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Hoping there are no objections, I will want to set a defense date this semester, if possible. In the meantime, I am currently working with Krystal Wright, the administrative assistant of the UAP department, so that I can ready all my paperwork for for defense. The first is a change of committee form in order to drop Dr Ronald Wakefield, a previous member in my committee when I presented my plan of study. I have to write a letter after 3 years of not talking to my dissertation committee members (except for my advisor).
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, and I am readily available for a chat if you would rather meet in person. Grad-Student-With-Fairly-Common-Last-Name: I have NO IDEA who this person is, what his/her project is, or WHY he/she thought my expertise might be a valuable addition to the thesis committee, nor did (s)he give me any clues.
The only details I removed from that email were my name and his/hers.
Don’t be especially intimidated just because the professor is famous. What you want to look like is a young rising star, a good bet, and a self-starter.
I just heard a story about a graduate student who asked famed physicist Richard Feynman to be his Chair. But turns out, it was the first time he’d ever been asked. The three critical elements here are: a) that you will not be a clingy burden; and b) that you will finish efficiently and successfully; and c) that your ultimate success will add to the glory and fame of the professor. They are always flying off to Copenhagen and South Africa to give keynote addresses.
Taking a GRE prep class, putting your personal essay through months of revisions, and researching graduate programs and potential advisors are all steps that pay off exponentially in terms of the quality of program and quantity of funding you can expect to achieve.
Correspondence with the potential advisor is perhaps the most important element of all; refer to this post for advice on how to initiate the conversation.
Successful professors are generally interested in important work that pushes boundaries in the field.
You must show that your current and future plans are innovative and path-breaking, yet also based on solid research and a grounding in legitimate bodies of literature in your field.
Ideally, you will have arranged to work with your famous dissertation advisor prior to arriving in the program.
I always recommend to all students planning to attend graduate school, that they devote several months to a year to advance preparation.