Note for Incoming Graduate Students - Choose Advisor

For all the students that are considering graduate school, especially a Ph.D. degree:

I didn’t know much about graduate school and studying abroad until I struggled and heard others good experiences, struggles, or lessons. None of my family member has studied abroad, and only one of them has a Master degree. Teachers/Professors in school rarely told us what should we be aware to study in a higher education abroad, they are generally happy for us if we want to study more. :)

I would like to do or know more about these niches before I entered the graduate school (kind of too late now. :p) An advisor is crazily super important for a graduate student, especially for a Ph.D. student. Different advisor will direct you into different research topics, approaches and methods, emotional loading, and even different life style. So…

Before you choose your academic advisor:

  1. Always talk to a many people as you can who knows the potential advisors

    • How do people like them?
    • What are their leading style?
    • How did they mentor their students before?
    • Are there any rumors about them?
    • What are the experts and personal characters of them?
    • Are they supporting different gender, culture, etc.? Are they okay with you having a baby during your study (if you plan to have kids in your life)?
  2. Have a in-person or video meeting with your potential advisors

    • Are you feeling good and conformable talking with them?
    • Are they planning to stay long term? Are they got tenure? (is there any potential that they would leave while you’re in the program)
    • What are their philosophy of mentoring?
    • What do they expect from a graduate student in terms of M.S. or Ph.D. students?
    • Can you support yourself financially? Do they have or potentially have funding for you?
    • Are they supporting different gender, culture, etc.? Are they okay with you having a baby during your study (if you plan to have kids in your life)?
  3. Understand the university or department policies and environments of your potential advisors are in

    • Do you like the policies and environment of the university and the department? If no, are you willing to tolerate them because you’d like to follow that advisor so much?
    • Student environment is one important part of your graduate student life, please do consider the atmosphere within graduate students and faculties. Is the environment competitive or cooperative?
Why do I study flash flood in Hawaii? Hula Instrument - ʻulili and ʻukēkē

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