Tag Archives: Mentor

Managing Your Adviser

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 Managing Your Adviser

Picking a Good Mentor

Mentoring a Demography trainee
Mentoring a Demography trainee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most important aspects of graduate school is choosing a good mentor. Who you choose can dramatically impact your experience in both graduate school and your ensuing hunt for employment or postdoctoral positions. How do students new to a department find those faculty members who will be good mentors? What makes a good mentor in the first place? These are important questions to have in mind before choosing laboratories for research rotations and your eventual thesis. Continue reading Picking a Good Mentor