Signup date: 03 May 2006 at 2:37pm
Last login: 17 Dec 2019 at 11:55pm
Post count: 3395
I wouldn't worry too much. The fact you didn't present shouldn't be a factor at all as being unable to present due to prior commitments/personal reasons is just one of those things.
My supervisor chose my examiners - he knew the external vaguely and new the internal reasonably well. I had never met either of them before the day of my viva, I was familiar with the external's work - that was about it. They were both fine and my viva was not the stressful event that I thought it was going to be. I don't think it is essential to know your examiners as long as they have a relevance to your work.
Oh and I forgot - the most crucial lesson I learnt. Be nice to the lab techs and auxillary staff - there will come a time when you need something last minute and they are usually the people who can get it or do it for you or know who in the building to ask! (up)
The main lesson I learnt was to make sure I labelled things in a fool proof way. It is amazing how easy it is to label something to put in the freezer and think 'Oh yeah I know what that is' Then a week or two later you go back to the samples and you haven't a clue what your shorthand/abbreviations mean!
Also write up everything as you go along to make sure you get the most out of your work - there were a few things from my first year results that I didn't notice at the time. Then by the time I was writing up my thesis I had no time to follow them up.
Last of all in line with Sneaks' comment - definitely trust your instincts by the time you are halfway through your PhD you are on your way to becoming an expert in your field and so there will be some aspects where you know much more than your supervisor. In my first year I would generally let my views be overruled in favour of a senior academic/post doc - after a while you realise that half the time their guess is no better than yours, so be confident in your views!
That is shocking - if they have termed it deposit then it should be just that, otherwise surely that is deception. Agency fees should be clearly outlined - If I was you I would contact the citizens advice bureau as from what you have said they have deceived you.
In the PhD interviews I went to there was never any need for a presentation, but it might depend on your area. I'm in biological sciences and I have never known anyone to be asked for a presentation in that field. I would assume that they would ask you to prepare a presentation if they wanted you to do one? If you have any doubts perhaps emailing the admin office folk to see what requirements they have for you for attending the interview. Good luck with it!
During the last phase of the PhD process it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and think that you can't do it. Basically you get to the point, with deadlines looming, where you have to start writing and I found myself saying 'Where do I even start to put everything into a coherent thesis?'. For me it was actually sitting down to write the first line that was the hardest point. For ages I was procrastinating with thesis outlines, bullet points for key sections, rearranging which chapters would go where etc. but it just ended up being a way for me to feel that I was doing some work without actually have to face writing my thesis! It was a bit of a waste of time and once I was over that hurdle and just started writing I found that it all just seemed to flow and it got easier and easier to write. In my discussions ideas and conclusions seemed to go down routes that I hadn't even considered while I was coming up with my rough thesis plan. I think it is at this point where it all starts to make sense and you realise that you have actually picked up a lot more information and knowledge than you thought.
There is the risk that it will consume your life while you write it but I think that is counterproductive and unnecessary. If you end up working all your waking hours then you will burn yourself out. You have to structure your days - obviously you wont have lots of free time to go out and party etc. But you have to make sure you schedule some down time so that you don't get cabin fever and feel cut off.
Hang in there - you can do it! Good luck!
I used to do my best work between midnight and 4am.. But I think that was mainly due to there being no distractions as no one else was awake and so i wasn't dsitracted by my phone, facebook, msn etc...
For a long while I did used to dream about my work - that was pretty disturbing!
Sounds like I was one of the lucky ones with my supervisor as I got on really well with him. Although at my graduation he told me I looked like Henry the 8th in my gown. This concerned me as he was fat, ginger and riddled with STIs! I'm hoping that wasn't what the comparison was based on!! :p
I had mine on Thursday and to be honest I was really worried about it but it was a plesant experience. I wont lie and say that I really enjoyed it but I had built it up in my mind that it was going to be awful and quite frankly it was fine. I agree with the comments bilbobaggins made but would add that perhaps think about which is the most important chapter of your thesis - that was one question I was asked.
I didn't have a mock viva or have a lengthy discussion with anyone beforehand. I think if I had been through a mock viva or had a long discussion with my sups then it would have made me more anxious!
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