4 responses to “TMI from your Advisor?”

  1. Cherish The Scientist

    I think you should be as open as possible. Also, I think discussing options gives them a choice. What if the student would rather work on the project you were doing rather than whatever the other prof was doing? I think it’s best for everyone involved if the student is on-board with the decision (speaking from personal experience), and being as transparent as possible makes it easier for the student to make good choices for hirself.

    Aside from that, I think it’s not really clear what professors go through, so a lot of students look at their profs and have this illusion that academia is easy and they would be fine having a job like that. If you’re more open about things, I think they’ll get a better picture of what the job is really like, and that will help them make better decisions about their own future.

    1. GEARS

      I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve so I think all of my students get a fairly good grasp of the trials and tribulations that I’m going through. With that said, I don’t necessarily want to discourage them from academia.

  2. Pramod

    It’s hard to answer specific questions in a general scenario. I would think that there are a significant number of cases where the student may be unwilling to go against his/her advisor’s suggestions for various reasons. I guess if an advisor is approachable and trustworthy, students are more likely to be honest and perhaps one could argue that being transparent promotes being approachable and trustworthy.

    1. GEARS

      That’s very true about students not going against their advisor. However, since they were originally not on funded projects, I think it’s only fair to at least explain to them why I want them to shift direction. I think if I just said “you’re going to start doing X now” it might sow seeds of dissent in the group. I have seen what that can do to a group’s morale (ie: rip it apart) and I would rather that didn’t happen to my group.