How to ease back into the New Year

Going back to studying, working, or researching (or a combination of all three if you are a PhD student like me) after the silly season can be hard. You will most likely still be in holiday mode and procrastination will be inevitable. However, there is much to do and having 10 coffee breaks before lunch will unfortunately not help you […]

Read More →

‘Must-take’ Conference Items

This is a check list of my ‘must-take’ conference items. This list is for the conference itself not the entire trip (if you are travelling for a conference). 1) A water bottle- I do not leave the house without a water bottle, so this is an obvious choice for me. Although most conferences will provide water, having your own bottle is easier and means less plastic cups (better for the environment!). 2) Back up snack- Again you generally are provided with food at conferences, however taking back up snacks is a good safety net (in case you do not like the food provided, or like me, you have dietary requirements). 3) Paper/pen- You most likely will not take detailed notes like you would (or should) in a undergraduate lecture, but the talks may inspire you or discuss something you haven’t heard of before and that you want to remember. 4) A smile- Cliché yes, but necessary also. 5) Business cards- Which is something I actually did not take. As a first year PhD student it did not even occur to me that I should have business cards, they feel way too professional! However, I was asked multiple times for a card so I have learnt my lesson. 6) Laptop- There are many breaks throughout the day when you can sneak 10 minutes to reply to emails, or even finish a small task. 7) Layered clothing- No matter what the season or […]

Read More →

Networking for beginners

“It is not what you know, but who you know”. Although I do not 100% agree with this statement, as I believe hard work can never be underestimated, I do believe that the people you know are very important. Therefore, ‘networking’, which has always made those butterflies in my stomach partake in gymnastics training, is important. I am not particularly […]

Read More →

How to summarise an article

This is a continuation of a previous blog post, how to critically read a journal article- so if you haven’t read that yet click https://drofwhat.com/2016/10/26/how-to-critically-read-an-article/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true . If you have, yay- you get a gold sticker! So you have critically read an article and now it is important to summarise it. Why? So that you are sure you understand the content […]

Read More →

How to critically read an article

So you have just spent what feels like an eternity trolling through google scholar to find an article that appears to be relevant to your research or assignment topic (at least the title looks relevant), and now you have to read it. How hard can that be? Well learning how to efficiently and critically read an article can take some […]

Read More →

Volunteering: It’s worth your time!

You are already time poor and potentially money poor…I mean you are a student. So why would you volunteer? Well there are many, many advantages to volunteering which makes it very, very much worth your time. Learn Skills- I think one of the best ways to learn new skills is to put yourself in a new and potentially daunting situation. This can include ‘general skills’ such as public speaking (which I improved through my volunteer position as a netball coach which includes making speeches at presentation nights) or more specific skills such as telephone counselling skills (which I obtained through another organisation I volunteered for). These specific skills will generally be most beneficial if they are relevant to your intended career. Invaluable CV experience- The end game (for most of us students) is employment- and often that includes a ‘dream job’. To get this illusive job you need to develop an impressive CV/resume. Volunteering looks great! It shows that you are willing to give up your time, it gives you additional experience and skills (see point above), and it can also give you contacts for references. Meet people- One of my favourite things to do is meet new, interesting people and you will most definitely do this when volunteering. You will meet like-minded people whom you can share your passions with and successful people that can share their motivation and maybe even their secrets to success with you. Try stuff […]

Read More →