Reflections on the Three Minute Thesis from the 2017 Faculty of Science Winner

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nyasha  Gondora, third year PhD candidate at the Waterloo School of Pharmacy, was the winner of the 2017 Three Minute Thesis Faculty of Science heat. In this article, Gondora highlights her experiences for other students considering to take on the 2018 Three Minute Thesis challenge. 

Nyasha Gondora presenting at the 2017 3MT.

Competing in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) was a challenging decision – as a grad student, there are so many things vying for your time. Research, course work, conferences, scholarship applications, writing – did I really want to add preparing and presenting my work to a large crowd on top of that?

I had been hearing about the 3MT competition for a while, and I was at a point in my research where I felt that I had relevant findings to share. It was an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. I attended the 3MT bootcamp and gained a better understanding of what was expected of me as a participant: this made me less anxious about my decision and more determined to give it my best. It was inspiring to hear from the past participants – they had so many great things to say about their 3MT experience.

Don’t get me wrong – 3MT thesis is a big time investment. You’re a grad student, you have years of work. How do you summarize that on one slide? How do you translate your complex work into layman’s terms? Yes, it's overwhelming but so worth your time and effort. It’s an amazing experience- you'll be glad you participated.

It’s one thing to practice presenting on your own, but sharing your research in front of a live audience is a fantastic opportunity, not only to get your research out there but to hone presentation skills and meet people. The competition gave me the opportunity to meet some of the fantastic professionals and other students across campus.

Nyasha Gondora

Another big takeaway is having a ready-made and succinct explanation of your research. This is an important resource for networking and conferences, and learning to put your work into layman terms is a useful experience for any grad student.

If you’re like me and you were on the fence about registering, go for it! It’s only three minutes, but it’s an experience you won’t forget.

Watch Gondora's 3MT Finals presentation here:

Remote video URL

Interested in learning more about the 3MT? Register for our 3MT coaching panel and bootcamp that will be held on January 18 and January 25, 2018. Registration for the 3MT competition is open until January 26. Good luck to all applicants!

Written by Nyasha Gondora