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I want to do a thesis masters with a specific teacher in the field of Antennas. I am supposed to meet with him to discuss about this in 2 weeks. I am undergraduate in electrical engineering graduating this May.

How can I prepare for this meeting?What to expect?

I guess I should bring my CV and transcript. Maybe personal projects.

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When I meet with potential students, I am trying to find out whether we have mutual interests and compatible working habits. Sometimes I have a specific project in mind that I'd like to staff, and I am looking for a student with specific skills or background. Hopefully, the student is trying to find out whether he/she wants to work with me. There are a few things you can think about in advance to have a more productive meeting.

  • Look at some of his recent publications, and recent publications of students he is supervising. You don't have to read every word, but you should get a sense of what the advisor works on. If you happen to think of an intelligent question or potential extension to his work, great, you may bring it up in the meeting if it seems appropriate, but if nothing comes to you, don't force it.
  • Expect that he may ask questions to find out more about your interests, strengths, and goals, so be prepared to talk about these. I often ask potential students questions like,

    • What kind of work do you like to do?
    • What specific areas of research are most interesting to you?
    • Are there any classes that you especially enjoyed?
    • What do you want to do next (e.g. after the MS)?
  • Think about what questions you might want to ask him. For example, depending on your own working habits and goals you might want to know:

    • Where do his students end up? Do most go on to industry jobs, or PhD programs?
    • How does his group operate? Does he have regular one-on-one meetings and/or group meetings with students he supervises? Is his group very collaborative or do most students work individually? Does he have specific expectations about when his students will be their offices, or is he OK with students who work unusual hours or from other locations?
  • If you have specific technical skills that you believe will be helpful in your MS research, be prepared to bring them to his attention. (For example, if you have taken a course with a lab component that involves techniques relevant to your research interests.)

And yes, it might be helpful for you to bring your CV and transcripts to the meeting, and also email them to him a day or two before. I usually like to look at these before a meeting so that I can see if there's anything specific in them that I want to ask more about. ("I see you're taking [some course] this semester, how are you finding it? ")

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I've never done this, but I would send via email or drop off a package with your CV and transcript now or at the latest a week before the meeting. This is so he can review it beforehand rather than be flipping through it at the meeting.

If you haven't, you should review his recent papers and website, if he has one, to gain knowledge about his current research interests. If possible, you might also try to review master's theses or Ph.D dissertations that he was the advisor for. Try to come up with some ideas on ways to further that research.

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  • What did you talk about when you met the teacher?
    – Napster
    Jan 12, 2015 at 4:17
  • When I said I've never done this, this equals meeting with a potential thesis advisor. I had one assigned to me by the department.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 12, 2015 at 18:56

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