and me to work hard in school. Taking part in the IE Pre-Grad Internship really helped me define who I am, what I want in the future, and discover what it means to be a successful, educated and professional individual.

During the fall semester of 2006, my experience in IE Pre-Grad was terrific. My fabulous mentor was Stephanie Rivaux. She assisted me with all my goals and dreams for this semester and for the future. She made sure that we did everything we had said in our contract. For example, we visited at least twice every month at a coffee shop, so that she could answer any questions I had about the future. I asked her different questions from how to write a personal statement to how to start a credit. Stephanie also revised many of my scholarship papers, resumes, and other papers that I wrote. She always provided positive feedback. Stephanie and I also e-mailed each other about five days a week. She provided me with information on conferences, social work careers, and social worker contacts.

In addition, my mentor set me up with three great social workers and agencies. The first social worker worked in the Austin Child's Guidance Center. The second social worker worked as a hospice social worker. Lastly, the third social worker worked in Communities and Schools. Besides helping me with school things, Stephanie also helped me prepare for the outside world. She made sure I knew how to write a professional letter, how to book-in an air flight and hotel. Stephanie also gave me some advice on how to start a credit. Most importantly, my mentor was a great friend. At times I felt as if she was my guardian angel or even best friend. I always knew I could talk to her when I felt stressed from school and ready to give up. She always had the right words and always gave me the energy I needed.

Furthermore, during my experience with the IE Internship, I had the opportunity to attend many graduate classes in the school of social work. I also made friends with many graduate students. More importantly, I was able to get copies of many of the graduate student's personal statement. During my experience, I was also able to form close relationships with many graduate professors.

My goal for this semester was to meet other social workers, visit agencies, sit in graduate classes, meet graduate professors, and find out m goals for the future. Working with my mentor made my goals very easy to accomplish. During this semester, I was able to achieve all the goals I set-up in my contract for this course.

In conclusion, participating in the IE Pre-Grad Internship was one of the greatest things I could have done for myself. I really enjoyed the class and was able to apply many of the things I learned form my mentor to real life experiences. I was also able to form professional relationships with many social workers, which will be helpful for me in the future. Lastly, participating in this course made me realize that I do want to attend graduate school and that I am destined to be a successful, educated and professional individual.

Mayra's story is featured in the Austin American-Statesman

Mayra's story is spotlighted in a UT web banner feature.

"" Watch a video clip