Signup date: 05 Oct 2009 at 3:36pm
Last login: 09 Jul 2010 at 12:42pm
Post count: 608
Firstly, thank you so much for all the good luck messages yesterday, and for all your support over the last year I've been on the forum! It's amazing to know there are others going through the same thing, and it's been a huge help to me!!
Now, about my viva yesterday. Well, I passed :-)
I have some very minor amendments to do, which they've given me a month to complete. However, I will get them done within 2 hours (if that) today so I'm pretty pleased with the outcome!
The viva itself wasn't half as scary or terrifying as I'd expected. I'd always imagined it as if I were in a dark interrogation room, with a spotlight shining down on me from above, and my examiners being shadows in the corner throwing bullets (well questions) at me. It wasn't like that at all. Once I got in the room, my sicky, "I'm going to cry" feeling disappeared.
My first question was about why I embarked on the research, and after that we went through my thesis section by section, but spent a lot of time discussing theory and methodology. My results seemed to surprise my externals (I had 2 - don't ask!), but in a really good way, and rather than question me on them, we just discussed their impact and how we could use them for the greater good, I suppose. I actually enjoyed the experience, although I was challenged.
In all, the viva lasted and hour and 15 minutes, and the examiners deliberated for about 15mins before giving me the verdict.
Right... on with those amendments!! :p
I have my viva in under a week and have just had my mock viva. It went swimmingly! I opted to not have a formal mock, but instead more of a chat with my supervisor who asked me questions and talked through the process (for the millionth time). It helped loads!! He managed to calm my nerves so much!! Everyone's different, but my main issue is that I have no confidence in my own ability and always feel like a fraud. I've decided that this isn't the case and am going to spend the next few days working on my confidence issues. As long as your confident in your ability and your research, you can't go wrong (from what I'm told!)
Some questions my supervisor said which might come up and could trip you up are:
1.) what part of the research are you most proud of?
2.) If you could do it again, what would you change?
3.) where next in the research?
My sup also said that chances of getting a question you have prepared for are slim as your examiners have different agenda's to you. He said for his viva he prepared for loads of questions but didn't get any of them in his viva. Basically I think the key is to just know your research, be confident and passionate and see the viva as a chance to express yourself.
I've already submitted but did a clear out of my office yesterday and found my original ethical approval letter (I thought I'd lost it and so used an emailed one from the ethics people in my thesis). Made me think of you Wally... I was tempted to enlarge, laminate and find 2 old folk to present it to me with a bunch of flowers...
When you fill in an application you give evidence of how you fit the criteria in the job spec. When they say that other candidates were a better match to the criteria, it does not necessarily mean that you didn't. It's just that their evidence may have been stronger.
The current job market means that more and more people are applying for the same jobs and its becoming more difficult for employers in that they have so many applications to sift through. It would have been better for you if they were more explanatory in their feedback but don't take it as a strike against yourself. Just work on making your application stronger... and when you fill them in give details of experience or skills that aren't necessarily asked for in the person spec. Its not just about meeting criteria, but it is about selling your skills and experience.
I'm sorry you were unsuccessful this time, but keep going and you will get there! :-)
A nude mouse!!! They're like the ones in the film The Witches, but rather than being the cute fluffy ones that the kids get turned into, they're the mice the witches get turned into. The have MASSIVE ears and are really wrinkly!
That's my next pet anyway...
Did you ever get sent your ethical approval certificate? It should have a reference number on it which confirms your project has been approved. You need to submit it in the appendices of your thesis (at least I had to submit mine), so it's pretty important. Maybe ask your supervisor, as they should be sent the same correspondence as you.
Can I join the cicus... please!!?? I have no circus skills unlike Teek, but reckon I'd make a mighty fine lion tamer!! I am one with the animals, much like Dr Doolittle (the original who lived in a giant snail, not Eddie Murphy). (robin) (there were no lion icons for me to use, so here's a robin.
I have my viva in a couple of weeks time and will be moving to a new city to start my post doc about 2 weeks after my viva. That's my plan!
I started applying for academic jobs about 6 months before submitting, and have had a handful of interviews and 2 job offers (both for post doc's although I did apply for lecturing posts as well). My thought was that if I didn't get an academic job by the time I had my viva I would beg for teaching, marking, etc to keep me at my current institution long enough to find a more stable position. Plan B would have been to work in a bar/ restaurant and write a up articles from my thesis until I found something in academia.
Luckily for me I have found my perfect position and so the other options weren't needed.
Either way though, I'd recommend that you start applying before you submit even if it means preparing for your viva whilst working/ applying for jobs, etc.
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