Academic advice Adelaide

Years ago, when I was still studying at university, I had quite a few very well-known lecturers and professors who were the leading experts in the industry.

As I always have my radar on, I know who I need to meet. My university days were no exception. Therefore, I decided to make sure those leading experts would mentor me, although many people were saying that those experts were really demanding and strict because they often gave students a Pass Level 2 grade or even a Fail grade. Now I am going to share one example of how I did it successfully so that you can learn from this real story (In order to protect privacy, let me call this mentor ‘Mr Smith’ so that he won’t be identified):

Since I had mastered Unconventional Strategy 1 (because I came up with that strategy by myself), I was very attentive in class, and one day my opportunity came:

Mr Smith was teaching a core course which was the cornerstone of the entire degree. While other students were worried about their grades because they really wanted to pass the course, I was pretty sure I would pass the course — better than that, I had a feeling that Mr Smith would become my mentor in future as well.

One assignment of this course was to write an essay for a particular website. Based on Unconventional Strategy 1, I completed the essay very well. Two weeks later, Mr Smith asked each student to do individual conferencing with him so that he could discuss the outcome and feedback on each essay. Apparently, students were a bit anxious to face the strict Mr Smith one-on-one.

When it was my turn, Mr Smith said to me: ‘You write beautifully. What is your background? How do you know inter-cultural learning so well?’

So basically I told him a bit about myself and explained what resources I have used.

Then Mr Smith showed me the grade that he gave me: High Distinction. At the same time, he said: ‘I haven’t given anyone a High Distinction since a long time ago. But your input is really impressive.’

My heart was filled with joy. Better still, what Mr Smith told me next was a turning point in my life — he said: ‘In fact, I am running the national project of this topic, so I’d like you to do it with me. Just come to my office on Thursday.’

Life was never the same after that Thursday.

— That was only one story among many similar things that I did at university. That was why when I graduated from university, I already had many referees and job offers, whereas most graduates were complaining about the economy. Since I have more than one degree, each graduation ceremony was accompanied by many more referees, mentors and job offers.

I worked hard for that. More importantly, I worked smart for that.

When demanding professors and lecturers were teaching the class, my expectation was not just ‘I have to pass the course’. Instead, my much higher expectations set me apart from fellow students.

Always have high expectations and work towards your expectations.

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