With the move to video vivas in the UK, I’ve not heard of any terrible stories, but I can well imagine that for some candidates the viva doesn’t feel that important. Or if it does, there’s a shadow of it not being all that special when they succeed. Finishing a video chat and sending a few emails or text messages isn’t the same as being able to meet a group of friends for dinner and celebrate.
There are things we just can’t change, not yet, not now – but celebrating success, while it might have to be different for a while, still has to happen.
Consider how you can make your viva success feel awesome. What can you ask others to do to help you? What could help make that day feel amazing? Who will you need to tell? How will you tell them? And how will you celebrate that day or soon after you’ve finished?
If you department has a tradition, maybe there’s a way you can update it for now. Some traditions might be hard to replicate over Zoom though…
Congratulations to Tianfei Peng who successfully defended his impressive PhD on foraging in bees 🎉🎓!!!! Following German local tradition he then was taken on a victory lap on a mobile "throne", pulled by his supervisor. Nobody was injured. #proudsupervisor @uni_mainz pic.twitter.com/Wy5VDSelVP
— Christoph Grüter (@chris_LeDuck) September 26, 2020
You might not be pulled through the streets in a balloon-covered wagon, but you can find some way to make your viva success matter!