Abigail Hill (PhD, Geography)

Through securing funding available from the ESRC, I was able to obtain a place to this years ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference at Cumberland Lodge. Held within the stunning grounds of Winsor castle I was given the opportunity to have diverse and worldly discussions with fellow PhD students about subjects I had sometimes never even heard of. The experience has broadened my horizons through opening my eyes to the vast array of future careers available to me, as well as finetuning my presenting skills and further illuminating the benefits of collaborative working. The conference enabled me to engage with like-minded people in a space with no theoretical limits, in fact designing a museum of colonialism, situated on a train is an experience I will never forget. I was able to learn skills which I can implement to increase my engagement with the academic community and promote my research through online platforms and social media (including writing blog posts such as these!). Nevertheless, after over a year of pure online engagement it was refreshing to network in person over a cup of tea! In addition, despite participating and organising numerous online conferences, for the first time ever I got the opportunity to present my research on the resilience of British High streets. While no one else had a background in Human Geography, everyone was engaged and interested in my research which enabled me to gain valuable feedback on how my work can stretch further than my own discipline. I look forward to attending future events at Cumberland lodge and be part of their inspiring community.