• Haeshah Z. Davis

#1 Graduate Student Mistake


Letting your major professors manage you instead of managing them. If you leave them in charge of everything you might end up:


Doing their research instead of your research. This happens far too often and it shouldn’t. You have to always keep in mind, this is your journey and not theirs. How many times have you found yourself in a situation like this? Not necessarily with your dissertation, but with other things in life, such as, buying a new shirt. The salesperson may try to persuade into buying a long-sleeved shirt, but you initially wanted to purchase a short-sleeved shirt. Once you leave, you’re thinking to yourself, “hmmm… I should have bought the yellow shirt with short sleeves instead.” At what point do you go with your gut and do your own research and not your professors?


Getting ignored by your professor. Being ignored isn’t a good feeling, no matter who it comes from. Professors are there to guide you through the process, not ignore you. Make sure you’re following their protocol when it comes to communicating with them, so you don’t end up in a situation like this. Communication is always the key to a successful relationship between student and professor. Make sure you aren’t falling victim to being ignored by your professor, simply because you are leaving them in charge. 


Being plagiarized. Who’s dissertation is this? Yours! Not your professors or anyone else’s; protect your work. After all, you’ve worked hard and come a long way. Take the extra precautionary measures to avoid plagiarism from happening. Believe it or not, if you are not on top of your professors, they are capable of plagiarizing and passing off your work as their own. It happens everyday, so don’t let it happen to you.


Getting pushed around/disrespected. Take charge and do not accept this behavior if you find yourself making this mistake. You wouldn’t allow it in your day to day, so don’t let a professor do it to you. No one deserves this but, unfortunately, it happens when you don’t speak up and set those boundaries from the beginning. 


It’s your damn education. You have to take charge of it.  If you let them run the show, your priorities and needs may end up on the bottom of their list and your list too! Managing professors is a delicate process - it takes a lot of fitness, humility, patience and Jedi mind tricks to pull it off, but it can be done!  If you need proven strategies to get your professor on your side and working for you, it’s time we talk. Click here to schedule a free breakthrough call with me so we can get you on track ASAP!

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