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Poppy’s Royal Holloway University Profile

Life as a PhD at Royal Holloway

“As a PhD student at Royal Holloway you are very independent and so I haven’t spent a huge amount of time there, but I’ve really enjoyed teaching in the department which is a diverse, exciting and very warm environment, with brilliant undergraduate students. Having the opportunity to teach at Royal Holloway got me back to thinking about the other areas of academia that I’d love to pursue. I’m very passionate about teaching and it excites me, so having that opportunity is fantastic, but so, also, is having a lot of freedom and, simultaneously, being pushed by supervisors that are very experienced and can read when you need more attention. Professor Nicholson and Willis have given me structure, along with the freedom to explore my ideas freely.”

To read about Poppy’s inspirational volunteer story, click here.

“The way each PhD works will depend on the approach of the programme, university and supervision team. Having two points a year to meet other Techne students at the bi-annual congress has been really helpful. And, on average, I have a supervision with my professors once every month. However, if I’m writing something specific or face an immediate challenge, they’re very flexible and I can reach out and talk more regularly if necessary. But in the end, you have to have your own direction over your area of study, otherwise you would end up dying in an existential crisis!”

To read about Poppy’s time studying at Queen Mary, click here.

“As I write, I’m two and a half years into my PhD and aiming to finish in March 2020. I’ve got a string of project ideas and hope to pursue a novel imminently, but for now they will have to wait! In undertaking a PhD you have to be very pragmatic; you have to let go of everything if you want to get it done. You just have to do it, get it finished, you have to not worry too much about the ideas that you can’t fit into this – particular – thesis. So, I’m currently in that process.”

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