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Should I tell my advisor I am meeting another POI?


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I plan to apply to a ph.d. program this fall and my M.A. advisor is telling me that I should not contact POIs until around fall.  I understand his reasoning. However a month ago I attended a conference and met a POI I would like to work it for my Ph.D.  This ph.d. POI told me to email him, and so I did right after the conference to set up a date to meet to discuss about the program and potential supervision.

 

Thing is: my M.A. advisor has no clue I am arranging this with the ph.D. POI.  I didn't tell him because 1) he told me to not message POIs until later so I am going against his advice and 2) I didn't know it was happening for sure so I kept my mouth shut.

 

Anyway, it is happening for sure, the ph.d. POI confirmed a date.

My question is:  should I now tell my advisor I am going to meet this ph.d. POI so that I can get advice from him on what q's to ask, etc?  OR should I NOT tell my advisor and go meet this ph.d. POI?

Oh edit: I already mentioned that I might see a potential ph.d. POI to a current grad student who is very close to my advisor so there is a slight chance she may have already told him I was meeting someone.

 

I am torn.  PLEASE HELP.

Edited by Zanela123
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Wow, it sounds like you are over-thinking this. You advisor gave you advice about when it would be best to contact POIs. If you had asked me I would have said the same, because a lot of professors are on vacation now and haven't begun planning for next year. This is obviously not to say that no one has, just that on average you'll probably get a better response rate and catch people when they are better informed if you reach out in the early fall than in the middle of summer. Unless your advisor expressly forbade you from contacting other professors (which I doubt!), I really don't see the problem in telling him that you have a meeting set up with someone who you met at a conference last month. Don't psych yourself out about "going against his advice" or about someone else "spilling the beans". Relax, there was an opportunity because of a conference, you took it, and it looks like it worked out for you. Just tell him matter of factly that this is happening and ask for his advice for preparing. Don't act like there is anything wrong, because there isn't. 

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Your advisor does not own you. You are free to do whatever you want. 

If you are meeting with your advisor over the summer to discuss applications, you may certainly tell him as an update. You didn't do anything wrong, you know that, right? If you are not meeting with your advisor now, there is no point in sending him an e-mail only for this. As @fuzzylogician said, this is a matter-of-fact issue, give it the tone and space it deserves. Moreover, if you haven't already, you'll learn that grad school is about self-assertiveness. You are in charge of you, not your advisor or POI. This is up to you. Embrace that. 

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I agree you didn't do anything wrong and you are free to do what you need to in order to move your career forward.  You do not have to go out of your way to tell your advisor about this meeting, but don't blatantly lie about it or try to hide it either.  At some point in the future if you and your advisor happen to be talking about reaching out to POIs or the program this professor is from then that would be a natural time to mention that you happened to meet them at a conference and then after to talk shop.

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On 2016-07-16 at 1:43 PM, fuzzylogician said:

Wow, it sounds like you are over-thinking this. You advisor gave you advice about when it would be best to contact POIs. If you had asked me I would have said the same, because a lot of professors are on vacation now and haven't begun planning for next year. This is obviously not to say that no one has, just that on average you'll probably get a better response rate and catch people when they are better informed if you reach out in the early fall than in the middle of summer. Unless your advisor expressly forbade you from contacting other professors (which I doubt!), I really don't see the problem in telling him that you have a meeting set up with someone who you met at a conference last month. Don't psych yourself out about "going against his advice" or about someone else "spilling the beans". Relax, there was an opportunity because of a conference, you took it, and it looks like it worked out for you. Just tell him matter of factly that this is happening and ask for his advice for preparing. Don't act like there is anything wrong, because there isn't. 

Ugh I Know!!!  I can't help but over think and over stress about little things when it comes to school.  Thanks for this fuzzylogician.. Sometimes I do need someone to say "hey you are over thinking this, it's not that big a deal".

Thanks!!! Appreciate it greatly. :)

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23 hours ago, AP said:

Your advisor does not own you. You are free to do whatever you want. 

If you are meeting with your advisor over the summer to discuss applications, you may certainly tell him as an update. You didn't do anything wrong, you know that, right? If you are not meeting with your advisor now, there is no point in sending him an e-mail only for this. As @fuzzylogician said, this is a matter-of-fact issue, give it the tone and space it deserves. Moreover, if you haven't already, you'll learn that grad school is about self-assertiveness. You are in charge of you, not your advisor or POI. This is up to you. Embrace that. 

Thanks for this!! You are so so right... I'm the one in the driver seat.

 

3 hours ago, MarineBluePsy said:

I agree you didn't do anything wrong and you are free to do what you need to in order to move your career forward.  You do not have to go out of your way to tell your advisor about this meeting, but don't blatantly lie about it or try to hide it either.  At some point in the future if you and your advisor happen to be talking about reaching out to POIs or the program this professor is from then that would be a natural time to mention that you happened to meet them at a conference and then after to talk shop.

Thanks so much :)

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1 hour ago, Pink Fuzzy Bunny said:

Are you sure that your new POI will not ask your current one for a recommendation?

I would assume that any PhD application would expect a LOR from the Masters advisor at some point, probably not at the initial contact stage but when an application is submitted (and that there would be concern if such a LOR were not submitted), but I don't see why that is a problem. To my understanding @Zanela123's advisor did not tell her not to apply to other programs or speak to other professors, but instead simply gave her advice about when to reach out to POIs and said that the fall is a better time. It would be exceedingly unlikely that he would refuse to recommend her just because she chose not to follow his advice on this particular point. If that were an issue, there are probably already bigger problems in the advising relationship to worry about. 

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