I am patient….it just took too long

Hi All!

I had my panel on 15th October and passed (yippeee) BUT with a lot of further work needed.The title of this post is due to my lack of patience in all things. Thus, one of my own problems with the panel was my desire to finish and run off as soon as possible….

Things that worked:
– Speaking directly to the panel without a PPT,
– Offering them audio from my pilot participant and transcript from this excerpt,
– Showing curiosity for possible changes or alternatives to my own work.

Of these things that worked I have to say that the pilot study was the largest benefit. Instead of having to postulate how the results would look I had examples to offer them and had a clear image and insight into my data. This made their logistical questions easier to answer and navigate.

My own difficulties:
– Speaking too quickly and rushing to get out of the room! Being asked for my  own opinions and presenting is something I am used to.  Being interrogated on why and how I am going to research was the difficulty. I struggled to  stay calm in the panel and found it a wholly terrifying experience. By completing a mock panel I managed to stay calm as I partly knew what to expect. But overall, nothing can prepare you for sitting in front of esteemed professors who have prepared to quiz you on your research.
– Not having a clear framework in mind for the analysis. Although I had completed a pilot study I had not fully thought out the framework of literature and analysis for my full study. Without this I was left stuck when questioned.
– Ethics levels. Although I had thought my study would be low risk as it involves participants who are professionals in industry, there are certain emotional risks associated with any critical incident narration. This meant that I had to complete further review on my ethical controls and level after the panel.
– I was prepared for the difficult task of bringing the panel into ‘my world’ (i.e. HE and industry sectors of Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management). What I was not prepared for was how my world related and was relevant to theirs. ‘How does your research help me?’ This particular question was raised from a professor who focuses on School education. I tried to explain how it had pedagogical implications for any educator preparing students for working with transnational flows of people. However, I did not understand their point entirely which leads to my next difficulty…
– Is it ok to ask what they mean? This relates to my hurry to get out of the room. When they asked questions that I did not fully understand my immediate reaction was to quickly think of a confident response and then run off!! Of course this was not possible. Being aware that there will be unknown questions seems to be an obvious component to any interview. However, being open, patient and inquisitive are skills that are invaluable to your own panel experience.

By completing a pilot study and mock panel I was able to navigate my panel and get through without too much horror. However, on reflection, I had not thoroughly thought through all areas prior to attending. Had I reviewed frameworks and decided upon clear strategies to manage the emotions of my participants I would have passed without edits needed.