PhD Life so far

Just thought I’d do a quick post to reflect on the PhD process so far. Everything it going well, I think. I meet my third supervisor next week. I might have to do a presentation, I’ll probably find out about 10 minutes before I do. So I think I’m prepare one just in case. Nervous isn’t the best word to describe it, but  I was a little <whatever it’s called> before, then I google’d the chap and now I’m <whatever it’s called> a lot. No only a Professor of Cardiology but also one of the senior cardiology people in the country.

General PhD Stuff

Anyway a few general PhD thoughts.

What a change going from teaching computing to being the junior in the room? Everyone knows more about the subject than me. This is to be expected and I have been told that it changes throughout the study. Apparently at one point there is a change where you become the expert, good in one way but then you’re kind of in uncharted territory.

You’ll hit the wall (twice). Apparently there are two points in a PhD where you feel like dropping out. I’ve not reached them yet, and I hope I don’t. But apparently it is in the first 6 months because you haven’t got a clue what is going on. And the second is that point where you are implementing the solution you have created and it doesn’t work, you can’t google the answer because you invented the question.

Don’t think of a PhD as a 9 to 5 job. Sounds great at first until you realise the meaning. It doesn’t mean you get to work less hours. It means it never stops! You can be sat there watching TV and the adverts come one, without even thinking about it you’ve picked up your iPad and started reading an article or worse, you’re trying to build a computer model you read about earlier.

Free Education

I think this is one of the coolest perks of the whole thing, free education. I love learning, sometimes I feel like I’m just learning for learning sake.

I keep an eye on job requirements for when I finish, typically machine learning related. As such I know the skills they ask for and it just so happens the university runs courses all the time on all sorts of subjects. This week I did SPSS statistical training, nothing to do with my project, I’ll probably never use it gain, but sometimes job adverts ask for it. Boom, its on the CV.

All universities run their PhD programmes differently, as part of mine I have to do a Post Graduate Certificate in Research. This means I look at the prospectus and pick 60 credits worth of post graduate modules. If I want I can do 120 credits and get the diploma, we’ll have to see how it goes.