Resilience and the PhD with Will Medd

NWDTC-DTP Rose Logo‘Far from the dreary PowerPoint presentation given by a flip-flop wearing, surfboard wielding stock image life coach I had expected, this interactive workshop led by professional coach Will Medd was both eye-opening and immensely rewarding’. 

This one-day experiential workshop created an opportunity for students to step back and align their PhD to what really matters and find the confidence to make it work. See below reflections from two students Joe Pearson and Oliver Kennedy who attended the workshop.

“As part of the NWSSDTP, I attended a workshop with Will Medd in December at Lancaster University to explore what it means to be resilient. Will is an ICF certified coach and knows what it means to pursue a PhD; he’s also just a genuinely nice guy!

We spent the day exploring the concept of resilience and what it means for different people, considering how to fit the PhD into life (not the other way round), and identifying our cues for when to crack on and push through, but also when to take time away to ensure we can always be at our best. Since beginning my studies I’ve had this gremlin sitting on my shoulder telling me “you’re not good enough” or “why did you even think you could do this?!”. Will helped me harness these thoughts and discover what I was really telling myself. With the skills and time provided by Will, I’m now beginning to use this inner voice to spur me on rather than put me down. I’m not there yet, but I will be.

It was such a pleasure to meet other PhD students and realise that it’s not just me going through the trials and tribulations of doctoral life. Often, we can get lost in our research bubble and forget to take stock of where we are, where we are going, and perhaps more importantly, how far we’ve come. If you haven’t attended any of these extra sessions before, make 2020 the year you do.

I plan to continue some sessions with Will in the future. He certainly knows his stuff and acts as a calming voice in this journey we call PhD life”.

Oliver Kennedy, Business and Management, University of Liverpool, 2019 Cohort

“Far from the dreary PowerPoint presentation given by a flip-flop wearing, surfboard wielding stock image life coach I had expected, this interactive workshop led by professional coach Will Medd was both eye-opening and immensely rewarding. In a pressure-free environment, where attendees were invited to contribute and share as much or as little as they could, Will helped me, and others I’m sure, identify those things most important to my well-being. Additionally, this workshop helped me understand the thought processes driving some of my most persistent worries, and shifted my perspective to view myself and these worries as forming a dynamic relationship that can be worked on to lessen their impact on both my work and wellness. I used to think that feeling run-down and unhappy during your research was a rite of passage ensuring that those who are awarded a PhD have truly earned it, yet now I use simple techniques every day to quieten the gremlins forever shouting ‘fraud’ and ‘impostor’, maintaining my well-being during the ups and downs of life as a PhD student. Whether you are suffering through this rite of passage, or you simply want confirmation that others feel just as you do, this workshop is an invaluable opportunity to take stock of what matters most to you and to learn how to align your PhD with these things.”

Joe Pearson, Psychology, Lancaster University, 2019 Cohort

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