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Victor - being a mature student
Name: Victor
PhD discipline: Archeology
Area(s) of work: Archeology and academic research
Year of graduation: 1999
Date of Interview: 08/06/2008

Now Playing: Victor - being a mature student
Victor reflects on the value of his life experience before the PhD.

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Do you think that there are some advantages to coming into academia at the time of your life that you did, after having had a career? Do you think there are some advantages to that? 

Yes, I mean the issues and the usual clichés: you've got more life skills, the transferable skills and things like that. It works very well in something like archaeology where all skills can potentially be of use and I've managed to bring skills from my background into archaeology and so, yes, that has helped having that. I don't know if I am that much more mature – I still and behave like a 20 year old if I can. I suppose there is some form of maturity that you bring into it and staying power perhaps. I'm just trying to think of people who drop out of PhDs they do tend to be the younger ones.

I imagine you must have had an enormous amount of self-belief to have gone from one environment so different into another.

You don't start off like that. I think I have the self-belief now, having done it. You have some self-belief but you don't have a lot of it at the time. And it has been a process; as I say, the night classes and then some correspondence courses and then full-time undergraduate. You are building up to it – it is a thing you build up to – it is not something you just have it is something you grow into. With self-belief, you know, sometimes I come across some tasks: 'am I going to do this? Can I really do this?' and you surprise yourself and you do do it.

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