HalIncandenza
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Hi all,

I am one-year into a PhD course, with my fees paid but nothing else. I'd counted on being able to find part-time work which could run alongside my studies, two or three days a week (or evenings) but haven't been able to earn enough to live on. Hence, I'm probably going to abandon the PhD until a time when I can a) attract a grant to pay for it (not likely in History) or b) can afford to fund myself for the whole three years.

My question is this. How do you think I should deal with the year that I have spent studying for the PhD on my CV? Obviously employers aren't too impressed by anything that is abandoned, regardless of the circumstances, but there may be a way of expressing it which makes the CV more intelligible.

Also, if anyone has any great ideas about part-time work in the London area which can co-exist with PhD study, I'd love to hear about it. There may be time to salvage the doctorate.

My impression is that employers are very unwilling to take on PhD students, and I can understand why this is, whether or not I could actually balance a job and full-time study. I'd be interested to hear other people's stories about similar experiences, and the ways that they have got through PhDs/Masters on a shoestring.

Anyhow, thanks in advance.
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alex-hs
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Well for a start don't use the word 'abandoned' on your CV. Something along the lines of "deferring your study" would be better.
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kka25
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(Original post by HalIncandenza)
Hi all,

I am one-year into a PhD course, with my fees paid but nothing else. I'd counted on being able to find part-time work which could run alongside my studies, two or three days a week (or evenings) but haven't been able to earn enough to live on. Hence, I'm probably going to abandon the PhD until a time when I can a) attract a grant to pay for it (not likely in History) or b) can afford to fund myself for the whole three years.

My question is this. How do you think I should deal with the year that I have spent studying for the PhD on my CV? Obviously employers aren't too impressed by anything that is abandoned, regardless of the circumstances, but there may be a way of expressing it which makes the CV more intelligible.

Also, if anyone has any great ideas about part-time work in the London area which can co-exist with PhD study, I'd love to hear about it. There may be time to salvage the doctorate.

My impression is that employers are very unwilling to take on PhD students, and I can understand why this is, whether or not I could actually balance a job and full-time study. I'd be interested to hear other people's stories about similar experiences, and the ways that they have got through PhDs/Masters on a shoestring.

Anyhow, thanks in advance.
In my view, if I can't pay anymore for my already self-funded PhD (I'm budgeted for a maximum 3 years), I'll be honest with the employers, that I left because of financial reasons. I have no reason to feel negative about myself or feel that the situation put me in a bad light because these things happen - is just that we don't know how normal it occurs.

Well... that's my view of course.
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gutenberg
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I'd be inclined to agree with Alex, maybe put something like 'deferred' or 'suspended' rather than 'abandoned': after all, you do intend to return to it eventually. If an employer asks, then be honest that it was for financial reasons - it's better than if you weren't coping academically, surely?
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nonswimmer
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'Deferred for financial reasons' would be good - also explains your motivation for wanting a job.

You can explain to a potential employer, whether it's true or not, that PhD studies will keep you local and keep you motivated to work, eg you won't be flitting off again in three months.

Would avoid 'suspended' as in most employment contexts it has a disciplinary connotation!
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Ghost6
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Just say that you went for a trip around the world, or that your part time job was full time. Don't mention something you have begun but not finished on a CV, it gives a bad impression.
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Aaaaaaaargh!
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(Original post by Ghost6)
Just say that you went for a trip around the world, or that your part time job was full time. Don't mention something you have begun but not finished on a CV, it gives a bad impression.
Yet lying gives a worse impression.
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Ghost6
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(Original post by Aaaaaaaargh!)
Yet lying gives a worse impression.
Not as long as they don't find out. Plus, you are only "lying" by omission, technically speaking, not inventing skills you don't have. Let's face it, everyone "embellishes" CV's, and a friend of mine got many scholarships that way.
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sj27
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(Original post by Ghost6)
Not as long as they don't find out. Plus, you are only "lying" by omission, technically speaking, not inventing skills you don't have. Let's face it, everyone "embellishes" CV's, and a friend of mine got many scholarships that way.
Well, congratulations to your friend, but what happens when prospective employers want to discuss the countries he supposedly visited in an interview, or contact the employer where he supposedly worked full time? I can't honestly believe you are suggesting lying. People get fired for lying on their CVs, even from senior jobs, and that kind of f***s up your references etc from then on. As employers, we would not look down on someone who deferred study for financial reasons. And no, not everyone "embellishes" CVs. There are plenty of people who actually have integrity out there.
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evantej
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(Original post by HalIncandenza)
Hi all,

I am one-year into a PhD course, with my fees paid but nothing else. I'd counted on being able to find part-time work which could run alongside my studies, two or three days a week (or evenings) but haven't been able to earn enough to live on. Hence, I'm probably going to abandon the PhD until a time when I can a) attract a grant to pay for it (not likely in History) or b) can afford to fund myself for the whole three years.

My question is this. How do you think I should deal with the year that I have spent studying for the PhD on my CV? Obviously employers aren't too impressed by anything that is abandoned, regardless of the circumstances, but there may be a way of expressing it which makes the CV more intelligible.

Also, if anyone has any great ideas about part-time work in the London area which can co-exist with PhD study, I'd love to hear about it. There may be time to salvage the doctorate.

My impression is that employers are very unwilling to take on PhD students, and I can understand why this is, whether or not I could actually balance a job and full-time study. I'd be interested to hear other people's stories about similar experiences, and the ways that they have got through PhDs/Masters on a shoestring.

Anyhow, thanks in advance.
I will ignore the actual question and deal with the financial aspect. There are a number of short and long-term solutions to your problem I feel.

First of all, if you are struggling for living costs then apply to your university's access to learning fund. They might make you an award of a couple of hundred pounds (I received £500 in my masters year, and something like £350 while at undergraduate level). Secondly, take a year off and try to earn some money. Thirdly, take out a career development loan for your living costs. You can borrow up to £10,000 in total. You need to be aware of the risks this poses though.

And finally, give up full-time study altogether. I think this is the most sensible option as part-time study would allow you to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance (maximum study time is 16 hours per week), which would take care of your immediate and long-term loving costs, and potentially make you eligible for other things like council-tax and housing benefit.

With a PhD, you obviously do not have formal classes so staying 'under' 16 hours is not a problem. If you struggle to find work then you still have some money coming in and you can use more time to improve your research. In fact you could be putting in full-time hours into your PhD so long as you are looking for some jobs as well.

I am resubmitting my masters dissertation at the moment. When I organised this with someone from my university, I was working full time, did not live anywhere near the university I studied at, and had a baby. I was given a rolling deadline in view of my circumstances (i.e. I would have little time to actually do the dissertation). Now that I am unemployed, I devote more time to my dissertation than before and only have to allocate x amount of my time for job seeking. I still obviously face some of the same difficulties, but I much prefer the current situation than working full-time and trying to fit some study in when I come back from work or over the weekend. In this sense, so long as you are working on your PhD you are doing something productive while you are 'unemployed'.

Studying part-time is underrated in my opinion.
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evantej
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(Original post by Ghost6)
Just say that you went for a trip around the world, or that your part time job was full time. Don't mention something you have begun but not finished on a CV, it gives a bad impression.
And what happens if your new employer wants to see past wage slips because they are willing to match (or improve upon) your previous wage? And what happens when your new employer, you know, asks referees what you did?

What a completely moronic suggestion. It is not lying by omission (passive). You are deliberately fabricating the details of your CV to look better than they are (active), and then failing to tell them the truth (passive). It is deception. Someone was imprisoned last week for using false information on her CV.

Just because some employers do not check CVs as thoroughly as they should, does not make it right. Your friends have committed fraud by lying to obtain a scholarship.
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kka25
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(Original post by evantej)

Studying part-time is underrated in my opinion.
I don't think I can do a part-time study with a full time work really; looks horrifying in my view
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sj27
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(Original post by kka25)
I don't think I can do a part-time study with a full time work really; looks horrifying in my view
It's never an ideal option, but many people have had to do it that way if they want to study further and have managed to do successfully.
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evantej
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(Original post by kka25)
I don't think I can do a part-time study with a full time work really; looks horrifying in my view
It is not as bad as you think. You could easily find 10-15 hours to study on top of a full-time job. Some nights, I really did not feel like doing work but I always worked at the weekend. As long as you have some system in place it should be okay.

What is likely, however, is that the OP does not find full-time work (technically 37 hours per week) so it is less of an issue.
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Ghost6
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(Original post by evantej)
And what happens if your new employer wants to see past wage slips because they are willing to match (or improve upon) your previous wage? And what happens when your new employer, you know, asks referees what you did?
It is very easy to come up with a reason not to provide them. Also, you are not going to fabricate some CEO position to embellish a CV and no one will bother checking references for some ordinary job anyone with a half functioning brain can do. Also, it is generally advised to use a bankrupt company as former workplace to avoid the problem of references entirely.

(Original post by evantej)
Your friends have committed fraud by lying to obtain a scholarship.
They feel so guilty.
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MancStudent098
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(Original post by HalIncandenza)
Hi all,

I am one-year into a PhD course, with my fees paid but nothing else. I'd counted on being able to find part-time work which could run alongside my studies, two or three days a week (or evenings) but haven't been able to earn enough to live on. Hence, I'm probably going to abandon the PhD until a time when I can a) attract a grant to pay for it (not likely in History) or b) can afford to fund myself for the whole three years.

My question is this. How do you think I should deal with the year that I have spent studying for the PhD on my CV? Obviously employers aren't too impressed by anything that is abandoned, regardless of the circumstances, but there may be a way of expressing it which makes the CV more intelligible.

Also, if anyone has any great ideas about part-time work in the London area which can co-exist with PhD study, I'd love to hear about it. There may be time to salvage the doctorate.

My impression is that employers are very unwilling to take on PhD students, and I can understand why this is, whether or not I could actually balance a job and full-time study. I'd be interested to hear other people's stories about similar experiences, and the ways that they have got through PhDs/Masters on a shoestring.

Anyhow, thanks in advance.
Would you basically lose any progress so far by dropping out at this stage, or is it possible to come back and complete at a later stage?

As for the CV, I think you've rightly identified that the main problem is going to be making it clear what the situation is, any employer worth working for is probably going to be fairly sympathetic to the lack of funds situation. Maybe just put down the year as 'further postgraduate study at university x', this will inevitably lead to questions at any interview, but at least there you can explain the situation in full.
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gutenberg
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(Original post by Ghost6)
Not as long as they don't find out. Plus, you are only "lying" by omission, technically speaking, not inventing skills you don't have. Let's face it, everyone "embellishes" CV's, and a friend of mine got many scholarships that way.
Suddenly your having got a place at Cambridge is looking a whole lot less stellar, if the company you keep is any indication...
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sj27
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(Original post by Ghost6)
It is very easy to come up with a reason not to provide them. Also, you are not going to fabricate some CEO position to embellish a CV and no one will bother checking references for some ordinary job anyone with a half functioning brain can do. Also, it is generally advised to use a bankrupt company as former workplace to avoid the problem of references entirely.
You're wrong (again). People check references to determine things like reliability, work ethic, how well people get on wither co-workers, etc, irrespective of what the work actually was. And in a world of rising CV fraud (thanks apparently to people like you and your friends) reference checks are becoming commonplace for almost every job.

As for your last comment, do you honestly suppose employers and recruiters have no idea this is "advised"? :rolleyes: Let's see...we have 10 people on a shortlist for the job. But then we find that while 9 have contactable references, one mysteriously has only worked for bankrupt companies and cannot provide any contact details of anyone he supposedly worked with...bin.
.
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Ghost6
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(Original post by gutenberg)
Suddenly your having got a place at Cambridge is looking a whole lot less stellar, if the company you keep is any indication...
Lol, I have stellar academics, have my fees paid by a departmental award and part of my living costs covered by the college, this for master's. The "advice" given here is purely hypothetical and the OP is free to implement it or not. I would not write anywhere I didn't finish a PhD and would rather fabricate a job or a trip around the world. But hey, you are free to be an honest loser if it makes you sleep better at night, if you can afford that in this economy.
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gutenberg
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Don't worry, I'll be too busy enjoying my fully-funded (and honestly-won, no made up sh*t) Cambridge PhD to worry about these things for a while.

To the OP: do not make stuff up. It will come back to haunt you.
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