Tomorrow is my first “panel review” for my PhD and I’ve spent the past few days prepping for it. (And stressing out about it just a little bit.) These meetings are meant to take place every six months, although my first one is happening less than four months into my studies because I started later than the traditional September start. That early review has me slightly stressed because I feel that I won’t have as much accomplished as most people would at their first meeting, but I’m sure it will be OK.
This review is fairly simple. It will take place with me, my supervisors, and my panel chair and is an opportunity for the chair to determine if I’m on track – and if my supervisors are doing their jobs correctly. (I believe they are, but I confess that I don’t actually know how to judge that. Still, I believe they are.)
To prepare for the meeting, I have talked with my supervisors about my progress so far. I have also prepared an updated project plan, a listing of training events that I’ve attended and plan to attend, a reading list, and an updated draft of an essay I’m working on around reputation, identity, and information.
I’ve also tried to re-read as many relevant articles as possible so that I can be prepared for any questions that might arise.
I know that the chair isn’t out to get me, but I am still quite nervous about this process. (Hopefully, those nerves will ease as I get used to these review meetings.)
Of course, tomorrow is also my 40th birthday and I know that I will be extremely aware of the time throughout the meeting because I plan to leave the meeting, change into my birthday dress, and run to the train station in time to catch a train to Glasgow where I will meet up with some friends for pretentious cocktails.
And that all means that I might forget to let you know how the actual meeting goes. (Apologies in advance for that.)
Over the next couple of weeks, I will work to get some of the documents listed above up on the site. That way you can see the sort of things I’m working on.
Now, back to stressing out about tomorrow’s big meeting. (Which is better than stressing out about the big 4-0, which I’m not fussed about at all!)
[Note: That photo is actually from when I was in the final stages of writing my master’s dissertation, but it’s still fairly representative of what my study area looks like at the moment.]