In graduate school, students rely on the support of student advisor services from the time they begin their degree program until they graduate. Among the most important services a student will receive is assistance from an advisor who is an established member of the school’s faculty. With help from their advisor a student will develop and present their dissertation while learning how to conduct important research in their field of study. According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, graduate students are more likely to be successful in their program when they are satisfied with the support they receive from their advisor. For this reason, students should select an advisor that can provide them with beneficial support services throughout their program of study.

Finding the Right Advisor

The majority of students will find their advisor through their educational programs advisory services. Often, there is a list of advisors within each educational department from which a student can choose when they are enrolling in their graduate program. However, students should carefully work through the list of advisors to determine which one will best fit their educational goals and learning style. A quality advisor should be willing and have enough time in their schedule to take a new student into their group. Additionally, they should be able to provide the financial and technical support a student needs to conduct their research and publish their findings.

Getting the Most Out of Student Advisor Services

Students who get the most out of their student advisor services are those who take an active role in their research groups and advisor relationships. Therefore, it is important for a student to schedule regular meetings with their advisor and research group during which they can discuss and assess a student’s progress. A student should be prepared to talk to their advisor about upcoming deadlines and create a plan that will help them schedule their research and study times. When working as a group, students can also request criticism on their work that can help them to increase their knowledge in their field of study. For best results, students should view their advisor as a long-term mentor who will work with them throughout their educational program.

Managing Conflicts and Requesting Feedback

In every interpersonal relationship, conflicts can arise. Ideally, these conflicts can be minimized by a student carefully selecting their advisor. However, over an educational program that spans several years, it may be necessary to work through any conflicts that arise before choosing another one. Changing advisors from year-to-year may be admissible by most graduate programs; however, it can have a detrimental effect upon one’s work. Therefore, students can expect to receive support from their advising services throughout their program that is designed to provide constructive feedback until a student completes their degree. Students who have a question can always request feedback from their advisor until they have resolved their issue. It is also important to note that students can expect to continue receiving student advising services even after they have completed their educational program in the form of letters of recommendation that can help them get started in their post-graduate career.

Attending graduate school is an important step for those who desire to reach advanced levels in their career. During a student’s years of graduate school, they are more likely to be successful if they have the support of their advisor throughout the entire program. By carefully selecting their advisor and choosing one that supports their goals and learning style, graduate students can reach the next level of their education for a successful future.