Holly BennettStarting a PhD

After completing my Statistics MSc I thought about applying for PhDs in the field that I had done my dissertation in, cognitive impairment. In the end I decided to apply for jobs as a Research Assistant with the thought that I could gain some experience and also have the opportunity to meet some people working in research and current PhD students. One job advertisement in particular stood out – an advertisement for the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study which was perfect as I would be able to stay in my field of interest and also obtain the experience I wanted.

My application was successful and I started working at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health and I have loved every moment of it. Everyone is really friendly and the atmosphere is great. Only a short while in I knew that I wanted to stay in dementia research and so I started thinking about PhDs again. Many of the friends I made who were PhD students talked about how supportive their supervisors were and the idea of being able to carry out my own research really appealed as it would mean that I could follow it in whichever direction it went.

In the end my supervisor first brought up the subject of doing a PhD and was really encouraging so I decided to go for it. Now that I have started I am very much enjoying it. To be completely honest I was not sure what to expect but there are so many opportunities including conferences, training courses, clubs and societies, volunteering, mentoring, even Quidditch! I have now signed up to some training courses and even though I might not attend all 37 of the activities I signed up to at fresher’s fair it is brilliant to have them available. As for work, I am already getting started on my project and have had a couple of meetings with my supervisors. I feel extremely lucky to stay in the same department that I worked in as it has been an easy transition to being a student again. I am sure that there will be many times in the course of three years when this course will be stressful and a lot of hard work but I am also sure that I will continue to love it here. I am looking forward to this desk being my home for the next three years.

HB Blog3

Holly Bennett

Email: hb441@medschl.cam.ac.uk

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