9 05 2016

Postcard from Andrea, once she was released from Dissertation Bootcamp last week:

The Dissertation Bootcamp is a five-day program that involves a mixture of writing blocks and workshops meant to guide your progress (which covered material anywhere from project management skills to authors’ rights when it comes to publishing in journals).

The best ‘take-away skill from this bootcamp was the Pomodoro technique: every 30 minutes of working, we had to get off our chairs and stretch for a few minutes! It felt very nice and it is something I continue to do. We also had to participate in speed dating where our ‘dates’ were our theses – we had 30 seconds to explain our thesis to each other! I’m not a huge fan of things like this, but it makes you have a better pitch by the end.

Overall, I was a bit hesitant in how much work I would get done, especially since you are writing in a room with 15 other students. I was afraid I might get distracted as I am used to working in my pajamas, alone in my home!  It turned out to be a fantastic environment as everyone who attends is very serious about getting work done, so there are barely any distractions. The writing blocks start off short in the beginning (about 30 minutes the first day) and gradually increase day by day. In total we had about 18 hours of writing! I highly recommend this to any graduate student, as the workshops they hold also offer valuable information and skills that can aid in your current thesis or future projects, plus you actually get a lot of work done in that week.