Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Pep Talk - Your advisor should be just that

It's easy to see our advisor as our boss, and attribute all of the features of a boss to him. We may fear him and worry that he will fire us. We may avoid him because we don't want to show him our slow progress. We may "yes" him, because we don't feel allowed to say "no".

But your advisor should be just that - someone who advises you. You are his mentee and he is there to show you how to be the best researcher possible. Of course if you don't do your work then you may face repercussions, but before it ever gets to that, remember that your advisor's most important job (once he's gotten tenure) is you and the work he helps you produce. One of the top markers for his success is how his PhD students do, so it should be absolutely in his best interest to help you in every way possible.