Getting a PhD can sometimes take up to 6 years. Think about that for a second: 6 years of your life spent on one thing.
For this reason, being a successful PhD student is pretty much fundamental. After all, you don’t want to look back on your time on a PhD programs education and realise that it was all for nothing.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 ways to be a successful PhD students.
Choose The Right University
The biggest mistake you really don’t want to make is choosing the wrong University. Since you’re going to be studying there for 4 years, you need to make sure to do some research beforehand. Dig deep to find out all about their PhD programs education and what they can offer you. Look into their reputation and whether they offer financial support, such as grants. Meet up with the professors and talk to them face to face if possible.
If you pick a PhD subject that you’re not all that keen on, you’re going to struggle to stay passionate about it for the next year few. Your motivation will wave, you’ll lose focus and you might consider giving up altogether. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you need to choose a subject that you’re totally committed to. Have a good think about what can you get a PhD in and make sure to choose a topic that you know you will enjoy.
Getting a PhD: Network
If no one has ever heard of you except your mom, dad and friends, no one will read your research. Okay, mom and dad might read it, and they might even give you a gold star and tell you how proud they are of you. But if you are going to be a successful PhD student, you will need to network and build up plenty of contacts. So do it!
Read Lots and Lots
You need to read everything and anything that is related to your subject. This, after all, is the only way you can be sure that you aren’t replicating what has already been said. It is also the only way of discovering what hasn’t been proved, and what has so far been ignored. To produce some truly original and engaging research, you need to read lots and lots. Cover all the bases.
Getting A PhD: Be Productive
There are ways to maximise productivity, and each of us have different methods. What works for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa. To get the most out of your PhD, you need to find a way of increasing your productivity. A good place to start is knowing what can you get a PhD in and choosing a subject you will definitely enjoy. After that, you should create a time management tool that improves your efficiency and productivity levels.
Develop A Good Work Ethic
Nobody ever got anywhere by putting their feet up and doing nothing. As a PhD student, a solid work ethic is vital. Sure, you’re still a student so you do still need to have some fun. But if you don’t put aside enough time to get your work done, you’re going to flounder. Just live by the age-old motto: Play hard, but work even harder. You don’t need to work yourself into the ground, but you do need a good work ethic.
Think getting a PhD is easy and you don’t even need to learn all that much? Think again. Securing a PhD is going to be one of the most difficult things you’ll have done in your life so far, and to be successful at it, you need to be open to learning. This means you might get yourself a tutor or mentor to help you. It will also mean that you dedicate time to reading lots of books, watching lots of programs/documentaries related to your subject, as well as taking the time to visit lectures and conferences.
Getting A PhD: Communicate With People
Okay, so you can research. That’s just great. But can you communicate with others? If you can’t, you’re going to have a hard time spreading the word. The potential of your PhD will disappear without excellent communication skills. Your research could be illogically ordered and impossible to follow. To be successful, you need to brush up on your communication skills so that you are producing a clear message that is easy to follow.
Be Patient and Persevere
Research doesn’t just fall into place. Not unless you’re Einstein. Instead, it takes a lot of work, stress and long nights. If you persevere, though, rewards will come. Stick at it and you will achieve your goals, because PhD research is a slog that requires dedication and commitment. Your endurance will be tested at times, but if you keep on going you will reap some seriously rich rewards.
Publish Your Work
The end goal of your PhD is to publish it, but why not publish it as you go along? You could set up a blog and publish excerpts online at different stages. This drums up support and interest in your research, and it means that you are getting your name out there and building up a buzz. Then, when you have completed your PhD, people will be clamouring to see it in all its glory. Also, if you are looking for PhD personal statement, here are some. Sweet!