Why did you choose to study at Newcastle University ?
The city was a major attraction and then once I considered applying I was given all the support and information needed and realised that CRE had a lot of good academics to work with.
How would you rate the social life for postgraduate students at Newcastle ?
Good, but I have not found a strong postgraduate community within university, my social life has revolved around housemates, other students within CRE and my extra-curricular activities.
Are you a member of a club or society, what sort of activities did that involve?
University chess team, other activities are not associated with the university
Did you have any concerns about funding your studies? (What and Why)
No, I knew when I applied that I was been proposed to receive ESRC funding which compared to the salary I had previously after tax deductions.
If you could give any advice to students considering further studies what would it be?
Make sure you have a clear purpose that you are aiming for after your studies. You might not choose that path in the end but a long term aim is important. In terms of working, everybody is different so I think students should try to develop their own interests, styles of work and specialisms that will continue to motivate them towards achieving something valuable. Also, take the chance to work with other people, teach etc, we're lucky to get these opportunities.
What do you hope to do when you have finished your degree?
Currently I am looking at the possibility for research jobs outside of academia, possibly in the political arena but as more opportunities to become involved in other academic work I want to explore those avenues too. If all fails, I'll probably go back to some form of work in the property industry as I did that for 3 years before I came here.
If you had to recommend Newcastle to a prospective postgraduate student trying to choose a university in 50 words what would you say to them?
I would tell them that it's a great city and a well respected university but that they should apply for the course that best suits them and talk to the relevant people who they would be working with. Especially as postgraduates, I think it's very important that you work in a good department and gel with your supervisors and other researchers. It's not like being an undergraduate where the social life might be a bigger consideration!
Finally what is your favourite memory of your whole student experience so far?
Handing in my masters dissertation feeling that I'd done a good piece of work and then walking down to a city pub just in time to watch the last day of the Ashes (yes, the time that England won)