Paul Kei Matsuda

Advice to Graduate Students

In response to my advice to beginning Ph.D. students, George Braine from Chinese University of Hong Kong sent me two of his advice to graduate students who are beginning their Ph.D. studies. Here they are:

1. Time Management: Graduate students often underestimate the amount of time they will have to spend on conducting and writing-up their research. Learning to say "No" to people who exploit your time is probably the most important aspect of time management.

2. As part of a larger study, I surveyed and interviewed around 30 doctoral students from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering at Hong Kong universities to find out what led to their success or failure. The single most important factor for success was a sound working relationship with the thesis supervisor. Even the smartest students failed when this relationship broke down.

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Last update: January 6, 2008