Last week of my PhD


The Final Stretch

The last couple of months, and especially the last week of (now DOCTOR!) Kat Beheshti‘s Ph.D. was an incredibly hectic time. It was a lot of waking up early and wrapping up her talk.

She was really nervous… She was prepared and had worked really hard, and didn’t expect any curve balls. But she was still nervous! She’s not typically the calm type that’s attracted to meditation. She has more of a tendency to always be moving really fast. However, in the midst of all this she got into the Calm app. One major reason is she was having trouble sleeping. She would wake up in the middle of the night with her brain spinning through different ideas and new things that should be added into her work.

She had so much energy (partially because she was having so much fun with it!) and ideas fueling her work, it was like she couldn’t stop.

What finally got her to sleep at night? The app’s children’s bedtime stories! Also, the ones narrated by Matthew McConaughey and his soothing voice.

She’d been working towards her Ph.D. for a LONG time

For her Ph.D. specifically, she’d been working towards this one thing for 6 years.

Lebron James also has a meditation on the app she connected with. In it he discusses how you practice and work really hard so you’re ready when it comes time to perform. You’ve got everything within you, and there’s no reason to be worried or nervous. You’re ready to apply what you’ve practiced. Listening to that meditation, walking in the sun, and realizing how much it applies to her life and Ph.D. really helped.

She knows what she’s doing, she knows what she’s talking about, and no one knows her work better than Kat!

The Ph.D. Culmination

It was a special ending to her Ph.D. process with the supportive faculty members from all over the country that had helped her get to where she is today.

One of her favorite moments of her Ph.D. was her closed door defense.

She also felt her public defense was very special. Due to COVID it couldn’t be in-person, but that had a silver lining of being able to have tons of people participate. Over 150 people participated! At the beginning of her talk her advisors introduced her, and her cheeks were hurting from smiling so big! It was an interesting way to start the 1 hour talk for sure.

The rest is Ph.D. history!

She gave her talk and it went really well. Which is good, especially since she had never prepared so much for a talk in her entire life!

In her lab, they have a tradition that when you do your dissertation proposal you get a bottle of champagne and pop a cork into the ceiling. Then you sign your initials and date your proposal defense. So, everyone has 2 indents at the lab – one for the proposal and one for their dissertation event. Kat had one up for her proposal, but due to COVID didn’t have a dent for her dissertation event. However, one of her lab mates bought a bottle of champagne and coordinated with Kat’s husband to pop a dent in her ceiling at home over video chat after her talk!

Check out this part of the video to see Kat’s 2 initialed indents 🙂

Now, she’s Dr. Kat!

Reflecting back – there’s no time like grad school

From Kat to those who are in the middle of graduate school now, there’s nothing like it. Enjoy every minute of it. Even the hard seconds (minutes… hours… days).

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