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Working in potential grad advisor's lab - Question

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by clinicalhopeful, May 29, 2008.

  1. clinicalhopeful

    clinicalhopeful 2+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    I am going to be a college junior in the fall and I am interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. This summer, I am going to be working as a research assistant for the person who is right now at the top of my list of potential graduate school advisors (the clinical program is at the top of my list as well). I've done extensive research on the program and it fits me perfectly. The professor's research interests also fit mine to a tea so I am very excited to be working for him as an undergraduate. I don't attend his university as an undergrad but I go to another one close by and he accepted me into his lab. The main question I have is this: Is it a good idea to mention to him that I'd be very interested in working with him as a grad school advisor? Obviously it's much too early to tell if he'd even be accepting students for my year. But still, is it a good idea to express one's interest this early? Also, besides just being industrious and enthusiastic in the lab, is there anything I could do that would boost my chances to be his grad student eventually?
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  3. JockNerd

    JockNerd 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007

    As for boosting chances, just be competent and try to get on well with him and the rest of the lab.
  4. Boston2k

    Boston2k 10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    It's up to your interpersonal taste, but I think it might appear a little "stalker/obsessed" to state it now (not saying this is the actual case, of course). You can do excellent work and establish rapport, then when the time comes mention it to him then and see what he thinks and establish a dialogue.
  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    That would be my route. You could go into this opportunity thinking he'd be good to work for, but give it some time.....and if it truly is a good match, you can mention to him that you are looking to apply to programs in the future, and you would like to apply to his lab, etc.
  6. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow 2+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I agree with the others about giving it some time to get to know each other. Besides, you may discover that he isn't as ideal of a mentor as he seems right now, and that your decisions about grad programs changes. See how you work together, then start expressing your interest, assuming it remains.
  7. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe 7+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    I couldn't agree more! I worked in a lab with a person who I thought was my dream advisor in an area that I could really sink my teeth into. After 6 months in that lab, I wanted to hang myself! :eek: The advisor wound up being the WORST person I could ever have to spend 5 years with. So working with this advisor now is a great way for you to give it a "trial run," and if you wait to broach the subject of your interest for grad school, you won't find yourself in a tough spot if the relationship isn't as great as you think it might be.
  8. timecoloured

    timecoloured 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  9. JockNerd

    JockNerd 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    I see this a little different, I guess. To me it seems like working with the prof would lead to a pretty natural assumption that you'll be applying there, especially since it's not a prof at the OP's UG school, so better to relieve any potential ambiguity and say it, seems to me. If I were really intent on working with him, I'd go ahead and say so. It's not like you're marrying him by saying so, and if a rift develops you should be applying at multiple places when application time rolls around anyway.

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