I keep thinking my supervisors were good – and they were. I’m grateful. But I think I’ve found out what a genuinely good supervisor is.
This is someone who goes above and beyond what he/she is required to do as a supervisor for you – and does things that are really beyond his role – to make sure you get the full experience to learn and do as much as you can.
My previous supervisors were OK. In that, they made sure we adhered to protocols, were relatively easy to get along with, and made sure we were content in the positions. If we wanted their support as a reference, most were happy to provide and happy we had new opportunities. But they would not actively participate to help us get where we wanted to.
That brings me to my current supervisors. They initiate to get us involved in conferences to understand what is happening behind everything we are doing and to understand what is happening in the bigger picture on the topic. They actively try to get our names to be included on public presentations while my previous supervisor took the credit for everything. They teach with unerring patience even when when mistakes are made and I need to be shown multiple times – my previous supervisor frequently got irritated if I needed to be told more than once. They tell us about and urge us to apply to current available opportunities. They might not complete outdoor work as diligently or adhere to a protocol as strict as my previous supervisor, but they are much more well-meaning and care much more.
If the supervisor or person is willing to go the stretch, I am that much more motivated to go further and try harder. I can see why there is such a high rate of people who stay for long stretches. They are supervised by a very good and caring team. Although this is not my calling, I am very very glad I decided to join this group and I look forward to learning as much as I can while I am with them.