Advice for Graduate School
Posted by naturalproductman on April 14, 2009
Here’s some good links to advice for graduate school:
Basically these websites let you know about a career choice in science and what it will take. Your advisor most of all is probably the most important aspect about grad school. He can make your life miserable. So I would say that this is something you must contemplate carefully before actually deciding. I would:
1) Listen carefully to the gossip going around within the department about a specific professor.
2) Be wary of professors who say one thing and act differently.
3) If something is too good to be true, it probably is – no group is going to be too happy – for example, I remember the students within the group were pretending to be SOOO happy in the group when it really was just a way for them to get you to join.
4) When professors fight for students, it’s a sign of a bad department.
5) When a professor is REALLY REALLY desperate for you to join his group, that’s a really really bad sign.
6) Also look at what former students are doing now – when most of the students go into faculty positions, usually it means that the professor is really good and that they care about their students.
7) Does the advisor let his/her students review manuscripts? This is an essential skill when joining academics.
8) Does the advisor promote going to conferences and giving talks to practice public speaking?
9) Because of the rise in technology, we now have access to websites such as rate my professors where you can see other people’s views of the professors. Usually this rating system can be a good sign of how good of a teacher your potential advisor will be.
(10) How well will the advisor take in the students’ input? In other words, sometimes the professor will never allow the student to have any input in the project (ie: tell the student that the ideas will never work).
(11) Will the professor let the students write their own papers? Learning how to write is an essential skill for any scientist.
If anybody else has any other advice, it would be appreciated.
Be prepared for the worst in grad school: