Choosing an Advisor

Meet this week's Grad Chat guest, Kyle Kabasares (@AstronoMisfit).

Hi everyone! I am Kyle (he/him) and I am currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where I do research on supermassive black holes. I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of California, Merced, and did a couple of research projects both as an undergraduate researcher in condensed matter physics on campus and as a NASA intern studying atmospheric science for one summer.

As an undergraduate, my two research experiences were very different from each other, and although I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities, it was clear by the time I finished my undergraduate degree and had been accepted into a PhD program, I did not know what I wanted to do for my thesis, or who I would want to work with. This caused me to question my place and purpose during my first year in graduate school. A few months into my first year, I realized that I was not truly committed to the PhD program I had been accepted into, so I switched out of it (I still stayed in Physics at UCI but changed sub-fields) and I spent the next few months searching for a new purpose. This search led me to interview multiple professors and graduate students in different areas of research at UCI to help me decide what I wanted to do my PhD in. Finally, my search resulted in me rekindling and pursuing a childhood interest in astrophysics, where I have been happily doing research in science.

Based on my experience in my first year, I want to spend my day on PhD Balance going over potential methods of finding the ideal advisor for you. This includes steps that you can take while still in undergrad and when you are already in grad school but have not found an advisor yet. Graduate school can be a several-year commitment and your advisor is an integral part of your graduate school experience, so finding the right advisor for you is imperative to making your experience as good as it can possibly be.

You can find Kyle on his Twitter (@AstronoMisfit) and Instagram (@astronomisfit) accounts.

Kyle will be taking over our Instagram account today, before being our Grad Chat special guest tomorrow to talk about Finding An Advisor with Fay. You can join the Youtube Livestream Saturday (04/24) at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific using this link!

Alternatively, you'll be able to catch up on the episode on the NEW Grad Chat podcast published next Tuesday (04/27) here!