One of the most important decisions a student should make while beginning a dissertation is choosing the right mentor. It is as important as selecting a topic for your dissertation, developing the research design, carrying out research, and finally, writing. Here are several tips to help you choose the right dissertation mentor.
Contact former dissertation students
First, contact those, who are either in the process of completing their dissertations or those that have successfully completed them. Then, find out which of these dissertation students were helpful and which ones were not. As the Chinese proverb goes, “If you would like to know the road, ask those who are coming back.”
Find those with common interests
An ideal mentor is someone, who has common interests with you. He or she should also be able to understand your methodological approach. For instance, if you are doing a quantitative study and your mentor does not understand this approach, then they would be a poor fit for you. You should find a mentor, who sees things eye to eye with you.
Do not let your personalities clash
Each person has a different personality and allowing those personalities to clash with each other would definitely not be an ideal plan. In case you find that your mentor’s personality is clashing with yours’, then you should avoid any clashes or conflicts with him or her. It would be a good idea to have a conversation with your mentor before you can go ahead and begin working with him or her. It is just like a first date. If you are not sure about whether the relationship would work or not, then you would need to find a different mentor. Find someone with whom you can not only develop a good rapport but also someone, who can respect the boundaries.