The Importance Of Your PhD Supervisor

I am really enjoying my PhD at MSSL and the life I have around it, but not every day starts particularly well.

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory main building. My office is the 2nd window on the right of this photo (1st floor). Image Credit: Craig Theobald

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory main building. My office is the 2nd window on the right of this photo (1st floor). Image Credit: Craig Theobald

Today I woke up feeling incredibly tired. Mostly self-inflicted tiredness from a busy week, including a full week of work, three days of evening sports activities and a pub quiz last night. I overslept, got into the office late and by the time it got to 11am and a meeting with my supervisor I still wasn’t feeling quite right.

As soon as I sat down in the meeting and opened my laptop I remembered how proud I’d felt achieving something on Wednesday after only 2 days work that I thought was going to take more than a week. As the meeting went on I felt myself forgetting all previous tiredness and enjoying talking about my project so far. I even enjoyed adding to my to-do list!

It is days like these when I realise how happy I am to be at MSSL. I am genuinely interested in the overall research I am doing, but that’s not all – I feel lucky to have a supervisor who makes me want to find out the next thing. I rarely leave meetings feeling worried or overwhelmed; I always have a long list of ‘next steps’, but I feel supported in my work as well as challenged by it. I know this is a situation that not all PhD students have so I hope I will always remember to appreciate it.

One final note: MSSL currently has next year’s PhD places advertised on the website (application deadline is  14 February 2014). I would strongly recommend the Astrophysics section, but I’m biased! 🙂

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