What to think about when deciding where to go and who to work with during your graduate studies

By now you’ve already decided that you want to dedicate you life to whatever it is you’ll be focusing on in your graduate studies. Now you have to fill out some applications and get passed the interviews. There are few key factors that you should keep in mind when deciding where you should go and who you should work with during your graduate studies.


Firstly, will your supervisor have time to supervise you? Chances are that if you are working with a big name in your field they will be very busy with administrative duties and other students. This is not always the case, but it is more likely that your supervisor will not have time for you if they are very successful and already have a lot of other stuff going on. You may be very independent and firm believer of self learning, but you will still need guidance from your supervisor.


Secondly, graduate training is a long journey. You want to be at a place that has all the resources and facilities that you need for you to do your work. For example, if you want to study the brain by conducting a series of fMRI experiments, you want to be at a place that has a fMRI machine and with a supervisor that can teach you how to conduct these kinds of studies.


And thirdly, it is a very good idea to talk to other students who are training with your potential supervisor. You will get a sense of what it is really like working with this person. You should try to get a sense of what their work style is like. Do they want a report from you each day on what you’ve been working on or would you be meeting with them every two weeks? Does you supervisor support you and your work by sending you to conferences? If yes, how many each year? Are they the type to introduce you to other people in the field? Will they help you make the connections that will really help you out after you’ve finished your degree and are looking for a job?


There are many other things one should consider when deciding where to go and who to work with during their graduate training. Here I’ve just outlined a few key factors. For more tips about graduate school, stay tuned!