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At the end of May I officially upgraded from an MPhil/PhD candidate to a PhD candidate. The process was really quite useful and not at all as scary as I thought it would be! For the upgrade I had to write one chapter and my introduction as well as some general information including a predicted timeline for the rest of my project and a reflective report on my progress. Writing my reflective report was really helpful an it made me realise how much progress I have made over the past two years. Talking about myself isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but I think I actually found this to be the most useful part of the entire upgrade process as I was able to look positively at my growing confidence in my academic work.

The actual upgrade panel was both intimidating and really useful. It was quite scary to sit in my supervisors office (in my supervisors chair!) and be quizzed by three established academics who are obviously much more experienced than I am. But after the first few questions I started to feel a lot more comfortable. In fact, I actually enjoyed the process. I realised that I had gained a lot of knowledge about my topic and not only was I able to answer questions, but I was also able to defend my decisions. The whole process was really quite ’empowering’ and gave me a lot more confidence about my project and my own abilities.

Now all I have to do is finish my PhD!

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