Saturday, February 23, 2008

Neglected Neil Is Not Getting Enough. (How About a T-Shirt: "My Mentor is a Rock Star, And All I Got Was This Lousy Ph.D.")

I'm ready for the smackdowns, the sarcasm, the irony. I'm ready to be called a brat, or naive, or a snowflake, or whatever other clichéd term is floating on RYS these days.

However, I have to ask this question because not knowing the answer is killing me: Is the culture of graduate school a culture of neglect?

I'm a recently minted PhD, and I can't get a job. I know that is not uncommon, but what bothers me is that my dissertation director is extremely glamorous. Everywhere I go, I hear about how wonderful he is, how great his latest book is, how if only he were running for President the world would be a better place.

The problem for me is that, from what I can tell, he hasn’t done jack for me. On two separate occasions, he had the opportunity to introduce me to other glamorous professors who could potentially become professional contacts for me. Did he do so? No. Instead, he left those rooms to fly off to some random conference somewhere beyond the reach of the sun, where I'm not even a blip on his radar.

I feel neglected, disillusioned, and just plain angry. Shouldn't our advisors be doing more for us? Am I expecting too much?