Earlier this week I visited MountainU. Like all schools, it had its good points and bad points, but as the visit progressed I was sure I wouldn’t be terribly happy there. (There are also issues which make it a bad place for my kids to live but I won’t enumerate those here.)
And then, as the very last part of my visit, I visited my prospective advisor–the guy whose research inspired me to apply to a backwater school like MountainU in the first place.
I loved him. I loved his research. (Often, I’ve become interested in someone’s research after reading their web page, and later been disillusioned after discovering the reality wasn’t quite what it sounded like online. In this case, the opposite was true: I became more interested in his work after hearing him talk about it.)
He liked me, too. Liked the questions I asked. Liked the fact that I’d thought about the research before I came. Loved my proposal for applying the research to a slightly different area, with slightly altered methods.
The host for my visit was one of his grad students, who told me that he was a great guy to work for: gave his students a long leash in the research arena (good for an independent thinker like me), always had plenty of funding, pushed his students to publish like mad.
He would be the perfect advisor for me. So why, why, why does he have to work at a place like MountainU? I’d be so happy at either of the other schools if only he were there…