It’s a little over seven years since I started to help candidates prepare for their vivas. I thought it might be something interesting when I was asked to do a Viva Survivor workshop. I was still relatively new and exploring how I could help researchers. Over time I discovered that the viva was an intensely fascinating topic for me. I found something I was passionate about.

While I do have other projects and workshops, my main focus is finding ways to help people prepare for the viva. In the last six months or so I’ve made it my priority. I want to do more and do it better. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, I still feel that I’m in an exploring mode of thought. I don’t have a five year plan, or even a one year plan. I almost have a three month plan: more writing, more resources, more interviews and more workshops.

It doesn’t mean “more of the same” – and that’s one of the big things to realise about viva prep. It’s not just the same as “doing your PhD,” but it is doing more. Doing more with your thesis. Doing more with your skills. Doing more with what you know. Not the same, but more.

Like I said, I’m thinking about what more I can do to help people be ready for their viva. I don’t know where this work will take me, but I think it will be somewhere interesting, and I hope it helps people.

How about you? What more can you do to be prepared?