The department is instituting a system whereby we assign "buddies" to the incoming first-year students. These buddies are advanced students who can interact freely with the new students and can provide them with advice, encouragement, information, etc.
Please contact the person assigned to you as a "buddy" and get to know him or her, and use him/her as a resource when you have questions, want to know what to expect next, etc. Obviously you should also get to know many other advanced students as well; hopefully doing so will help to make the transition to graduate school as easy as possible.
Research Mentor System for Economics PhD Program
Every September (and January when applicable), the economics graduate coordinator will assign to each new PhD student a faculty research mentor. Students are encouraged to shop around for a different research mentor for any reason, such as (but not limited to) a shared interest in a research area. Eventually when a dissertation advisor is chosen he/she will serve as the research mentor.
The research mentor will (i) provide general advice; (ii) serve as a research role model by letting the student observe the research process and by explaining how the process works; and (iii) provide advice on how to choose a dissertation area and dissertation advisor and eventually a dissertation topic.
The research mentoring process provides one of the three key out-of-class contact points for the student, the other two being the economics graduate coordinator (for course scheduling and general advice) and the professor to whom the student is assigned (when applicable) as a graduate teaching assistant (for teaching mentoring).