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Highlights from the MGA Thesis Bootcamp

Last week, we hosted the annual MGA Thesis Bootcamp, a free, four-day intensive writing workshop for PhD and Masters by Research students who wanted to take their thesis to a whole new level.

The students who were selected for the program came prepared with a piece of work and a clear set of writing goals they wanted to achieve. Some joined via Zoom, while others chose to take part in person at our Clayton and Caulfield campuses. 

Participants wrote in two-hour blocks twice a day, with plenty of reenergising breaks for yoga, mindfulness, daily prizes, one-on-one sessions with SAS advisors and, of course, free snacks!

MGA student receptionist and PhD candidate Kyra Fabianke led the sessions, providing structure, inspiration and support to the group. She introduced students to evidence-based productivity exercises such as Body Doubling and the Pomodoro Technique, knowing that it’s not one-size-fits-all. “The good thing about the bootcamp is that it has a certain flexibility and allows people to experiment with what works for them”, said Kyra.

Add these ingredients together, and four days later, many thousand words were written. In fact, one participant got almost 5000 words down on their first day!

Here’s what some of the Bootcamp participants had to say about their experience:

I feel so invigorated sitting down and working with other people. We’re all in different disciplines but the bootcamp creates a commonality – we get so much more done working together.

I always lose track of time working on my own. I’ve gotten so much writing done!

A PhD is a notoriously lonely journey. When I’m working with people with a shared experience it suddenly doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

The MGA would like to thank the team from the Student Academic Success for their one-on-one consultations with participants. Students were able to get advice about their writing, ask how to overcome writer’s block and other vital questions. We’d like to make a special mention to Dr. Cathy Sell, SAS superhero, who led sessions each morning with invaluable tips for everything from planning to writing and editing.

We also appreciate the work of our resident yoga instructor Yohana, who provided the students with a daily dose of grounding and exercise.

Overall, we were so pleased to provide these students with the opportunity to advance their writing in a short amount of time. If this event sounds like something you would like to take part in, make sure you stay tuned next year for our Thesis Bootcamp 2024!

Opportunities for HDR students

  • Shut Up And Write! Are you on a roll? Stay motivated and keep your word count on track at our virtual Shut Up and Write session every Tuesday from 11:15am – 1:15pm. Register here.
  • HDR Writing Rooms! If you need a dedicated space to write this summer, why not apply for a HDR Writing Room on Caulfield Campus? Find out more and apply here.

The MGA team

Got a question or request about anything at all? Get in contact with one of our staff members – we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, drop by the MGA office at Clayton or Caulfield so we can help!

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Work for the MGA

The MGA employs Monash graduate students to fill the receptionist roles at the Clayton and Caulfield offices. When a vacancy arises we advertise the position through our email newsletter and on our website.

The Monash Graduate Association (MGA) is the representative body for all graduate research and coursework students enrolled at Monash University. So, what sets us apart from the University services? The MGA is an independent, not-for-profit association governed by graduate students, for graduate students. Our primary aim is to be there for you! If you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand and their continuing connection to the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.