Testimonials

“I attended an Academic Overload workshop and was so impressed with the potential of Serena’s approach to transform my working life that I followed it up with several ‘1-2-1’ sessions. With Serena’s help I am now better able to manage my time effectively. Also, I’ve learned to deconstruct large, seemingly overwhelming tasks into smaller more manageable ones which I can then tackle step by step. I’ve also learned to de-clutter and organise my workspaces; tasks that previously, I simply could not find the time to do. Perhaps the most notable difference was that after a few weeks away, I was able to pick up where I’d left off very easily. I effortlessly found everything I needed to get back into work; not least, my list of challenges for the year ahead! I would strongly recommend this coaching service to any academic who wishes to retain some semblance of calm amidst the daily struggle of too many demands on your time.”

— Lecturer, Imperial College London

“Being new to the UK, and as a mature student at LSE, the coaching sessions provided by the PhD Academy have been invaluable to me. Dr Sharma is brilliant at turning some of the frustrations within academia into opportunities for growth, both personal and professional. Dr Sharma also tailors the sessions to suit the individual students she is working with, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all approach. I highly recommend this coaching service to all PhD students at LSE. Particularly at a time when many industries are grappling with the changing nature of work – and with academia being at the forefront of some of these shifts – there are many stresses that students face, not only regarding their doctoral work but also in terms of planning for their careers and for their lives outside of academia. Dr Sharma’s service is urgently needed, and it is something that all doctoral students could benefit from immensely.”

— LSE PhD Student

“I found the “Persisting with the PhD: How to Sustain Motivation While Juggling Other Commitments” workshop extremely helpful. Dr. Serena Sharma connected easily with us due to her experience of completing a PhD. Because of this, she easily identified common motivations and challenges for completing a PhD in our diverse group, and offered helpful and actionable approaches to help us identify and reconnect with our personal motivations. The self-reflection and time management activities we completed helped me identify how I could be more efficient with both my time and energy to complete tasks more effectively, especially the ones I don’t always enjoy. I’m planning to sign up to more workshops in the future, and would recommend these without reservation to other academics and PhD students.”

— UCL Student

“As a PhD student, I feel constant pressure to meet deadlines, attend networking events, search for jobs, and perfect my own work, all while trying to find time to exercise and eat well. I started attending the Wellness Workshops with the hope that I would learn how to better balance my commitments. I have continued to attend the sessions regularly, as I truly believe they have had a positive impact on my mental health. Only one hour a week learning about mindfulness, healthy eating habits, and ways to balance work-life commitments has already made me feel more focused, less stressed, and overall healthier. I highly recommend these sessions for any student, regardless of the level of study!”

— Marnie Howlet

“I have benefited immensely from this brilliantly devised series of weekly workshops targeted to the needs of doctoral candidates. The reflective space the sessions offer has aided my recovery from chronic work-related stress by helping me to identify actions I can take to make my approach to my studies better meet my personal, as well as professional needs, and to keep these in focus. This programme is essential training for all PhD students because it helps the researchers of the future question and diffuse elements of the culture in higher education that can be harmful and do not serve us.”

— University of Birkbeck, Student

“This was a really well run course, filled with lots of useful tips and tricks on how to be more assertive in professional and personal life. I really liked the use of typical case examples which were really relevant to PhD studies, and discussing how different tactics could be employed to the different situations. Definitely a course everyone should come to if they need advice on what to say in tricky situations!”

Susan Shelmerdine, UCL PhD Student

“This workshop exceeded my expectations! What was absolutely brilliant about this workshop was that it was taught by an academic. As a result of this it was very easy to relate and get helpful tips.”

— Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London

“The workshop made me realise that the difficulties I’m experiencing as a PhD student are very common and very easy to overcome. I now feel more organised and relaxed about both my life and my PhD research. I can accomplish much more in a day and in a week than I had imagined and I am incredibly productive, while also juggling my job and my social life. I recommend this workshop to absolutely everyone doing a PhD!”

— Anca, UCL PhD Student

“As a first year PhD student I was struggling to find a balance between my project and my life. Attending Serena’s sessions made the transition to PhD life smooth and manageable. The PhD process has its ups-and-downs; it is never linear. However, I am glad to say that within one month the sessions taught me how to manage my time and find balance between my work and social life. Dealing specifically with academic stress is not something that organisations invest in. The approach of these workshops is unique – Serena, while sharing best practices and experiences, encourages attendees to explore themselves and understand what is appropriate for dealing with their particular issues. From improving your nutrition to maintaining motivation and confidence, these workshops offer all you need to have a mentally ‘healthy’ academic career at all levels.”

— LSE PhD Student

“Serena was empathetic, reassuring and encouraging. I left with a renewed sense of optimism about my project and a plan for organising my work going forward.”

— University College London, PhD Student

“I was having trouble persisting with the PhD; I often questioned how and if I was going to ever finish. My motivation levels fluctuated from day to day, affecting my productivity and quality of my work. The three hour workshop led by Serena helped me see that these struggles were not unique to me, but a lot of other PhD students suffer them. She provided us with realistic tools and useful strategies to tackle these challenges, and her advice was useful both professionally and for personal life. I am so glad I found a place on this workshop.”

Jas

“I was struggling with my writing and didn’t expect a three hour training session could make any difference – but it did. The session provided new insight into my circumstances which enabled me to take action and improve my writing process.”

— UCL PhD Student

“Thank you for an excellent session. I really liked how you introduced and developed the concepts in simple language and gave just enough time for discussion. It was especially useful to understand the two levels of motivation and to identify the associated moods and then find ways to motivate myself. Highly recommend.”

— Rachna

“I found this a really useful and enjoyable session. The workshop leader managed to create a relaxed, supportive environment in which to discuss a difficult topic. She rightly cautioned against trying to find a “one size fits all” solution to the problem (recognising that the search for such a solution can, itself, produce anxiety), and we were instead introduced to a range of practical strategies to fit around different lifestyles and assumptions. I am confident that I will be able to draw upon several of these to improve my own sleep patterns, and I would certainly recommend the session to other members of staff.”

— Tom Wilson

“Being a PhD student can be a huge challenge, in terms of the amount of pressure, workload and expectation. However, the wellness workshops offered by AcademEase show and convince you that there is another side of the picture, in which the daily life of a PhD student can be colourful, enjoyable, and achievable. Through restructuring various aspects of everyday life, such as dieting, ways of thinking, and taking moments of thought, it’s easy to figure out that PhD life is not only about studying and pressure.”

— LSE PhD Student

“Dr Sharma’s workshop was incredibly helpful and made me reflect on where I need to focus efforts to ensure that I achieve the balance that I want when it comes to my job as an academic scientist. It was very reassuring to see that lots of others are struggling with similar issues and Dr Sharma gave us specific, practical advice on how we can deal with the multiple commitments that we have and that we do not have to work or be available for work-related things 24/7.”

— V.G., University College London

“A hands-on workshop on complex issues concerning relationships in the institutional academic context: sensibly conducted, very valuable and truly helpful, thanks!”

— UCL PhD Student

“I really enjoyed your workshop and found it very beneficial. I was going through a lot before attending the course, but thanks to you and all the great things you taught us, I learned to look at the bigger picture. This helped me a lot.”

— Alsabah Abdullah

“Serena is great! She has been through it all so properly understands the mindset of a PhD student. The workshop helped me to assess my current working and mindset patterns and implement changes that are helping with my motivation and time management.”

— Sam, Doctoral Student

“I highly recommend coaching as it provides an individualised action plan to achieve goals and also fosters the skills within yourself to perform these actions, which will then result in success. It’s also been really great to talk with an impartial academic that understands the nature of university life and is empathetic to student’s needs. Thank you so much!”

— University of York PhD Student

“I found the workshop incredibly useful and I learned a great deal about the psyche behind sleeping issues. There were many useful tips I had never heard about. Sharing the experience with others was very relevant to me and I have slept better since the day of the workshop. I believe it was particularly important to listen to other academics and I strongly recommend it to anyone in Academia, including students.”

— University of London, Senior Research Associate 

“I have attended several workshops, from those on stress and presentation anxiety, up to the ones on sleep deprivation and proper nutrition, and I have found all of them very interesting. They have undoubtedly taught me that when it comes to wellness, both mind and body should be taken care of, and that although it is pretty normal to experience ups and downs during the PhD, with the right confidence, persistence and motivation, everything will be great!”

— LSE PhD Student

“I found the workshops beneficial. Their structure allowed me to share experiences with other participants and receive new, practical, ideas from the instructor. Applying my newly acquired knowledge helped me improve my wellbeing.”

— UCL PhD Student

Thank you for a great workshop! The most useful thing I took away from the workshop is the realisation that a shift in my own attitude can make a stressful or frustrating situation easier to deal with. It’s too easy to fall into the habit of always blaming the system. This tip will be difficult to apply in practice, but it seems worth the effort!”

Academic, Imperial College London

Dr Serena Sharma’s coaching sessions are empowering and have an immediate effect on positive thinking and action. Providing a confidential and safe space from judgment, I was able to re-evaluate in a more positive light my career progress, my skills and my personality. With very specific advice and practices Dr Sharma helped me to identify issues I am passionate about. It will help me to keep motivated as my career progress. I cannot recommend enough Dr Sharma’s coaching sessions, insightful and emotional intelligent, she will help you to keep on track and moving forward with your very journey of personal and academic development. Dr Serena Sharma’s coaching sessions are empowering and have an immediate effect on positive thinking and action. Providing a confidential and safe space from judgment, I was able to re-evaluate in a more positive light my career progress, my skills and my personality. With very specific advice and practices Dr Sharma helped me to identify issues I am passionate about. It will help me to keep motivated as my career progress. I cannot recommend enough Dr Sharma’s coaching sessions, insightful and emotional intelligent, she will help you to keep on track and moving forward with your very journey of personal and academic development. Bottom of Form

“Dr Serena Sharma’s coaching sessions are empowering and have an immediate effect on positive thinking and action. Providing a confidential and safe space from judgment, I was able to re-evaluate in a more positive light my career progress and my skills. With very specific advice and practices Dr Sharma helped me to identify issues. I cannot recommend enough Dr Sharma’s coaching sessions, insightful and emotionally intelligent, she will help you to keep on track and move forward in your journey of personal and academic development.”

— Staff Member, Queen Mary University

“This workshop helped me pinpoint the things that kept me from enjoying the processes of writing. I now feel a lot better equipped to finish my thesis. I would definitely recommend this workshop to all phd students.”

— Student, University College London

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