Why did you choose to study for a PhD in Modern Languages?

I did an MA by Research in Hispanic Studies also and I found that I really enjoyed my thesis topic and wanted to expand the research further – in my MA I looked at women’s prison writing specifically from Franco’s Spain, and I wanted to be able to compare the texts I studied to prison texts written elsewhere and in different time periods, to be able to identify common ideas. During my undergraduate degree I realised I wanted to work in higher education, so doing my PhD seemed logical!

Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?

My undergraduate and MA courses were also undertaken here at UoB. I had wonderful tutors during my BA and a really great supervisory team during my MA, who were incredibly supportive and helpful and agreed to stay on for my PhD – the whole Modern Languages department here have helped me so much, and I didn’t really even consider doing my postgraduate studies anywhere else.

What are the best things about your course?

I think the support from my supervisory team has been one of the best parts of my postgraduate studies so far. Everyone is always helpful and encouraging, and with the huge changes over the last year and a half it’s been great to have that kind of support as I tried to finish my MA on time and get started with my PhD.

What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?

It’s difficult sometimes but on the whole I am enjoying it a lot! I’ve found my research so far very rewarding, and I love Birmingham a lot, which is probably clear from the fact that this is my third course here!

What support have you received during your PhD?

I have already mentioned my supervisors, but the Welfare team have also been very helpful for me in the past, both now and during my undergraduate degree. The postgraduate community is also really helpful and it’s good to talk to other people who are going through the same things that you are! There’s a lot of support available, including both mental health and academic support, which I would definitely recommend to anyone who thinks it might be useful.

Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?

I am also a team member of a research team largely unrelated to my own subject, which I’ve found valuable in terms of experience – I have a little more of an idea how post-doctoral research might look for me now. I am also hoping to work with some charitable organisations during my studies, which I hope will provide some important experience in relating my work to non-academic audiences. Most importantly, I have been able to take on some teaching hours, which I hope will help in the future when looking for teaching jobs!