Earth Day and Dissertations

April 22nd is Earth Day! Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders as you trudge through the dissertation process? Do you ever wish you could reduce the heavy load to a handful of jelly beans? Well, you’re in luck…

You see, today is also National Jelly Bean Day! While the Earth is getting all of the attention, the poor jelly bean is just sittin’ in a jar somewhere feeling left out.

Speaking of which, have you every tried to guess how many jelly beans are in a jar? Just when I think those contests are a thing of the past, I’ll stumble across another!

Recently, a friend told me that her son won a huge jar of jelly beans in a guessing contest at his school. My prediction? That boy is going to do a great job writing his dissertation one day!

Huh? Dr. Strickland…what does being good at guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar have to do with completing a dissertation?

I thought you’d never ask. The key here is that he wasn’t guessing…not really. He was estimating. And, guessing and estimating are very different.

To estimate, he’d need to know things like:

  • How big is the jar?
  • How full is the jar?
  • What’s the biggest size that’s definitely smaller than a jelly bean?
  • What’s the smallest size that’s definitely bigger than a jelly bean?
  • How efficiently are the jelly beans packed in the jar?

With this information he could make a few quick calculations to get a good idea as to how many jelly beans were in the jar.

But, how does this affect my dissertation? — Well, if you’re is good at making estimates, you’ll do a better job structuring your study. You’ll consider all of the important parts of the process and how they fit together right from the beginning.

In a jelly-bean guessing contest you may not be given the exact information you need to form your estimate, so you estimate the size of the jar. You estimate the packing efficiency, and so on.

As you’re planning your dissertation study, sometimes you’re not going to be able to get the exact information you need. But, with dissertations and jelly-bean contests, close enough can be good enough!

Are you have trouble reducing the weight of the world to a jar of jelly beans? Are you having trouble figuring out how many jelly beans are in your jar? If so, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

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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