Finishers’ Wisdom: Tip #9 – Tap Into AUT’s Support Services

Recent doctoral thesis finishers Emma Kelly and Wendy Moore got together at the latest AUT Postgraduate Writers’ Retreat to collate their 10 top tips for working on a PhD thesis. ThesisLink is publishing their insights over two weeks in our latest blogging event: Finishers’ Wisdom! Enjoy.

Tip #9: Tap into AUT support for postgrad students

For those on this journey of writing a thesis, the support offered here at AUT is vast but you need to be proactive and actually go along to the courses that are offered. You also need to spread the word when you have found one that is particularly of use! We would strongly recommend the following postgrad courses, which you can book on CareerHub:

  1. “Managing and Working through your Long Document” (next one: 25 July) with Sue Knox; her words of wisdom totally changed my life as a user of Word documents.
  2. John Bitchener is another ‘guru.’ He outlines how to construct each chapter and gives really good tips on how to be successful; check out his workshop “Launching the Thesis” on 14 August.
  3. Finally, Academic Consultants (Lyn Lavery) run really good workshops on the software programme NVivo which can also be very helpful when constructing literature reviews (try the beginners’ course on 26 June, and/or the intermediate on 7 July).

Additionally apply to go on a free postgrad writing retreat. The peace, the ability to write undisturbed by ‘life’ and having someone worry about the cooking and dishes is just wonderful! You can write until the wee small hours of the morning or stay up well past bed time and it doesn’t disturb anyone. Another bonus of the retreat is that you have dedicated time with an experienced person who knows what they are talking about when trying to finish your thesis. Dr Jennie Billot (who currently runs the retreats) is able to work with you on the bits you are stuck on or just listen to your challenges and show you the ‘wood for the trees’. Having this retreat at Vaughan Park on the North Shore is also a blessing.

Vaughan Park retreat

Being right next to Long Bay beach you are able to take ‘brain breaks’ and stretch your legs in one of the most beautiful environments around Auckland! Email to enquire about the Masters students’ retreat on 7-10 September, or the retreat for all postgrad research students on 2-5 November.

The tip: take advantage of the support that is offered – it really does make a difference!

About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink and leads the Researcher Education and Development team at Auckland University of Technology. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. These days she works with researchers at all levels to improve their research skills, and the most obscure of her own research skills is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

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