Better Grad Student

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40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 3

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Meetings with your advisor can be a very productive time. Some of you may not have the chance to meet with their advisor more than once a month. Others are fortunate enough to meet at least once a week. I find that these meetings can be extremely productive in terms of advancing your research rapidly. However, these meetings can start to be a drag when either one of you becomes a bit long winded. Taking 2 hours for a meeting that should only take 30 minutes is asinine. So how do you get what you need out of a meeting without spending way more time than necessary and without offending your advisor?

Set a time limit. Be upfront with your PI that you have something to do in X amount of time. I’m not telling you to lie, but arranging your day so that you have an experiment to stop, or some other meeting to go to soon after your other meeting, will give you the chance to gracefully end the meeting. This also has the advantage of forcing the two of you to communicate more effectively. If you know you only have a set amont of time to discuss something, chances are you’ll figure out a way to solve it in that amount of time. Unlimited amounts of time leads to rambling discussions. Set a time limit and you’ll keep the topics focused and efficient and you won’t spend any more time than is absolutely necessary.


Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, why not sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!


Written by Taylor M.

March 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

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