Strategies for effectively communicating and collaborating with your advisor

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Autumn Core Programs
Many of you may be getting started in a new graduate program or working with an assigned advisor. Or you may be moving into thesis/dissertation planning stages with your committee. At a recent Core Programs workshop, we offered guidance for working effectively with your advisor or research supervisor.

Here are a few of the tips covered:

  • Be proactive: Seek guidance early in a process and, most importantly, before you get stuck. Many faculty advisors will assume you are working independently and will expect you will reach out if you have questions or problems (or successes!) to share.
  • Be organized: You’ll get the most out of a meeting with your advisor if you send an agenda ahead of time, or identify the 1–2 things the advisor can really help with now.
  • Follow through: Sending a follow-up email briefly summarizing the conversation and next steps can be an effective way to make sure you get what you need from your advisor, and also conveys your own sense of responsibility and investment in your success.
  • Seek multiple perspectives: Identifying a mentoring team, or peer mentors, can be a useful way to supplement the advice you get from within your department or from your primary advisor. There are many paths to success within an academic career and it often "takes a village." Mentors can be anywhere: Not only faculty, staff, postdocs and other students in and outside of your department… but also academics and professionals outside of your university.

We will offer the workshop on Collaborating and Communicating with your Advisor again Winter Quarter. In the meantime, we have these great Core Programs coming up next week:

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Info Session
Oct. 1, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Allen Library, Research Commons – Green A

PhD Funding
Oct. 2, 11 a.m.-noon, Allen Library, Research Commons – Green A

Choosing a Citation Management System that Works for You
Oct. 3, 1-2 p.m., Allen Library, Research Commons – Green A

The Literature Review
Oct. 4, 3-4 p.m., Allen Library, Research Commons – Green A

For complete details and the full calendar of events, please visit our website.

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