Why did you choose your course at the University of Birmingham?

I chose to undertake my PhD at the University of Birmingham because I felt that my two supervisors, both leaders in their fields and extremely well-respected academics, together had the necessary knowledge and enthusiasm for my chosen subject of research to form the best possible supervisory team. I was also very glad to become part of the department of Art History, which is known as an output for high-quality and innovative research, and with which I could see myself becoming part of.

What have been your highlights so far in undertaking your research and why?

I am currently on research leave, and this time has definitely been a highlight of my time as a PhD student so far. I have been able to work in the field and make my own discoveries in various archives across Germany, which feels highly rewarding.

The improvement of my language skills has also been supported by the university. I was able to undertake specific language courses for researchers to help prepare me for future research work in Germany.

What have you learnt from your course? How has it prepared you for your future career?

So far, I believe that one of the main skills I have learnt from my course is independence as well as confidence, both in my work and myself. With the support of my supervisors, I believe I have gained the valuable ability to stand up and present my research with assurance and confidence, to travel to different countries and undertake solo-research, with the knowledge that I have direction over my PhD and my work. Going forwards, I know I will feel able to continue undertaking such work with certainty in my decisions and ultimately as an independently-minded academic researcher.