October 17, 2008 1:21 PM

Meeting with my Major Advisor

Today was my first formal meeting with my major advisor, Susan Kishi from Environmental Sciences. For the past few weeks, I've been worried sick about the general direction of my future.

Meeting with Susan reminded me of why I love CNR so much. I'd e-mailed her with some tentative times this week, and she responded quickly. Even though I'd wanted to meet early in the morning, before her office hours began, she was willing to come early just for me!

We sat in her office, just the two of us, and talked about... me! She knew the right questions to ask - about my classes, professors; and the right follow-up advice to give. I'd been torn between taking an R1A class and scuba diving (a follow-up class taught scuba diving for research!), and she gave me great suggestions for deciding. What I liked was that she didn't give the usual "Just do what you're interested in and you'll be fine!" talk - she was realistic, pointing out that my schedule was only going to get more difficult, and that it was a good idea to quickly finish my R&C requirement. As for scuba diving, she suggested that I talk with my Oceanography professors during their office hours to get an idea of what they did for their research to see whether or not I'd like doing scuba diving for research.

To help me get over my general feeling of lack of direction, she pointed me to the career center website; it had these neat applications that I'd completely missed before!

We didn't just talk about academics. She also wanted to know how I was doing Student-Life-wise, asking in which student groups I was, and suggesting others that I might like.

I came from a big public school, and I'd never recieved this kind of attention before. We talked for a whole half hour, and never did I feel rushed. I came out relaxed, with a plan in my mind, feeling like I had a great source of support.

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Comments (1)

Hi Katarina, Susan is great, isn't she? She's always excited to talk to students to find out what's going on! So I'm commenting mainly since you mentioned scuba diving. I don't know a lot about it, but I know that if you are planning to take it over the spring semester, realize that you don't have a spring break. You'll be doing dives after dives and be mentally and physically exhausted. It'll still be a lot of fun, but your time will be constrained. This I heard from someone who has been scuba diving and took the class at Cal. Continuing on that topic, have you considered applying to the Moorea program? I'm currently here, and it's absolutely amazing. In fact, this year's class is basically separated evenly with half of the people doing marine projects. If you haven't considered this, you really should. It would be a great opportunity to do field research, and you might be able to develop a senior thesis from your project here. You should definitely talk to Susan about it - she can help you plan out your schedule to fit this in. -Wishing you the best, Irene, CNR Peer Advisor


Posted by Irene | 2008-10-18

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