So you want to be a Doctor?

PhD preparation workshop

You are thinking about getting a PhD, but you are not sure about what is expected, how to go about it and whether it’s worth it. This workshop will help you to decide, and to prepare an application for PhD studies.

Many people want to get a PhD, to wear the red gown and to earn the right to be called Doctor. But it’s not an easy process. Doctoral education takes three to six years so it’s a big commitment. Many start, but few complete.

This workshop will help you to …

  • Decide if a PhD really is for you
  • Understand what a PhD is and is not
  • Choose a PhD program
  • Find a supervisor and persuade them to supervise you
  • Choose a research topic
  • Prepare your application
  • Prepare a research proposal
  • Increase your chances of acceptance into a program
  • Plan for your life as a PhD candidate

This workshop is a great way to start you PhD studies and make sure you succeed.

Who is it for?

All kinds of people do PhDs. This workshop is for you if…

  • You are employed at a university and are under pressure to get a PhD
  • You want to get into an academic career and need to improve your qualifications
  • You are employed outside of academia and want a PhD to differentiate yourself
  • You are retired and now have time to explore an area of knowledge in depth
  • You want to reflect on and consolidate your experience and knowledge in a field
  • You have a long-standing personal dream of being a doctor
  • You have applied for a PhD before and been rejected
  • You don’t have friends and family with PhDs to advise and guide you

How does it work?

The workshop takes place over two days. You must attend both days. It is held at Better, 91 Oxford Road, Saxonwold in Johannesburg. We can recommend accommodation nearby for people travelling to Johannesburg (not included in the fee).

The first day of the workshop will be spent learning about the PhD, how doctoral education works and analysing your reasons for wanting to do a PhD. We discuss how to choose a program and supervisor and go through a detailed process for deciding on a research topic. The day is very hands-on and we will have plenty of time to talk about your specific circumstances. We work through exercises examining what the information we share means to you.

At the end of the first day you will be set homework to do that evening, collecting information for and preparing your application. On the second day we will review your application and discuss how to strengthen it. Then we will spend time writing your proposal, discussing your proposal and improving it. This process also gives you a taste of what PhD study is like. We end the workshop by discussing how you are going to adjust your life to accommodate a PhD.

You get…

  • Two days with an expert on doctoral education answering your questions
  • Detailed information about what to expect from doctoral education
  • A checklist of questions to ask when choosing a program and supervisor
  • A detailed procedure for approaching a supervisor
  • A template for preparing a short proposal for your application
  • Insight into how to find and use academic literature to guide your choice of topic
  • A taste of what academic research and PhD learning is like
  • A personal review of your CV and academic transcript to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • A worksheet that helps you plan your life as a PhD candidate

About Judy Backhouse

Judy Backhouse wrote her PhD on Doctoral Education in South Africa, graduating in 2009 from Wits University. She has run workshops for postgraduate students and academic staff on academic writing. She has also run workshops for postgraduate supervisors at Wits University and at the University of Venda. She has worked as the convenor of a PhD program, including screening and interviewing PhD applicants. This course is a result of seeing a lot of bad applications and wanting to help applicants to improve their chances in applying.

You can learn more about Judy at:

Participants in some of Judy’s workshops have said:

“Judy has an amazing ability to create a safe space. Academic writing can feel so scary, and yet she made me feel that I could do it and that I didn’t have to be afraid of asking stupid questions.”

“This workshop gave me so much direction and clarity. I now know what I need to do next.”

Details

Dates:           The course will run in January, July and September 2018
Times:          8:30am to 4:30pm
Venue:         Better, 91 Oxford Road, Saxonwold (entrance off Englewold Road)
Cost:              R3850
Booking:      Contact Candy on 011 327 6098 or create@better.joburg

To book and pay use our EFT details.

 

Contact us

So you want to learn to code?

Programming is a skill much in demand and lucrative. Do you want to add it to your freelance toolkit?

There are many sites out there that will teach you to code, but which do you pick? Exactly which languages and tools do you need to know? How do you get started? And what is the work really like? Will programming work for you?

Freelance software developer, Andrew Backhouse, unveils the mysteries and guides you towards your bright new future in this morning workshop.

  • Who: Those with no or limited programming experience who want to explore this as a new line of work
  • Cost: R500 (R400 for members of Better)
  • Time: 9:30am – 1:00pm
  • Dates: Thursday 10th August

Booking and prepayment essential. Call 011 327 6098 or email create@better.joburg.

Find our EFT details here.

Colour mixing workshop (for Hannah)

If you are just starting out with painting the range of colours available can be confusing. Which colours do you need to buy? How do you go about mixing the colours you need?

This workshop will give you an introduction to the basic colours, show you how to mix colours and give you a feel for the different shades you can get from a few basic tubes of paint.

You will construct a comprehensive colour wheel from primary colours as well as mixing darker and lighter shades of different colours. You will also experiment to see the effect of starting out with slightly different primaries.

Take home your colour maps as references for your own painting.

We’ll be working in acrylics, but the principles apply broadly. No experience or artistic ability needed!

 

Who: Anyone* who wants to learn more about painting and the use of colour, or just needs a refresher or a morning of exploration

When: Weekday morning, 9:30 to 12:30, enquire for the next dates

Cost: R150 including materials, free for members of Better (EFT details)

Please book to secure your place on 011 327 6098 or email create@better.joburg

 

*Better is a place for grown-ups to play. You must be 18 or older to attend events at Better.

 

The “very easy facebook for small businesses” workshop

If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, crafter, artist or author struggling to work out how this whole Facebook for business thing works, Better are hosting an informal workshop that is perfect for you, run by Content Writer and Social Media Manager, Tracey Walker.

Learn how to set up and effectively manage a business Facebook Page that nurtures your business or product with content that builds a loyal community of clients and customers. With 1.86 billion active monthly Facebook users, the potential to find people who need just what you are offering is endless, just as long as you can get them to listen to you.

As marketing expert Seth Godin remarked “marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell”. And Facebook is where everyone is talking and more importantly, listening.

So come along to Better for a morning on Thursday 21st September from 9:30 until 12:30. You’ll get coffee, tea and a workbook with all the information we discuss as well as a monthly content template to help you get started. (Free stuff, yes!) The workshop costs R550 and members of Better pay R450.

Space is limited to 10 people, so please book your place now. E-mail Tracey at walkertracey0@gmail.com or call her at 083 424 7749 for information. Contact Candy on create@better.joburg or 011 327 6098 to book.

Planning your freelance career

There is a lot to like about freelance work: being your own boss, control of your time, chosing your customers. But making the transition to freelance work is difficult and scary.

If you have been thinking about it, or have made some steps towards freelance work, but are not sure whether to commit fully, here is an opportunity for you to think it through.

The course is very hands-on, working through exercises. We work with small groups so that there is time to listen to each person’s story and discuss specific strategies and solutions for you.

 

The workshop runs over three evenings, discussing:

Session 1: Where are you now?

In this first session we assess where you are, your skills, opportunities and challenges and why you want to freelance. We also look at the kind of person you are and how suited you might be to a freelance life.

Session 2: Where you want to be?

In our second session we get creative, and you imagine your perfect freelance life. How much time will go into work? How much money do you want to make? What will your working day look like? We also take a sober look at what might be feasible in the next year or so.

Session 3: How will you get there?

In our final session we discuss strategies for making the transition. What needs to be in place before you can make the move? Whose buy-in do you need? We look at strategies that have worked for other freelancers and discuss what might work for you. Then you craft a plan and map out the steps you need to take.

 

Does it help?

Donna Chiang had this to say after attending:

“Please could you pass on my thanks to Judy and Andrew for hosting such a wonderful workshop? I really enjoyed it and felt that I could propel myself in a practical and inspired manner towards the things that I enjoy doing. And make an income doing so.

We spoke about things that were so relevant to me and they gave such practical tips to apply in my current situation and things to think about when I’m eventually where I am where I want to be. The 3 days spread over the 3 weeks, helped solidify my learnings.”

 

Judy has a background in business strategy as well as experience of freelance work and Andrew is a long-time freelancer. This workshop shares what they have learned and the resources they have collected in their freelance journeys.

  • Who: Those contemplating freelance work or in the process of making the transition
  • Cost: R400 (R300 for members of Better) (for all three evenings)
  • Time: 6.00pm to 7.30pm
  • Dates: Wednesday 8th, 15th and 22nd November

Maximum 6 places. Booking and prepayment essential. E-mail Candy at  patience@better.joburg or call 011 327 6098.

Find our EFT details here.

 

 

A Glint of Moonlight: A Better Writing Workshop, with Gus Silber

Don’t Tell Me the Moon Is Shining. Show Me the Glint of Light on Broken Glass.”
Anton Chekhov

All writing, in some way, is travel writing. All writing, in some way, is memoir. When we write, we invite the reader to join us on a journey; when we write, we cast a light on who we are, where we come from, and how we see the world.

On this Saturday writing workshop at Better, you’ll learn to do both, as you explore new ways of packaging memories and sharing stories that bring character, experience, and emotion to life.

Whether you’re new to writing or want to sharpen and invigorate your writing skills, this hands-on learning and writing session will show you how, by putting the focus on tools and techniques that shape your thoughts into stories and add flair and impact to your words.

You’ll learn how to make sense of writing, by using all your senses to write. You’ll learn what good songs and good movies can teach us about the art and craft of good writing. You’ll learn how to plan and structure your story, from the ground up, or the sky down. You’ll learn how to bring out the better writer in you, no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you see the world.

  • When: Saturday 20th May, from 10am to 3.30pm (please arrive at 9:30)
  • Where: 91 Oxford Road, Saxonwold, Johannesburg
  • What to bring: A pen or a pencil. A notebook. The stories in your head and your heart.
  • How much: R650 including tea, coffee, snacks, and a light working lunch. (R550 for Better members)
  • Who: Gus Silber is an award-winning journalist, author, scriptwriter, and media trainer.

Places are limited so booking is essential. To secure yours contact Patience at patience@better.joburg or 011 327 6098.

Self-care for freelancers

Freelance work is better than full-time employment in many ways, but as a freelancer you depend heavily on your self – your health, your state of mind and your own skills and abilities. So you have to look after yourself.

This workshop forces you to focus on yourself for a change and think about how well you are doing and how you can take better care of yourself. We discuss your physical and mental health, how to be a good boss to yourself, managing money and time and how to cultivate networks that work for you. We share ideas, hacks and hints for a saner freelance life. Take away a portfolio of resources and your own self-care plan.

The workshop is very hands-on, working through exercises. We work with small groups so that there is time to listen to each person’s story and discuss specific strategies and solutions for you.

This workshop is for freelancers at all stages who want to lead a saner, more balanced life.

Weekday afternoon, 2:30pm to 6pm, Tuesday 10th October.

Cost: R400 (R300 for members of Better), click here for our EFT details

Six places only, booking essential! Contact Candy on 011 327 6098 or create@better.joburg