College and Graduate School Advice

This is originally written by Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution. I wish I had read it when I was 19 or 20 years old and still serious about academia (not that what I ended up doing was bad in any way).

1. To potential academic employers you are defined by your job market paper, your letters of recommendation, and by your publications, if you have any.  Your formal “fields” aren’t that important, nor are your classes per se.

2. Pick classes to learn skills and choose your classes on the quality of the professor, not on the topic per se. A quick classroom visit often reveals this quality within thirty seconds.

3. Pick a mentor that you, on a personal basis, relate to very well.  This is of extreme importance.  If he or she doesn’t like you, all is lost.

Original is here.

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