Viva coming up? Think about who you know and what they can do for you:
- How can your supervisor help you prepare?
- Who among your close colleagues has some way of helping?
- Who do you know that could be a good choice for an examiner?
- Do you know a student of your external, or someone who has worked with them?
You’re trying to find ways the nodes in your network can usefully add to your preparation. Drill into what your network looks like to see the practical things people can do. If it feels like you’re asking for a favour, well, that’s one side of networking: thinking about how you can get help from the people you know.
The other side, perhaps even more exciting, you get to think about how you can help other people when it’s their viva coming up. If you’ve not had yours yet you can still be a friend and help someone prep for theirs. Offer to chat with them, share your knowledge about some aspect of the field they’re less familiar with, even offer to read a chapter and ask questions.
If you’ve had your viva then share your experience around your network. Your viva story can help others realise that the viva is not some terrible doom awaiting them. Tell others what you did to prepare and what happened on the day. Ask them to do the same.
See how the help spreads through the nodes of your network.