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Lindiwe Farlane shares her experience of the just concluded Joint Advanced Seminar 3

What opportunities emerged from the virtual JAS 3 sessions and what are the lessons you drew from the whole seminar experience?
I found the online seminar to be time-saving and allowed me protected time with facilitators without in-person distractions. I feel that my facilitators had adequate time to go through and understand my work, hence they provided very useful feedback even on my objectives and literature review which I had overlooked. I was given space to work independently, while I also had the comfort of knowing there is someone to bounce my thoughts and findings with.

How different has this JAS 3 been for you as a fellow? What has the whole experience been like?
Initially, I was worried about the online experience due to the different time zones, internet connectivity issues, too much screen time, and family/child care issues. To my surprise the glitches were minimal, and I enjoyed the entire JAS 3 seminar, both online and the residential sessions. The group allocations have been well thought, and it is helpful to work with people working on similar topics and getting additional advice from other fellows.

How vital has this been to your doctoral journey?
I found the videos motivating and the sessions presented by Dr. Tunde, Dr. Sunday, and Dr. Stephen were timely and spot on. The individual sessions with my allocated facilitators: Dr. Olamide, Dr. Adedini & Dr. Wandera, were focused and frank. I began to see my work with an external reviewer in mind and I could be vulnerable with people who are more familiar with the journey. Even though I am not yet where I would like to be with the analysis and write-up, my work is clearer to the reader.

What do you think was expected of you by the facilitators?
I think the facilitators expected me to have the basic understanding of my study and with some data collected, preliminary findings, and a manuscript in development. Although my PhD is not by publication, the manuscript format has helped me to break down each objective and write up on each result in a concise manner. I believe I have made good progress towards my thesis write-up with 2/4 results in writing phases.

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