Wow, well the first few months were crazy full, in fact the process of writing this has made me realise just how much I’ve done. It’s been quite cathartic!
Anyway, so my name is Amy and my EASTBIO funded PhD centres around honey bee health.
EASTBIO has an interesting and involved doctoral training programme which has seen me networking with students from Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and St Andrews at various courses and events. As a student rep I also need to work with other reps to organise a symposium which is exciting but most definitely outside my comfort zone! Starting a PhD, to me though, seems like the perfect time to challenge old habits and develop some new skills. It’s also really nice to focus on something outside of my PhD project for a while whilst still feeling like I’m moving forward.
Being an EASTBIO student put me in a great position to start making friends and building a support network across 4 different cities. The School of Biological Sciences based ‘Zoo and Roots’ society, which focuses on bringing everyone from zoology, Cruickshank and 23 St Machar together helped me to solidify some of those bonds within Aberdeen. Already, it’s pretty clear to me how important it will be to have peers who I can support and be supported by throughout some of the trickier PhD challenges!
The first 6 months have also been where I’ve started to build a relationship with my supervisors. Luckily, mine have been very supportive of me taking some time in the first few months to not only think about my PhD project but also scope out other opportunities. As such, I’ve started demonstrating which has helped me to feel more a part of the wider university as I meet undergraduates and lecturers, and I’ve started beekeeping which has allowed me to become part of the Aberdeenshire community.
These things have been invaluable in helping me put down roots in this little part of the North East of Scotland which is oh so far away from my home on the Welsh border.