Undergraduate guide to connecting with faculty to advance your career (Blogpost #5)

The scientific training process in graduate school is fundamentally different than the classes and labs at the undergraduate level. A key part of graduate-level training is the active listening that I referred to in Blogpost #4. What this means is a regular spacing of questions (from you) relative to what you’ve just heard from the professor on the other end of the line. A good conversation of this sort can have as many as twenty or so of these talk-question intervals. As you progress in your training, the talk-question intervals regularly reverse: you’ll get the chance eventually to talk with your mentor asking the regular questions. This process works fairly similarly on-line (Zoom or Teams) as it does in person. The key however is that you have to carefully listen to the other person talking in order to ask a question (there is no single correct question) that meets muster.