May 26, 2012
2
0
Status
Psychology Student
I am finishing up the final few months of my internship and I still have my dissertation to finish. I have finished data collection and am close to finishing data analysis, so I will still have to write up the results and discussion after internship is over. I am trying to decide what to do when my internship ends. My options are: 1) to completely focus on finishing my dissertation and put off all clinical work until after it's finished, or 2) work in clinical practice part-time while I work on my dissertation part-time. I would love to hear about what other people have done (or would do) in similar situations and why you would/would not recommend either option. Thanks so much for your feedback!

ps: Finances aren't a factor in the decision.
 

Psychadelic2012

PhD Student
Sep 17, 2011
827
13
Status
Psychology Student
I would also like to know the answer to this question--how do people time this? I would think that it's impossible to graduate right at the end of internship unless data for the dissertation is already collected before one starts internship (or is collected right at the beginning of internship) so that it can be analyzed and written up during the internship year.
 

docma

10+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2007
791
259
Status
If internship is still ahead of you, do everything possible to finish the dissertation before internship. It allows you to really make the most of the internship year. (And it is a great advantage in the Match.)

However if not done yet when finishing internship, taking time to focus and finish it makes you a stronger job candidate, so I'd say power through it full time unless you have an irresistible job offer and the employer is not anxious to have you licensed. Clinical work is challenging and distracting and it will prolong the completion.
 

Markp

Clinical Psychologist
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2007
2,262
20
Status
Psychologist
if internship is still ahead of you, do everything possible to finish the dissertation before internship. It allows you to really make the most of the internship year. (and it is a great advantage in the match.)

however if not done yet when finishing internship, taking time to focus and finish it makes you a stronger job candidate, so i'd say power through it full time unless you have an irresistible job offer and the employer is not anxious to have you licensed. Clinical work is challenging and distracting and it will prolong the completion.
+1
 
Aug 31, 2011
979
992
New England
Status
Psychologist
Do whatever you can to finish the dissertation. ABD is a very weak position to be in, with very limited options. The longer it takes, the more likely you will have to answer "what took you so long" questions in the future, as the discrepancy between when you finished internship and when you graduated will be noticeable on your vita.
 

Pragma

Neuropsychologist
7+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2011
3,276
634
Status
Psychologist
Do whatever you can to finish the dissertation. ABD is a very weak position to be in, with very limited options. The longer it takes, the more likely you will have to answer "what took you so long" questions in the future, as the discrepancy between when you finished internship and when you graduated will be noticeable on your vita.
+1

For those not on internship yet, do whatever you can to finish before you go on internship. It is worth it!
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
7,274
1,564
Status
Psychologist
Do whatever you can to finish the dissertation. ABD is a very weak position to be in, with very limited options. The longer it takes, the more likely you will have to answer "what took you so long" questions in the future, as the discrepancy between when you finished internship and when you graduated will be noticeable on your vita.
Agreed. For those not yet on internship, as was stressed to me, and as others here have said, do everything possible to finish your dissertation prior to beginning your internship. At the very least, get it proposed and most/all of your data collected. I didn't heed this advice, and can tell you first-hand that having to pull multiple 16-hour workdays, 7-day work weeks, and a couple all-nighters to get things finished has definitely distracted from an otherwise enjoyable internship experience at times. And this was with archival data, so I didn't even have to consider the extra headaches associated with off-site data collection.

And also as others here have said, if you aren't able to finish prior to internship, then definitely do try to get it done while you're actually on internship. Not doing so will essentially disqualify you from immediately entering into a formal postdoc, and will also significantly limit employability.

To the OP: I agree with what looks to be everyone who posted before me--focus on cranking out the dissertation ASAP after internship. You'd be amazed how much you can get done by dedicating a month of full-time work to it when you don't have anything else distracting you.
 

Markp

Clinical Psychologist
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2007
2,262
20
Status
Psychologist
I will add a little more, while I had collected, proposed, and did much of the work prior to arriving on internship, my internship experience has been frustrating and difficult to the point of preventing me from finding that extra bit of motivation needed to finish. It's rather sad actually.

I now find myself in a position where I will be sacrificing nights, weekends, and any spare hours pretty much dedicated to getting the dissertation and internship completed at this point. I know that I am and will continue to be at some risk of burnout as a result and its not a happy place to be.

Get it done before internship, while its unlikely that you would experience anything remotely similar to my experience, you'll feel much better with it out of the way.
 
OP
P
May 26, 2012
2
0
Status
Psychology Student
Do whatever you can to finish the dissertation. ABD is a very weak position to be in, with very limited options. The longer it takes, the more likely you will have to answer "what took you so long" questions in the future, as the discrepancy between when you finished internship and when you graduated will be noticeable on your vita.
Thanks everyone. I was leaning toward finishing the dissertation before I started a job, and you all gave me very good advice to help confirm my thoughts. The lag time between internship completion and dissertation defense would indeed become harder to explain as time goes on. I am definitely going to buckle down and finish ASAP after internship is over! Thanks again!