======= Date Modified 07 Nov 2011 21:35:43 =======
I had my viva two weeks ago and I wanted to share my experience of it now that my feet have finally touched the ground!
It was pretty formal at the start. The chairperson was really nice though - a Prof I hadn't met before from a different faculty. At the start I was offered 10 minutes to address the examiners. I had written a presentation so I did that. Then the examiners were invited to ask me their questions in turn. There was only one that I freaked out on - a vague one on the 'theoretical and conceptual framework'. I wasn't entirely sure what was being asked but I must have rambled my way through sufficiently!
The questioning went on for about an hour and became less formal and more of a discussion towards the end. It was pretty relaxed overall and all of the questions were fair. I was then asked to make a closing statement so i just said thanks etc and then was asked to leave the room. At this point apparently my supervisors were asked to make a closing statement (they weren't allowed to talk during the exam but they had to be there) and they were in there for another 2 minutes or so. Then they were asked to leave the room and we waited outside together for about 10 minutes or so although it felt like an eternity! Then we were called back in and the Chairperson said 'Congrulations Dr (insert my name)' and I almost burst into tears of relief! I got minor revisions - 11 typos, add one reference, and amend the wording of two sentences. I couldn't believe that's all they wanted me to do!
I have just had the amendments signed off and I am taking my thesis to be hard bound today. I am still quite amazed that it is all done - 3 years and 5 months after I started. I have struggled so much with self doubt since the start and I thought at a number of stages that I would never get to this point. I always thought I was the impostor PhD student who slipped in under the radar! So to anyone here who thinks they will never reach the end, who thinks that all of the other PhD students are way smarter, and that you are not smart enough - you WILL get there. I always felt like it was a mistake that I got PhD funding and I am so proud that I have overcome that idea and have reached the end.
I dont think I will be on this forum much now but I want to thank everyone here who has listened to me whine over the past few years. I have been a bit more of a 'taker' on the forum but I truly appreciate all of the support I have received. This forum has been invaluable to me as a source of support and as a source of information. Thank you all so much and good luck :-)
Congratulations! That's a brilliant outcome, and very inspiring (or is that comforting??). Anyway, well done, and thanks for sharing.
Thank you Dr Slowmo! I've been looking forward to reading your experience and I just wanted to reassure you too - I also feel like I am an imposter who doesn't deserve to be here so hearing you felt this way and you've now passed with minor corrections is a massive bolster!(up)
Good luck in your future career
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