This chapter looks at what happens when a student’s director of studies changes universities, and the consequent considerations around following or not following. This is the story of a student to whom this happened twice, and the upheavals that it entailed, not least starting over.
Pilot studies are valuable bellwethers. They test the instruments and method of data collection, helping to uncover potential weaknesses or flaws that, if left unaddressed, could result in wasted time and money, and even render the data worthless. This vignette captures three lessons learned from doing a pilot study
Polly Watson Black
Whereas some students pursue their doctoral studies full time, others study part time, often alongside a full-time job or career. As well as needing a university that can support part-time study, part-time students may require distance learning options. In this context, the chapter recounts the author’s experiences of studying part time for her Ph.D., specifically the saga of finding and keeping a good director of studies. It begins with her initial search, which included finding a second advisor. Next, she describes losing the director of studies and the struggles involved in deciding whether to follow him to a new university or to stay put. Having chosen to stay, and to find a new director of studies, the author experienced a second loss, but she was able to adapt to the changes involved. The chapter concludes with lessons on finding a director of studies and coping with transitions where these occur.
Polly Watson Black
All things in life involve a balancing act. Changing careers is no different. When I decided to change from being a successful business executive to becoming an academic, my family life was in full swing. The decision was complicated; the transition even more so. I left my executive position and started doing consulting and teaching as an adjunct. I quickly realized I needed a doctorate to get taken seriously and be offered a permanent position at a university of any standing. I also knew that I would have to do it part time and long distance. I took a position at a small but prestigious university in the US running their entrepreneurship program and teaching part time.