Manage Up

Let’s start with an uncomfortable truth: The overwhelming majority of PhD advisors are very bad at their job. This does not mean that they are bad people. Many, many of them are good people, good teachers, good scholars. And bad advisors. There are many reasons for this and the most mundane are the most powerful.Continue reading “Manage Up”

Toxic Advisors

As mentioned in our last post, the medieval system of apprenticeship employed in academia can give dissertation advisors a truly terrifying degree of control of the lives of their advisees. There are many good people in academia who do not abuse this power. There are many good people in academia who seek to subvert theseContinue reading “Toxic Advisors”

Mentor, Sponsor, Fan

In the darkest depths of my dissertation, when I was so close to done writing but totally done emotionally, my mom asked me why this process had to be so damn hard. Because I am who I am (i.e. obnoxious and long-winded), I went on a long ramble about academia as an apprenticeship model whereinContinue reading “Mentor, Sponsor, Fan”

WTF: Advising

I recently shared that I have started a full-time job in academic advising. It will likely come as no surprise that I have something of a soapbox when it comes to advising at all levels. After all, what is this site, really, but an attempt to provide advice on how to get through a PhDContinue reading “WTF: Advising”