Final year support thread

posted
27-Oct-16, 15:06
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Oh I am sorry to hear how long you have been waiting Hugh, that is so frustrating!!

Well my sup reckons I will be officially submitting in November but they are not the fastest at providing feedback so I reckon it will be December. I was meant to send them my full draft this week but it will be later next week (they want it binding which can take a few days at my institution's printing service department). I have proof read my thesis on paper (which took 6 whole days- dawn til dusk) and I have been working on applying the edits to the electronic copy.

I am behind with applying edits because I have a couple of job interviews lined up so I have been preparing loads for them, and I mean loads. I have one for a teaching only post and one for a research only post! Please keep your fingers crossed for me :) Also Hugh, any tips for research interviews would be amazing if you can remember your interview experiences well enough, but I understand it is difficult to remember what was asked!
posted
27-Oct-16, 22:39
edited about 29 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Zutterfly, I found that the interviews were very structured around the personal specification, so each question about each criteria. It's good to have examples, so I had questions like tell me about your experience of doing qualitative research? Tell me about your experience of doing research in this area. There wasn't a question that was difficult to answer or unexpected. The first question was always why have you applied for this job? For that question I had 4 points I had pre-prepared and I talked through them. I also made sure I had an example for each thing on the job spec, so if for example one of the criteria was time management, I thought of one example where i had managed time well and how. There was also one criteria on job spec that was optional and I didn't have, and I really should have prepared a better answer for that (something along the lines of I don't have X, but I do have X, X and X(

I did find that there were things that I wanted to talk about but the questions were so structured that I didn't get a chance to mention those and I missed those. Next time I'll make a list of things I really want to mention and make sure I just mention it in the interview, even if it means going off topic a bit or mentioning it at the end of the interview.

I did have a non-research job interview where they asked me about a relevant weakness of mine. I struggled with that, and had to come back to it in the end. They also asked how my colleagues would describe me.

Best of luck! My very wise other half always says to me that it's not about the outcome, it's about the process, so just enjoy the process, and don't worry about the outcome. And he is right, I've learnt so much from the few interviews I have been to.
posted
27-Oct-16, 22:42
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Zutterfly, on your thesis, are your supervisors reading it cover to cover? Between my supervisors each chapter has been read by one of them at some stage, but none of them have read the complete thing in one go. I'm a bit worried, do you think it'll still be ok to submit? (They obviously think it's fine).
posted
28-Oct-16, 15:48
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Hugh,

Thank you so much for the detailed advice and pointers. I had a job interview today but it was for a teaching post. I prepared so much, but I am not sure how it went. I was a bit incoherent with my answers (the chair kept looking at his watch when I was answering!!) So I doubt ill get that one. I have always been told that it is fine to say ' may I have a moment to think about that question?' but they seemed to rush me. Do you have any pointers for ensuring that you do not ramble e.g. a way of buying time to collect your thoughts? Nerves really got the better of me and I did rehearse so many possible answers and examples but I got so flustered and rambly :( I have a research interview next week and I really really want to land that one! I feel I may do better with that one and I will probably spend more time actually revising from the specification as you suggest. For the teaching one, I revised loads of online example questions and I think that confused my train of thought a bit (a lot)

My sup says that she will 'skim it' so I doubt that she will be reading it cover to cover but she has, like yours, seen each chapter once. Though, when she saw those chapters, they were in the first draft stage and some have changed completely. If they think it is fine, I am not sure what else you can do apart from submit now- or do you mean they aren't getting back to you about your final draft and you are thinking about submitting instead of waiting for their comments?
posted
28-Oct-16, 23:32
edited about 2 minutes later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
My supervisor isn't reading mine cover to cover either. For me, I'm really glad about that, because apart from getting me submitting quicker, my supervisor is big on minor shuffling of words around (not uncommon for her to ask me to change something, then ask for it to be changed back on the next draft!) so I don't think it will be that helpful. She's read most chapters a few times, so I think it'll be okay.

Question: do you guys have any thoughts on professional proofreading? My husband had initially agreed to do it and is really good at it, but has got a bit overwhelmed with his own stuff and I don't want it to turn into a source of conflict. It's quite expensive, but I'm considering it and have asked for some quotes. At the moment I'm working 2.5 days a week in a pretty well-paid job, even though I could have just stayed unemployed and have more time to work on the thesis. One of the agreements I made to myself was that I would use some of that money to make things easier for myself during this time.... but I was thinking more like take away and a massage rather than something that costs 2 days salary!
posted
29-Oct-16, 00:31
edited about 3 minutes later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Zutterfly, that sounds like a very rude interviewer. I found my research post interview slightly rushed too, and my guess is, they already had someone in mind for that role. They also promised to get back to me and didn't get back to me for ages! Whereas with the non research post they were much friendlier and seemed to be genuinely interested in what I had to say. It's difficult to calm nerves, but I think for me, atm I don't feel pressured to get a job, so I'm trying to think of it as an experience to enjoy, meet new people, leave a good impression and learn from the experience, rather than necessarily get the job. I believe when the job that I'm supposed to get and will be best for me, I will get that one, but it might take some time. I'm also a bit conflicted between academia and leaving academia, so I'm not 100% certain which job will be the best for me atm. I think taking that pressure off yourself does help calm your nerves a lot. Other than that, prep tends to help me, and I think I try to focus on conveying my enthusiasm and passion. I also do think many academics do already have someone else in mind, but are just interviewing to tick the boxes.

With regards to thesis, that's the 1st time I've heard supervisors skim read it! It does make me feel better, but I'm still not sure. I'm hoping I'll have the go ahead to submit in 4-6 weeks. I am so utterly sick and tired of it. I probably should do another second to last proof read of it, but I think I feel a bit physically sick at the thought of it.
posted
29-Oct-16, 00:38
edited about 3 minutes later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Teegs, thanks for sharing that, it does help me feel more reassured. However I do feel a bit worried that the examiner might be the first person other person to read it cover to cover

In your situation I would definitely go for a proofreader. Im tired of reading mine over and over again, and I don't think I'd be able to spot mistakes anymore.

The cheaper alternative might be to do a swap with someone else planning to submit too?
posted
29-Oct-16, 08:33
edited about 4 seconds later
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Hugh:
Hi Teegs, thanks for sharing that, it does help me feel more reassured. However I do feel a bit worried that the examiner might be the first person other person to read it cover to cover

In your situation I would definitely go for a proofreader. Im tired of reading mine over and over again, and I don't think I'd be able to spot mistakes anymore.

The cheaper alternative might be to do a swap with someone else planning to submit too?


Yes, that's the thing, I am just not going to be any good proofing myself! I turned down offers from people to proofread my Honours thesis and did it myself (and that was a lot smaller), and ended up with SO many mistakes and my examiners commented on it! Not doing that again.

The back up plan is divide and conquer.... get my husband to do a few chapters, get a friend to do another couple in exchange for proofing his next year, and I can probably find a couple of other people to do a chapter each in exchange for something! But it sounds so much easier to just give the whole thing to a professional and I'm sure they'll do a better job. Will keep pondering.
posted
29-Oct-16, 15:25
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Teegs and Hugh- I am having a proof reader check mine before final submission. I have proof read the entire thing once on paper and added notes on the hard copy and I am in the process of updating the electronic copy to hand over to my supervisor. When she returns with comments/feedback I will apply that and then hand over to a proof reader because I really can't face reading it again! A friend of mine skipped reading it themselves and just went to a proof reader right away as she felt sick of the sight of her thesis- she passed with no corrections.

Hugh- yes, I have spoken to some non-academic friends about my experience at this interview too and they all responded with similar comments- the interviewer seemed rude and that they made me so nervous immediately as some of the panel just seemed hostile. In addition to the watch glancing, one member of the panel interrupted me halfway through an answer and the manager jumped in to overrule them and allow me to finish! The same one who interrupted me sighed really loudly when I answered a question from another panel member too. Pleasantries were skipped - I went to shake their hands at the beginning and end and they seemed reluctant to do so. So, really, I am not surprised I felt so nervous. I was just happy to be out of there.

The next one I am interviewing for is a job I really want. I also do not have the pressure to find work immediately, so maybe I should focus on that to calm me. I am going to make notes in accordance with the person spec and formulate a few points to have in mind for the generic questions e.g. strengths and weaknesses. I will just revise points rather than full sentences as I think that approach just makes me feel more pressured and stressed.
posted
31-Oct-16, 14:17
edited about 7 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Zutterfly:
A friend of mine skipped reading it themselves and just went to a proof reader right away as she felt sick of the sight of her thesis- she passed with no corrections.


This sounds like me. I am so tired of it, I don't even feel like doing a final read, but I need to do that final read this week.

Good luck with the next interview, and yes keywords/bullet points tend to work best. I do hope you'll have a much better experience this time round.
posted
31-Oct-16, 15:55
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Hugh:
Quote From Zutterfly:
A friend of mine skipped reading it themselves and just went to a proof reader right away as she felt sick of the sight of her thesis- she passed with no corrections.


This sounds like me. I am so tired of it, I don't even feel like doing a final read, but I need to do that final read this week.

Good luck with the next interview, and yes keywords/bullet points tend to work best. I do hope you'll have a much better experience this time round.


What I found helped with the final read (if this is helpful) was to split the hard copy by chapter or 2 chapters so I can see how much I had to read on each day which was motivating :)

Thank you for your good luck wishes Hugh, I am currently prepping using mind maps!
posted
31-Oct-16, 16:23
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
That's a really good tip Zutterfly! I'm going to make a plan for reading :)
posted
01-Nov-16, 20:01
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Zutterfly, just thought I'd pop in to say thank you for suggesting breaking up the chapters per day. It sounds really obvious now, but Yesterday I was completely demotivated and fed up with the thesis, and breaking it up has meant I'm getting my mojo back. I've managed to do a few chapters today and will hopefully finish them all by the end of a week!

How are you all getting on?
posted
02-Nov-16, 02:28
by teegs90
Avatar for teegs90
posted about 4 years ago
It has been a more difficult week... I have my final oral presentation today (like a viva, but way less pressure as your examiners aren't there) and I didn't expect to be anxious, but I am, to the point that I haven't slept very well! But it'll all be over in a few hours, and I'm feeling heartened because a bunch of friends are coming.

I also made the decision to invest in professional proofreading and I think it is going to make things a lot easier for me and result in a better finished product. The downside (which isn't really a downside) is that to make my planned submission date, I need to get the whole thing finalised and off to the proofreader by the end of next weekend. This means a really big week for me to get everything done, but then I will be sooo close to finishing! Also, if I don't make the deadline, it is not the end of the world to delay by a week or so... my actual deadline is in February.
posted
02-Nov-16, 19:50
edited about 50 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From teegs90:


I also made the decision to invest in professional proofreading and I think it is going to make things a lot easier for me and result in a better finished product. The downside (which isn't really a downside) is that to make my planned submission date, I need to get the whole thing finalised and off to the proofreader by the end of next weekend. This means a really big week for me to get everything done, but then I will be sooo close to finishing! Also, if I don't make the deadline, it is not the end of the world to delay by a week or so... my actual deadline is in February.


I think that's a really wise decision, well done. I am also sending to a proofreader in a few weeks time, and I am also finding that not having to concentrate on typos or minor errors, is making editing the thesis so much more enjoyable. I can actually focus on the content rather than language which is great!

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