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April 29, 2010

The PhD extra year

Whoever tells you that doing a PhD is not stressful, please kick his/her a@$% for me. I am now in the third year of my PhD studies and I can tell you how stressful it is. 

The only period in this entire course that I was ever happy was in the first year - the honeymoon period. I wanted to do ground breaking research (done), publish a few articles in top raking journals (on the way) before I complete my studies and other grandiose dreams. Now I just want to complete my degrees within the stipulated period with minimum fuss. 

Officially the duration for a Full-time PhD in the Warwick business school is 3 years but as far as I know, the average is between 3 and a 1/2 and 4 years. I know of several who were in their 5th year. It doesn't mean that these guys (in extra years) were bad students or researchers but they went into the extra year because of a number of problems that can crop up in research - due to the fact that research is so unpredictable. And you need to come up with something new - contribution to methodology or theory. You can't just come up with findings that say that "all my hypothesis were rejected because they were not statistically significant". 

I have no idea why but all PhD scholarships end after 3 years, even though as I mentioned earlier, hardly anyone completes it in that time. In fact I don't know anyone who got a PhD in just 3 years. So in the extra year most full-time students have no job, no money and lot of stress. More so if you are a family man and a foreigner. 

According to the new Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS) a foreign student who had been here in the Uk for more than 2 years will require £533 for the spouse and a further £533 for each child, in addition to £800 required for his/her own support. In total our family will require evidence that we hold  £2399. Really squeezing the b$@£s of students who are legally here in the UK. 

My wife is also a PhD student in her extra (4th) year. I definitely do not want to go into the extra year and hope I can go against all odds and complete my studies before September this year.


October 21, 2009

Car parks and fines

Yesterday, I parked my car at car park 8, paid for 4 hours (£1.50) and rushed to my first class of this term.

Lost track of time, and came back to find a parking ticket stuck on my window. This is the first time since I started studying here at Warwick. £70 for being one hour late. However, I get a discount if I pay within 14 days (only £35) for being one hour late.....

Really spoiled my day.

Has anyone had a "Civil Penalty" stuck on your window by a "Civil Enforcement Officer" in the campus?





January 13, 2009

Where are the classrooms?

I am taking a few lectures and seminar classes this term.  However, I am finding it hard to find some of the classes.

Just found out that room B2.09 is in the Science Concourse, which is across the bridge from the Library.

Searching the net led me to this link: Centrally Timetabled Room Information

Search for the room and then find the buiding on the campus map.

UPDATE:

Alternatively you can use the interactive map of the campus.Thanks Michael.





August 02, 2008

No end to bad news

The last good news I heard was that I had passed my upgrades. It has gone downhill since then.

For those who didn’t know, what “upgrades” refer to, it is a special system in place at the Warwick Business School whereby any student who joins the WBS Doctoral programme has to go through.

You have to successfully complete a first year's research training programme (attending classes a day every week), submit two assignments - one on the philosophical thinking and tradition associated with your own research and another assignment whereby you critique the research methodology used in a journal paper - either qualitative and quantitative. I choose to go for the quantitative and was really relieved when I found out that I was one of the only four who had passed out of a total of 11 students that had chosen to do a quantitative paper.

Finally you have to present your research proposal in front of a panel. You only get upgraded from MPhil to PhD status only after the panel gives the green light. I was one of the lucky guys who were upgraded without any problems.

Well right after that, I have been bombarded by one bad news after the other.

I didn’t get the University scholarship and also found out the WBS won’t be giving me a scholarship for the next term. I had assumed that they would automatically renew the scholarship even though they had clearly stated that it was only for the duration of one year. In my ignorance I had not applied for any other scholarship with the result that I would have to come up with the fees myself. As usual they have increased the fees for international students from £9700 annually to £10300. I guess I am lucky to receive the bursary awards which goes towards my fees. But I still have to figure how to come up with the rest, which amounts to around £6000.

I also found out that I am not among the tutors, taking the Marketing Analysis Seminar classes next term, so there goes my extra income.

That’s not the end of my bad news. My car broke down yesterday and looks like it has to be written off as scrap. I have to get a new car asap and it will go from my PhD fund.

I have to get a good job SOON or it looks like I have to say bye to the Warwick Experience.

Moral of the story:

  • Don’t start a PhD unless you have money to pay for it &
  • Don’t take scholarships for granted.

November 23, 2007

Losers

I was coming back to my office from Roots after lunch a few days back. As we were about to cross the road, an SUV passed us. The driver suddenly shouted at us without any provocation and  all the yobs in the vehicle were laughing out loud.

The driver with short cropped hair was looking back via his side mirror to see our reaction as he drove away.

I guess they thought it was funny.  

I just gave them the international sign of the finger and noted down their number (just in case).

Just shows that there are always some losers everywhere.


Dilip Mutum

This blog records some of the thoughts and experiences of Dilip Mutum at the University of Warwick. He has been blogging since 2003 and this is but one of his many blogs.

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