Week 107: My experience of supervision

I am privileged to have three supervisors who have all been fantastic academic mentors. Throughout my PhD programme, we have had face-to-face meetings once a month, and they have given me prompt feedback and a great deal of advice on my chapter drafts by email every month. I have found my supervisory team very hands-on. I heard that some PhD students have a supervisory day only every few months, or they only rarely meet up with their advisors in person. We all, of course, maintain a professional distance in the relationship, and mentor-mentee relationships vary depending on their fields and backgrounds.

In my PhD life over the past three years, my supervisors are the people I have seen most frequently. But we only discuss research and rarely talk about teaching, health, finance, family, or other personal topics. Some supervisees know about their supervisors’ personal lives; some don’t. (I don’t.)


Handling pressure

A hardship I have experienced is that I sometimes impose intense pressure on myself in response to what all three supervisors expect of me. I truly appreciate their feedback and support, which motivates me to work further. I used to think that working this hard was completely normal, but caring about my own physical and mental health is equally important and that I might need to stop being so tough on myself.

This week, I had formal meetings with all three of my supervisors. The meetings were very helpful, and it was a real privilege to have the discussions.


Teaching Japanese

I love the experience of teaching at different universities and feel the uniqueness of each class. It definitely helps me improve as a teacher and gain a better understanding of students’ learning styles.

Before going to teach my class, I took a ten-minute walk along the River Thames, which is right beside the university. London Eye stands just over the river, and the illuminated buildings by the river are simply beautiful. I have no experience of living in London, and that makes me (still) see the positive and beautiful sides of the city and appreciate being there.



My achievements in Week 107

  • had supervision meetings with all three of my supervisors and identified what I need to do next
  • transcribed audio data of one case
  • attended a two-day training course on mental health first aid

Goals for Week 108

  • elaborate some sections in the methodology chapter
  • make a full transcript of one case