POTUS 8 and Dissertations

December 5th marks the birthday of the 8th President of the United States. Here’re some words of wisdom from Martin Van Buren that you can apply to your dissertation…

I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men… in receiving from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious predecessor.

— Martin Van Buren

Van Buren was speaking of joining one of the most illustrious clubs in the history of planet Earth. To date there have been 45 Presidents of the United States; however, Van Buren was only the 8th!

As a doctoral student, you are also joining an elite and illustrious group. Only 1% of the U.S. population ever earns a research-based doctoral degree. This is rare air, indeed!

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.
— Martin Van Buren

In this quote, Van Buren was surely referring to doing the job right the first time. However, I’d like to talk about the second time.

Doctoral students tend to be proud of their work, and justifiably so. After all, it takes many years of effort and success in school to even be able to call yourself a doctoral student.

But, a doctoral student is not a doctor. And, that pride in your past accomplishments can easily inhibit the growth necessary to reach your next accomplishment.

So, when your committee provides you with a laundry list of items to “fix,” don’t try to explain why you did it the way that you did. Rather, it’s easier to just do the job “right” (in your committee’s eyes), by making the requested revisions, and earning their approval as soon as possible.

As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.
— Martin Van Buren

Starting the dissertation journey is probably the most exciting part, aside from completing it! The days in between can be both long and many, but, in the end, they’re totally worth it!

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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