I was a little skeptical the first time I visited the dissertation coach website: sure, they helped all these people, but I don’t think they can help me. I had tried everything else and was running out of time, so I decided to give it a shot. I had just started a teaching job in a new city and was still trying to finish up my PhD remotely. I had a hard deadline, so in ten weeks I had to finish my research (which consisted of simulations that were not working at the time), and, of course, write my entire dissertation. It sounded completely impossible.
Alison Miller, PhD put me in contact with Kathryn Peterson, PhD and immediately things started to move forward. I had a lot of trouble sticking with the plan, but just the fact that I was talking to Kathryn and telling her what were the next steps made me have a really clear idea of what I had to do. When I was getting anxious about not having enough time to finish everything, she would always make me realize that I could do what I needed to do if I just worked on it for a few hours. She was very encouraging and made me feel I could do it, even when it really sounded impossible.
I ended up writing over 100 pages of my dissertation in the last 10 days and, surprisingly, except for the last three days, I was still living a normal life: fulfilling my teaching obligations, watching TV, having dinner with my friends, sleeping enough. This is what surprised me the most, because I always thought that the only way I was ever going to finish was to stop doing anything else! Kathryn taught me that it is better to take time off and work when I’m more productive than trying to work when I’m too tired. She also made me realize that I could get a lot of things done in 15-20 minutes. I still can’t believe all the stuff that got done with Kathryn’s help! And now my PhD is DONE!