A.H. is a late-stage PhD candidate working in interdisciplinary studies at a top-tier research university. She has chosen to remain anonymous for professional reasons.
I decided to seek out academic editing services because I didn’t feel like I was getting frequent or thorough enough feedback on my dissertation project from my advisors. Especially as several of my peer feedback groups and meeting structures crumbled during the pandemic, it felt really important to have someone to whom I could consistently be accountable.
Mika quickly understood the vision for my project, and the feedback she has been providing pushes me to return to it in every section. She has been providing regular notes on parts of my chapters, but also on high-level summaries and fellowship applications that draw on the same core material. Her feedback has ranged from line edits (usually so on point that I just quickly press accept on them all) to overall strategy for what points to emphasize. She has been super responsive and prompt in her feedback, which has helped me build momentum to get my dissertation done!
I remember one time when Mika looked over two drafts of a postdoc application I was writing for a prestigious university. I was honestly embarrassed to share the first one because it was so messy and unfocused, but Mika went right in without judgement and helped me see what parts were valuable to draw out and how I could present myself confidently. I did a total rewrite based on her advice, and I could tell that this time I had hit the mark. She helped clean up my prose on that second draft and affirmed that the second draft was a big improvement. I eventually won that fellowship (thank you!!) and got lots of positive feedback on my application essays.
I’d just like to say that Mika has hits exactly the right tone between friend and advisor. It’s been easy to build a working relationship, even under a tight timeline and high pressure scenario. She’s been super flexible and understanding of my shifting deadlines. I honestly wish I had done this sooner!
If you’re thinking of working with her, my advice is: Trust your editor, and share work often! Also learn to articulate what you are hoping to accomplish with each section or piece, so that your editor can do their best to help you.