The student/adviser dynamic can be one of the most rewarding or most fraught relationships in graduate school, and choosing the right mentor is one of the most important decisions you will make as a graduate student. A positive relationship with your adviser can help you reach your full potential as an academic researcher, while a negative relationship can make the process extremely difficult—so much so that some students don’t finish their programs or leave with a Master’s degree rather than complete their PhDs.
This is obviously the last outcome that any graduate student or adviser wishes for. So how do we as students make sure that we get the best out of our advisers; who are often very busy individuals with many other obligations on their plates?
Enter the idea of“managing up”. Normally we associate management with those below us, not those who supervise us. What is “managing up,” and why am I dragging this business term into an academic context? Continue reading