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Alan - PhD experience
Name: Alan
PhD discipline: Spanish Literature
Area(s) of work: University teaching
Year of graduation: 2003
Date of Interview: 16/06/2008

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Alan looks back at a relaxed PhD experience.

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On the whole what was your PhD experience like? 

Good. I was never really pressured to work hard on it, I think that is partly because my supervisor herself was quite relaxed and also the institution was fairly relaxed. From what I understand of the institution I am currently working in, that is not the case. You have to effectively submit at the end of each year and be interviewed and jump hurdles throughout. That was never the case for me until about, I think, in my third year. The department I was in suddenly decided 'actually, yeah, maybe we should be giving our PhD students a bit of a kick because then we can make sure that they submit on time etc etc.' And so they organised informal meetings with… basically I was called into an interview with three senior members of a department for a bit of a chat about how is it going and what was I finding difficult etc etc, just so that they could be satisfied that I was actually doing something.

But apart from that it was a pretty laid back experience and with hindsight I probably should have done a bit more work in the first year, and maybe if I had done I would have written up on time. But it didn't it took me the extra six months to do that.

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