Working on an economics PhD can at times be exhausting and stressful, and at other times be exciting and rewarding. In truth, it’s an incredibly personal experience, and one “correct” path doesn’t exist. Since we do not yet have an all-encompassing handbook to pass down to younger students, the best advice we can offer is that talking to older students can be very helpful.

To encourage more of these discussions, the GSA started the graduate mentoring program to match students with similar interests across different years. What are the professors like? How do I choose an advisor? Which classes are right for my interests? These are the types of questions your upper-classmates have all had to answer for themselves at some point. The GSA hopes their insights may be a starting point as you work to find your own path to your goals.

Who should apply?
Anyone who feels like they would benefit from a mentor, or simply wants to get to know their fellow students better can apply. If you already know the area you are interested in working in or have other specific concerns, please mention them on the form. The GSA will do our best to accommodate all requests. Even if you are already a fourth year student, and would only like insights from people on the job market, feel free to apply as well. For all interested in applying, we may ask you to help mentor a younger student in return for other’s generosity.

Should you apply as a mentor?
We promise the commitment is minimal. All we require of you is to meet with your mentee once each semester for one academic year. Over coffee, at lunch, or during office hours? Whenever! We only ask that you meet once in hopes that it will make it much easier to email each other when you have questions. You are certainly welcome to meet more often than once. Most students eat, work, and sleep on campus 5-6 days a week. Finding time to talk for 5-10 minutes should never be hard. And upper year students remember, all of us have at one point or another received advice or guidance from a fellow student. This is your opportunity to pay it forward, thank you.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee. Sign up now.