Choose Your Graduate Advisor Wisely

Choose Your Graduate Advisor Wisely
Choose Your Graduate Advisor Wisely
Graduate degrees are a bit different from undergraduate ones in that you’ll usually need to select a faculty member as an advisor. This faculty member will help you to write your thesis, do research and guide your studies in the right direction. Because he or she will play such a major role in your studies, choosing a graduate advisor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a gradate student so you’ll need to make sure that you do it right. So what should you look for when you’re seeking an advisor? Here are some points to consider.

First, you’ll want to make sure that your advisor has a good background of knowledge in the area of focus for your graduate work. If he or she doesn’t, you’ll have a tough time getting the support and guidance you’ll need to find research materials, pursue avenues of inquiry and generally learn all you can about the topic. Seek out an advisor that is an expert in or knows a great deal about whatever it is you plan to write about for your thesis or dissertation.

Of course, academics aren’t all that’s important. You’ll also need to select someone with whom you have a good personal rapport. When you get along with the professor you’ll be able to better ask questions and talk with them about your concerns. Ideally, you’ll find someone who shows enthusiasm about your research and really wants to help you meet your goals. You’ll also be better able to build a strong relationship with someone that you enjoy working with that will help you both in your studies and in finding a job after graduation.

Time can also be an issue when choosing a graduate advisor. You want to make sure that whomever you select will actually be around when you need to talk or ask questions. If a professor is already juggling a lot of projects, he or she might not be your best choice of advisor. If you’re not sure if a professor has time for you, don’t be afraid to ask.

Finally, as unfortunate as it may be academic politics can also play a role in choosing an advisor. You might want to opt for someone who has academic connections, who is prestigious or who can help you get ahead in your field. You might also want to avoid a professor who takes a different side on an issue that you’re researching or one that doesn’t get along well with other professors. You might not like thinking about your choice in this manner, but all these factors can and do play a role.
Graduate degrees are a bit different from undergraduate ones in that you’ll usually need to select a faculty member as an advisor. This faculty member will help you to write your thesis, do research and guide your studies in the right direction. Because he or she will play such a major role in your studies, choosing a graduate advisor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a gradate student so you’ll need to make sure that you do it right. So what should you look for when you’re seeking an advisor? Here are some points to consider.

First, you’ll want to make sure that your advisor has a good background of knowledge in the area of focus for your graduate work. If he or she doesn’t, you’ll have a tough time getting the support and guidance you’ll need to find research materials, pursue avenues of inquiry and generally learn all you can about the topic. Seek out an advisor that is an expert in or knows a great deal about whatever it is you plan to write about for your thesis or dissertation.

Of course, academics aren’t all that’s important. You’ll also need to select someone with whom you have a good personal rapport. When you get along with the professor you’ll be able to better ask questions and talk with them about your concerns. Ideally, you’ll find someone who shows enthusiasm about your research and really wants to help you meet your goals. You’ll also be better able to build a strong relationship with someone that you enjoy working with that will help you both in your studies and in finding a job after graduation.

Time can also be an issue when choosing a graduate advisor. You want to make sure that whomever you select will actually be around when you need to talk or ask questions. If a professor is already juggling a lot of projects, he or she might not be your best choice of advisor. If you’re not sure if a professor has time for you, don’t be afraid to ask.

Finally, as unfortunate as it may be academic politics can also play a role in choosing an advisor. You might want to opt for someone who has academic connections, who is prestigious or who can help you get ahead in your field. You might also want to avoid a professor who takes a different side on an issue that you’re researching or one that doesn’t get along well with other professors. You might not like thinking about your choice in this manner, but all these factors can and do play a role.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/10/15/choose-your-graduate-advisor-wisely/

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