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Information for Mentors

Program Overview 

Leadership Rice's Mentorship Experience is a competitive summer internship program for Rice undergraduates who aspire to high-level leadership.  The LRME Program is much more than a typical internship.  For nine weeks over the course of the summer, students do substantive work with recognized leaders in public, private, or non-profit organizations. Students also complete readings and written assignments that deepen their understanding of the personal and professional demands leaders face. 

Each LRME participant is paired with a mentor who is responsible for overseeing the student's learning and personal development, and we only partner with organizations at which the student will do substantive work and have opportunities to observe and interact with recognized leaders. Placements include some of the most prestigious and demanding summer work experiences in a variety of industries, and are concentrated in Houston, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and select international locations.

Why mentor? 

Almost all of us in reflecting on our life trajectory can identify someone who has encouraged us, challenged us, and given us opportunities we would not otherwise have enjoyed. The LRME program is a unique opportunity for current leaders to be that person for one of the next generation of leaders. Many of the best, brightest, most ambitious students at Rice University are eager to learn, lead, and make a difference. These students want and need more than a summer job, and dedicated mentors have the potential to transform a routine internship into a unique, vibrant mentorship.

The LRME program is a win-win-win situation for participating students, mentors, and organizations. Students get to apply their learning in a challenging but supportive professional context, mentors derive satisfaction from helping students realize their potential, and organizations get a bright, motivated, productive summer employee. Students and mentors often remain in touch long after the summer ends, and mentors often prove instrumental in helping students launch and advance their careers.  Ultimately, society benefits from a steady infusion of committed, capable leaders. Below are a few of the many benefits of mentoring:

1. Bright, motivated, and productive summer employees 

LRME Fellows are among the most outstanding students at Rice University and are challenged to exceed expecations and add value to your organization.

2. Pre-trained interns 

Fellows attend a 3-day class (LEAD 250) to prepare for the mentorship where they learn essential leadership skills and keys to success in professional contexts.  Over the summer, they will complete assignments that link concepts with work experiences.

3. A seamless recruiting, interviewing and matching process 

CCL staff are responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and matching students with organizations based on mutual interests, skills, and needs.

4. On-going support from CCL staff throughout the summer 

We conduct site visits to each of our mentors and students. We also check-in via phone or email to provide coaching and ensure the student is exceeding expectations.

5. Access to a network of more than 30 participating organizations 

Each year more than 30 organizations participate in the LRME.  As a partner organization, you will be connected with other companies and institutions worldwide who share similar values on leadership and mentoring.

6. Personal and professional satisfaction in developing the next generation of leaders 

Past mentors have claimed that they were challenged to reflect on their own leadership values and capacities through the LRME.

What do mentors do? 

 Mentors equip the students to lead and succeed—during the summer and beyond. This can take a variety of forms, including allowing the student to shadow you and observe your leadership approach, explaining how to navigate office politics, introducing the student to important persons in the organization or industry, or assessing the student's communication skills. Effective mentors make a deliberate effort to help their students reach their full potential. To this end, some mentors establish specific objectives for their students, while others set aside time to discuss leadership concepts, career options, or industry-specific keys to success. Every mentoring experience is different, and the best mentors are sensitive to their student’s specific interests and goals.

A mentor need not be the student's direct supervisor, but should be familiar enough with the student's work to provide meaningful feedback and help ensure that the student is tasked with challenging projects.

LRME Mentors: 

  • Hold leadership roles and are key decision-makers in their organizations. 
  • Ensure that the student has substantive and challenging work assignments that contribute meaningfully to the organization. In years past students have conducted publishable research, organized conferences, designed business plans, made recommendations on grant awards, and helped close deals in international locations, among many substantive projects and assignments.
  • Interact regularly with the student over the course of the summer, including periodic meetings to assess progress, performance, and goals.  Mentors should encourage students to reach their full potential and be willing to provide positive feedback and constructive criticism as warranted.
  • Share insights on how the mentor makes difficult decisions, handles challenging situations, and establishes priorities.
  • Facilitate opportunities for the student to be included in meetings and other activities that contribute to their learning.

Student Expectations 

All students admitted to the LRME program participate in supplementary activities in conjunction with the mentorship. These activities include a series of on-campus training sessions that take place in early May. During these sessions, students interact with CCL staff and get to know other students in the LRME program, including a small cohort of students they will interact with regularly throughout the summer. Students also become familiar with essential leadership skills and keys to success in professional contexts. Over the course of the summer, students complete written assignments that link concepts with work experiences.

Matching Students and Organizations

The CCL is responsible for matching students with organizations based on interests, skills, and needs. The LRME selection process is competitive, and only the most promising future leaders are admitted to the program. LRME participants are among the most outstanding students at Rice University, and many former participants have gone on to great accomplishment.


  • Establish placements w/Mentors: November - January
  • Student Application Deadline: January 2015
  • Offers Extended: March 2015
  • Mentorships: June 1st – July 31, 2015 

Whenever possible, we will schedule a time during the summer to visit in person with you and your student.  The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the student is meeting and exceeding expectations, explore ways to enhance the quality and value of the mentorship, and get to know you and your organization better.


  Student Fellows  

“Looking into the future, I believe that this experience has been instrumental in affirming my ability to contribute, manage, and lead within a challenging and dynamic environment. Considering that this social entrepreneurship experience directly advised and bettered my understanding of what it takes to lead a social venture, I feel greatly inspired to continue my leadership on World STEM Works. I feel energized and invigorated to command change within my current and future fields of work and am deeply grateful for the experiences I have had as part of my Summer Mentorship Experience.” 

Trent Navran
2013 LRME Fellow
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

“Most interns may write internal memos to their bosses but nothing beyond that. I am proud to have been given co-authorship of one of our most prestigious documents, the International Energy Outlook, because of my work on the data that underlies all of the analysis…Many in the office looked at the Leadership Rice program as a fellowship,meaning they trusted my talents more so than a typical intern…since this was my first assignment, I was challenged mentally to have trust in myself that I could do something well beyond what I had ever done before at Rice.” 

Clinton Willbanks
2013 LRME Fellow
Institute for 21st Century Energy, within the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"The greatest thing that the SME has given me is a more active perspective on self-growth. I have always considered myself fairly self-aware, but always passively. The SME has taught me to actively reflect on my strengths, weaknesses, and experiences, which has allowed me to move forward rather than remain in one comfortable place. Curious to see if real leaders actually do active self-reflection, I brought this point up to all of the executives I interviewed. They unanimously affirmed active self-reflection as key to success. The personal experience that the SME has given me is irreplaceable. LEAD 250 was a new kind of learning for me; I have always been a more science driven person, skeptical of psychology and sociology, but the SME has given me personal growth skills that will complement and strengthen my scientific side. The readings, blogs, and executive interviews have challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone and get the most out of my time at Celgene. In the context of the “infinite game,” the SME has given me invaluable practice."

 Kathleen Abadie
2013 LRME Fellow
Celgene Corporation


Mentoring gives me "a fresh perspective on the past, a wide-eyed look into the future, and the "pay it forward" belief that a someone will take the time and energy to mentor one of my own children down the road. And the unexpected return . . . a "pacer" in the SF Half Marathon resulting in my fastest running race ever.

Dr. Kristen Hege
Vice President for Transnational Development, Hematology/Oncology at Celgen Corporation 

“There is also direct benefit [of the mentorship] to the Agency because the students bring a fresh perspective to technology that has helped guide new policy.  My intern assisted on a project to bring exhibits featuring cyber-physical systems to Capitol Hill so Congressional staff could experience the cutting edge technology that NSF funds.  She developed talking points for our Director and high-level speakers, helped manage over 55 exhibiting researchers, coordinated the security logistics for getting displays and robots to Capitol Hill, and staffed the event.  The event was a huge success.”

Teresa Davies
Director of Legislative Affairs
National Science Foundation  

"We had a number of interns at Ashoka. The two from Rice were by far the most grounded of all. This was likely due to the people that they are (their own talent) but also the program you provide for them. They were reflective in a way that really helped them learn from their experience in a way that others may not have."

Samara Lemke
Chief of Staff     
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public   

Previous Participants 

Mentoring partners consist of a full range of organizations including non-profits, large corporations, government agencies, and start-up companies. Click here for a sampling of organizations that have participated in the SME program in previous years. 

Getting Involved 

If you are interested in serving as a mentor please contact Felicia Martin, Associate Director of Domestic Programs & Partnerships, at 713-348-4785 or felicia.m.martin@rice.edu.