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Monday, April 27, 2009

Managing My PhD

When I first got to know that I need to complete 60 hours of credit during the first year of my PhD I was quite ovewhelmed. More so that 60 hours will be accumulated through workshops. How many workshops do I have to attend? The word workshop alone makes me cringe inside. Seriously, it is so easy to associate the word workshop with the word boring, isn't it?

Yet, what needs to be needs to be. I later find myself booking for a whole bunch of workshops offered for graduate students. One of the workshops which I booked myself into is Managing My PhD.

I was curious and really want to know how shoud I manage my PhD. I expected the workshop would be very military like where the instructor would tell you what you should do and what you shouldn't do during you PhD.What I didn't expect was the two way communication between the instructor and us, the participants, and the way he made us think and realize what and how we should manage our PhD without him ordering us to do so. Impressive.. very impressive. Plus his laid back style.

One important thing I learned from that workshop is as a student/researcher I need to have a specific goal. Not just any goal. Let say my research is on 'Masakan Melayu' and my goal for this month is to read journals on that topic. So,

Any goal: Read journals on 'Masakan Melayu'
Specific goal: Read 5 journals on 'Masakan Melayu Pantai Timur' by 1/5/09.
Read 5 journals on 'Masakan Melayu Utara' by 8/5/09
Read 5 journals on 'Masakan Melayu Selatan' by 15/5/09
Read 5 journals on 'Masakan Melayu Moden' by 22/5/09


Any goal: Try to cook 'Masakan Melayu'
Specific goal: Try to cook 3 'Masakan Melayu' between 27/4 - 1/5/09 plus details on each ingredients.

Which do you think is more realistic & achievable?

I try to set up monthly goals as well as weekly goals. Daily goal? Nah! I think that's too much for me. Mind you not every goal is completed by its due date but I tried to keep my pace.

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