Advising Statement

Last updated by Sharon Li on August 12, 2023

Why Read This Statement?

I deeply value the advisor-advisee relationship, and it’s usually beneficial when students resonate with my mentoring approach. The purpose of this statement is to provide you with clear guidance on my academic philosophy. This can help you determine if your goals and style align with this lab.

Characteristics I Look for in Ph.D. Students

My answer to this question is still evolving 😊 I recognize that every student is different and ultimately charts their path in a unique way. Nonetheless, I found students who tend to be successful and happy in this lab share the following traits:

My Personality and Its Impact on Advising Students

Above all else, I consider myself a profoundly idealistic individual. To me, achievement isn't measured by wealth or status, but by the pursuit of fulfillment, helping others, and fostering positive change in the world. The most satisfying work for me involves nurturing personal growth and enabling individuals to reach their full potential. Nothing brings me more joy than playing a part in bettering someone else's life. This is why I find great resonance in the role of an advisor; it aligns seamlessly with my core values.

My idealism translates into maintaining high standards for myself and those around me. At work, this is reflected in the meticulousness of my efforts, the quality of my research papers, and the unwavering integrity I uphold in my work. I naturally connect with students who share similar ideals, possessing lofty aspirations and a deep-seated drive in both their research endeavors and life ambitions. I hold a deep respect for those who aim to make a meaningful impact on the world, motivated by aspirations far beyond merely acquiring a degree or a well-paying job.

I value deep, authentic relationships with people. I find profound discussions far more enriching than small talk, and my communication style is marked by warmth and compassion. Engaging with students on a range of topics, including technical subjects and broader life and career matters, gives me great satisfaction. I greatly value moments when students share profound insights and even challenge my perspectives. Those around me often sense genuine emotional honesty and insightful perspective.

I possess an inclination to explore beneath the surface and appearances, seeking the deeper layers within work, life, and relationships. My strong intuition grants me a near uncanny ability to decipher people's true motivations, emotions, and needs. This skill enables me to provide personalized guidance. In many ways, I consider this my unique advisor "superpower."

I embrace my creative side, always on the lookout for opportunities to express and think outside the box. Fortunately, this trait lines up with my job. This is why I find immense satisfaction in research and appreciate the presence of creative individuals in my surroundings. This also means I look for the same from students, who are curiosity-driven and possesses independent thinking (rather than being told what to do).

As an advisor, I adopt a stance that is supportive, empowering, compassionate, and equitable. My approach treats everyone as equals, empowering students to think and act based on their strengths. I diligently cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. Identifying each student's distinct strengths is a source of pride for me, and I derive great satisfaction from assisting them in maximizing those strengths.