I do not like that man. I must get to know him better.
An old friend of mine used to say this regularly. It’s a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and my friend would use it to help him think about difficulties that he had with colleagues or customers. If somebody bothered him, his first action was to try to get to know them better. That could help him figure out a way around the problem he was having.
It strikes me that this sentiment is probably true of the viva. When I ask most candidates about the viva they tell me they’re worried, scared, unsure, uncertain and many more words. They don’t like the sound of it – and at the same time they often don’t know much about what actually happens there.
If they were to get to know the viva better, I don’t think they would necessarily remove all anxieties, but I do think they’d like it more.
Knowing more about the purpose and processes of the viva can only be a benefit.
So, in advance of your own, who can you ask? Where can you go to know the viva better?