No, not for me 😀 . Well, not yet however. I just got back from attending a doctoral defense by one of my department’s PhD students who happens to be a friend of mine. Since I never attended one before this, I guessed it’ll be useful and beneficial for me to be there. I bet it’ll be a good exposure.
Prior to attending this morning session, I have always imagined that doctoral defense will be somewhat like the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ where the person who is sitting at the end of the chair will be grilled like there’s no tomorrow 🙂 . But to my suprise, the session today was quite laid back. It’s just like a normal presentation that you would usually deliver in front of a small group of people.
The atmosphere was very relaxed. Of course, there were some presentation protocols need to be addressed accordingly but they were the usual stuffs anyway, like introduction of the research followed by the hypothesis, the research methodologies, research analysis, the findings and finally some conclusion and some projected future works.
At the end of the presentation, came the Q & A session. Even the questions were not that hard based on my personal judgement. They were more like just to clarify and confirm some of the findings of the research. Most likely this is because all the committee members have been actively involved with the student’s research and they know about it in and out. I guessed this is why it is important to keep a good relationship with your supervisor and the committee members through out your years as a PhD student.
Right after the session ended (it took around 45 minutes), we were asked to leave the room for the committee members to discuss the outcome and the verdict (the session was conducted in one of the focus rooms). While we were standing outside, she said something which I think she’s been waiting to utter ever since she set foot at the department 4 years ago; “I’m DONE!’ 😀 . Overall, she did very well in her presentation.
After a few minutes waiting eagerly outside the room, finally the chair person of the committee members (he’s the department’s head) opened the door. I noticed a huge smile on his face. As he invited my friend back into the room, he profusedly congratulated her and repeatedly shaking her hand. Well, I believe you know what the final verdict was 😀 …