A STAR For Confidence

A great way to build your confidence before the viva is to find stories from your PhD to inspire you. I’ve mentioned finding STAR stories in the past to point to specific skills or parts of your work, but the same four-point structure can help to build stories of talent generally.

Try using this process to find stories that help you. Answer the following four questions in success:

  • Situation: Find a situation or project that was challenging. How did it stretch you?
  • Task: Detail what exactly you had to accomplish. What were the specifics?
  • Actions: Lay out the sequence of steps you followed. How did you try to solve the problem?
  • Results: Clearly state the outcome. What happened in the end?

How you think about your PhD and your talent is a story. If you need to, find a new story, or several! Find stories that boost your confidence and lay out how you got your research done.

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