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About to visit professors/potential advisor, Dos and Don'ts


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I've submitted all parts of my application. But before the wait game starts, there is one more thing to do: visit professors that I made contacts with in August. How can I (or should I even) tell them that I want to work under them for my MS? "I hope I can work in your group." or "I hope you can be my thesis adviser?"

My ultimate goal is to impress them so that they'll bat for me in the 2nd stage of the admission process.

I will read a few of their articles beforehand, but if you have any other advice, it'll be highly appreciated.


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I guess I should refine my question a bit more.

Basically, I'm planning to meet this professor in a week. I'm trying to read a few of his articles to better understand his research. I plan to really understand 2 articles. Problem is, it's not easy and I'm not sure I will be able to completely understand every technical detail in the articles. Is that necessary to understand it perfectly before meeting?



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I read up loads before meeting potential advisors, and I found it to be unnecessary. As long as you have a good grounding in their research interests and how that applies to yours (i.e. where you would fit in under their tutelage) I found you didn't need to know the ins and outs of specific papers.  Of course it's very nice to be able to say I read this paper and that's why I think you'd be a good fit for my project - as long as this paper isn't a random one off thing. Just be yourself in the meeting. Be enthusiastic about the advisor, the programme, why you want to do an MS, why that school and keep a smile on your face even when you're tired!!

Short answer: nope. No one expects you to be perfect and know minor intricacies within papers at this point and even researchers as others to explain their work ALL the time. 

Edited by piglet33
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