What’s going on Trainwrecks? In this LIVE video, we discuss the Dissertation Intensive, experiences starting a Youtube channel, and our latest experiences with classes (Advanced Quantitative, etc). Recently I met with fellow Walden University Doctoral students Marlo Greponne and Bridgette Stevens and together we explore these topics over a ninety-minute discussion.

The Process

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Every new day brings a new step in the process we call life. The more we explore this process, and not fight it, the more we can embrace it and understand it. The more we face our fears, organize our thoughts and push forward toward our goals, it seems the more things begin to take shape and make sense.

What I enjoy the most about these videos is the opportunity to share raw and unfiltered ideas and it allows us to share our experiences. Imposter syndrome, feeling like we aren’t good enough, these are all very common things that we feel, not matter what. The great thing is that these experiences bring us together and show further proof how alike we truly are.

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Laughter is the Cure for Covidial Craziness

Throughout our interview we shared a lot of laughs. I think that is one thing I enjoy the most out of my experiences, the opportunity to share a laugh and share a leg of our journey. In this video we compared some similarities between running marathons, creating a Youtube channel (Dissertation Purgatory is one year out), and finishing an education program.

It feels like every video I make with others ends up in at least one or more laughing fits. And you know what? I’m beginning to use that as a gauge. Yeah I’m weird.

The Dissertation Intensive is: Intensive

In this video, Marlo shares her experiences with the Walden University Dissertation Intensive, a resource designed to facilitate rapid collaboration with faculty and provide instant feedback to students. Marlo, Bridgette, and I discuss valuable information about the differences between Qualitative and Quantitative studies, as well as the beginnings of our dissertation process.

Some key takeaways from this discussion for other students is focus on completing a rough draft of chapters 1, 2, & 3 of the dissertation before attending an intensive so the faculty can have time to lead you deeper into your topic.

In the PhD program (and many Doctorate programs), the dissertation is the ultimate culmination of graduate studies. With that said, many of us seem to share similar stories about our speed bumps and minor hills. What I mean by this is so many are still struggling to understand what the Dissertation process is supposed to bring, we get caught up in the details. When I returned to Grad school (after a 10 year break), I thought for sure I was supposed to be bringing some earth-shattering knowledge to the table. I told myself that if anyone found out I was a “normal person,” I’d be laughed out of the room or not be taken seriously by my professors. Nothing can be further from the truth, imperfection and willingness to learn is key.

Concentrate on the Gaps in the Literature

As Bridgette Marlo point out, timing and openness is key in this program. They are key in many facets of life as well and I cannot express how important understanding the role they play can be. Bridgette mentioned the most important point anyone can understand starting their program: “find the gaps in the literature.” Once I understood that this meant I was supposed to read about what others have done and combine their work to guide mine at small increments, this has become easier.

The PhD program is designed to teach us how to contribute our work to the work of others, not the other way. This means we need to open our personal desires for research to being guided by theoretical frameworks that have been established by others. We cannot “reinvent the wheel.” At least not alone.

Who Wants to be a YouTube Star?

We wrapped up our conversation by exploring the ins and the outs of Youtube content creation. In all honesty, I would compare starting my Youtube channel “Beautiful-Trainwreck” to starting my education program. Both Bridgette and I agree, at first you really have no idea what to do and the most important thing we can figure out is to JUST START and we’ll figure it out along the way. Bridgette shares her experiences on Youtube during several iterations of her journey from the Vegan lifestyle to one of her passions: BBEScratchin!

Marlo shared with us her desire to share her experiences on a YouTube channel like Bridgette and I, so we share some of our early experiences as well as some things to be ready for. Some key takeaways for Youtube content creation we discussed are:

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  • Be consistent
  • Find your “lane” and try to stay in it – your views will multiply
  • Pay attention to your feedback
  • Ignore the haters (you WILL get haters on YouTube)
  • Enjoy the process, even when it gets tough or you think no one is watching
  • Believe in yourself and you will figure it out
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The Journey Continues

Like every video, I continue to learn more about myself. I learn my journey is not so different from the journey of others. More importantly I have learned I am not alone in having the same speed bumps and hurdles we all seem to encounter. The great thing is we are able to learn from and encourage one another. I cannot thank these two awesome women enough for helping guide my own journey. In the next video, I speak with a recent Walden University graduate, Dr. Brittany Boone. We talk about her education experience with Walden University, what she is doing in her professional life as a graduate, and her completed dissertation: Discrimination, Organizational Commitment, and the Impact of Diversity Programs on Black Millenials.

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