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I have completed my masters degree and moving out of my institute. I sent my research guide a thank you note. In return, he told me that I was a serious student and my final presentation was good. But no mention of my research work.

What does that really mean? Does it mean that I was serious, but not innovative enough to conduct a good research? And only my presentation was good, but not the actual research work?

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Don't read too much into it and, especially, don't read anything negative into a positive statement. People don't always remember to say all of the things that they might want to say. I don't read anything negative in what their response was. But it is more likely that they were just focused on a few things, like your presentation and so mentioned only that. And a quick note from a busy person isn't likely to be complete.

If you really want their opinion and a projection about your future in research, you need to sit down with them and have a conversation. Focus on your next steps, more than the past, however.


For context, I was a very good undergraduate student, honors and all that. I once had an elevator conversation (literally) with my mentor and most important professor who said, frankly, that he thought I was losing focus and needed to reorient. A bit devastating, of course, but he simply said what was in the front of his mind at the moment. That is likely what your professor did, but with a positive twist, rather than a negative one.

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