Author: Dasapta Erwin Irawan
(image from: http://katdaley.blogspot.com)
One of the major role in your thesis is the role of your supervisor. Unfortunately supervisors are just like other ordinary persons who happen to have job and obligation to supervise your thesis work. So by referring them as persons, I meant they won’t be always at your side supporting you with a wide smile on their face. At many times you would find them just stood there with no instruction nor suggestions on how you do your thesis. So just bare with them, because they are one of your chance to get your degree.
Basically there are two types of supervisors, based on their time commitment:
- The busy ones: They are the kind you are likely to meet.
- The not (yet) busy ones: They are mostly early time researchers at your uni. They would probably be the assistant of the busy one. If you have this kind as one of your supervisor, then you are lucky. But not for long, these early researchers won’t be staying not busy for long as they also find their way to upgrade their career.
Then if you divide them to how they like to communicate to their students, you would find the following two:
- The tech savvy ones: They can use technology in their work. This kind of supervisor uses emails, Skype sessions, and social medias to communicate their science as well as to reach out to their students. Opening pdfs, reading slides, compiling LaTEX script are not their biggest concern when dealing with you. Your research is number one. If you have this kind of supervisor. You are lucky, because they most likely can communicate with you whereever and whenever. A casual conversation might be their style, with a bit of a drawback for you, their messages can be sent in commong working hours. Unsuspected meeting place would also be one of your challenge to meet him or her, e.g: parking lot, airport, train station or even a dark alley. You must be aware 24/7.
- The non tech savvy ones: at first you will have a major headache when dealing with this kind of supervisor. You would need to have a formal-conventional meeting with your supervisor. A structured notes and materials are probably your main asset. Your might need to copy him/her weekly meeting schedule to make an appointment. Prepare your explanation carefully and develop a note taking technique, as this supervisor may be a fast talker and have very limited time for you. A formal conversation would be their style.
No matter which kind of supervisor you have, you must be a quick learner to adapt his or her style. Remember to develop your verbal and writing communication skill.