PGR week

The Postgrad Society at the university hosted a Postgraduate Researcher – PGR (PhD students) week at the university a couple of weeks ago. This society is for all masters and PhD students at the university. I often go to the free breakfast they organise once a month for all PGRs. It is a great opportunity to start the day with meeting PGRs outside of your department, school or even faculty.

I have met many researchers across the university from politics, Biomed all the way to space and AI research. As I talk to them about their research and develop an interest in listening to their novel ideas, I find myself explaining my research to others which also seems to strike as ‘fascinating’, and this has made me at multiple instances feel quite excited to go back to my desk and do a bit of work on my PhD. The society I believe is now trying to get more PGRs involved in a variety of events. The PGR week I think managed to engage many PGRs to new activities.

So here’s what PG Society offered for the week:

For all 5 days of the week, there was free breakfast at the Student’s union’s black sofas. Throughout the week I had sausage and bacon rolls, hot drinks, pastries, cereals and toasties. I met some interesting people from across different disciplines at the university all before 9am. The idea of not having to prepare or think of breakfast for the entire week was quite thrilling. More importantly, this meant I had no excuse but to be on campus at 8:30 am the whole week. This early start boosted my productivity quite a bit for the entire week!

If you are familiar with Hari’s challenge quiz that takes place at Hari’s bar, Rubix, they had one organised as part of the PGR week at Wates house. I do not do very well at quizzes but I absolutely enjoyed joining a friend from archery society and her team. I might have helped with a question or two! Got a really red postgrad society cloth bag which I now keep in my office for the regular Thursday market shopping! And I can proudly say it improved my general knowledge a slight little bit.

The third and the last event I took part in was a have-a-go at Pilates on campus. I have always wanted to try Pilates and see how similar and different it is to yoga. The young lady running the session was an old GSA student at the university and a great instructor. The session fit well into my timetable and I ended up using some muscles I never knew I had. It was overall a great experience and I didn’t need to worry too much about organising to do a trial session.

There was also a research showcase event with the Institute of Directors (IoD) where some PGRs presented their research and networked. I wasn’t free to attend this but I heard it was successfully interesting and engaging.

The Friday before the PGR week, the archery society hosted a Have-a-go session for the post-grad society. The Archery society only takes new members at the beginning of the academic year and has a short beginner’s course. However, in order to get more postgrads engaged in activities like these, the archery society invited around 10 PGRs to try archery and it was so damn fun! I was at the event more as a member of the archery society than a postgrad and was helping out during the event. We had some newbies shooting perfectly well into the gold. I had a good break from whatever I was stressing about at the time, by blowing balloons up to go on the target for the new archers to shoot at. I also had-a-go with a different kind of bow – a barebow, the one without a sight. Met some PGRs that I saw again later during the PGR week and hope to see around campus perhaps at breakfast and other events.

This week not only made me do fun things alongside my PhD but also made me productive and energised to drive my research! Looking forward to more events with the Postgrad society in February:

February 6th – Postgrads Do: Dodgeball!

February 11th – Pub quiz – Hari’s Challenge

February 21st – PGR breakfast

February 28th – Bar Crawl