4 minute read

Advice for PG students from PG students

MICHAEL TARICONE, Electronic Engineering with Communications MEng

Michael Taricone

“I would recommend a Professional Training year (PTY) to anyone who finds one in an area they are interested in. A PTY is a unique opportunity to work with a company and experience what working life will be like after university. It allows you have some hands-on experience and it can help influence your career path or choice of modules for third year. I personally experienced this as I did a lot of programming during my placement and really began to appreciate how important and useful it is. As a result, I took a programming module in my third year and it helped me narrow down what I would like to do once I graduate.”

BORAN SHENHUY, Social Research Methods MSc

Boran Shenhuy

“The Employability and Careers Centre has excellent resources and supports students with their career preparation, by giving advice on their professional profiles as well as providing mock interviews and checking CVs and cover letters. They also provide a variety of resources for tests, assessment centres and similar job application processes which has helped me understand what the required soft skills in a job can be and how to demonstrate that I have these skills. The Centre is an excellent part of the University for anyone who wants to follow a certain career path, as well as those who want to consider different options.”

GIULIA CROTTI, Interpreting MA

“The University of Surrey gives students such a wide variety of opportunities that range from volunteering and sports societies to career fairs and seminars. It would be a shame not to take them, so my advice to new students is to keep an eye out for such opportunities and, whenever possible, to get involved.”

BIRGIT ALTRICHTER, Management and Business PhD

Birgit Altrichter

“Studying for a PhD is indeed hard work – having a supportive environment and making friends along the way makes this journey truly enjoyable. Overall, Surrey is a fantastic place to study for a PhD. Not only are the academic facilities cutting-edge, the campus also has a special environment, which stimulates collaboration. The best way to get a glimpse of what this means is to come visit the campus

SARAH-JANE STEWART, Health Psychology PhD

Sarah-Jane Stewart

“Find your people! The people around you are a vital part of what gets you through your PhD – they can help motivate you when you’re stuck wondering why you signed up to do a PhD in the first place, and hopefully one day you can return the favour! If your PhD programme has a thriving PGR community, make sure you join in the fun – go to the socials! If it doesn’t – why not build one? Whether from your office, cohort, school, or even a different faculty altogether – create a supportive community that can relate to PGR life and understand what you are going through!

The Doctoral College offers a Researcher Café a couple of times a month which is a great opportunity to meet researchers from across the University and also a great excuse to take a break and get away from your desk. There you can grab a coffee and chat about anything and everything!”

LAURA CARTER, PhD Health Psychology

Laura Carter

“Do not compare yourself to others. Everyone is on a different path and has their own struggles and successes. It’s okay to take some time to recharge and get your head back in the game. PhD is a hard slog and you need to look out for yourself and others. Time and space from it can give you a different perspective. Build a good relationship with your supervisor. They have such an impact on your experience and have a good support system around you. Make sure this includes other PhD students (they will understand what it’s like) and non-PhD students (so you won’t have to talk about the PhD all the time!).

Advice from our Instagram student community

 Try to work ahead of the deadline as much as possible and take time off to enjoy life too!
Use all the PG workshops available. They helped me bring my writing up to masters level.
Think about any burning questions you have that could be your dissertation topic.
It can feel overwhelming at the start but you'll feel so proud at the end when you look back at all you have accomplished.
The hardest part was saying goodbye to everyone at the end. I've made friends for life!