What are you most proud of achieving personally or academically as a result of your time at Swansea to date?
Prior to the PhD I have been bound by assignment deadlines and exams. Since starting the PhD at Swansea University, I have been given the space to develop academically; as my first year comes to an end I have started my second study, started writing a paper and I am preparing to present at a conference. Thus I have learnt to adapt from a student lifestyle into a professional work routine by recognising my strengths and weaknesses and using these to discipline myself and achieve my goals.
What do you enjoy most about your PhD?
I have been able to develop a collaborative relationship with my supervisors. Having such a huge input in the direction of the PhD has been encouraging to both think outside the box and be confident in my ideas. Likewise, taking a collaborative role is also motivating as persevere with the research during slow or difficult periods as the PhD is something that you have helped to shape and create.
How have your studies changed your academic expectations?
Initially, I had no expectations for the academic field; however throughout my academic career I have come to learn that there is a lot of flexibility in the field of academia. After finding an area that you are truly interested in, there are many ways to maintain this interest and pursue your career in that area.
What would you tell prospective research students about college life?
College life is a lot different to being an undergraduate/post-graduate student, namely in terms of being completely responsible for yourself. As you are no longer bound by set tasks and deadlines you need to be disciplined enough to ensure that you continue to prosper in your work. While this initially seemed daunting, it is a great learning opportunity to find an effective way to keep you motivated and organised. In light of this, there is still a degree of time which you can dedicate to your own interests and hobbies. Personally, undergoing my undergraduate and masters’ degrees, it has been refreshing to have the chance to explore new ways to spend my free time.
What are your future career/academic goals?
To date, I would like to pursue a career as an academic where I can both continue my research and gain a professorship.