This year (October 2014-April 2015) I was involved in the 5th Post Graduate Researcher Conference, which is an annual in house conference at the University of Surrey. I had attended the 4th PGRC conference in April 2014 and I was amazed by the breadth of fields of research that were currently active at the university. I was inspired, entertained and impressed by some of the talks at the conference. None of the oral presentations were related to my field so I tried to pick some of the “whacky” (in comparison to my field and my opinion) talks to go and I felt that I learnt a lot, including how to make engaging presentations.
So when the call for students to come and join the new committee for 1025 arrived in my mailbox I didn’t hesitate to join. The first meeting started off with someone from the previous years committee doing their very best to put us off coming to the second meeting. I think it was a good thing that they did this, even if he may have been slightly exaggerating, it was a tough experience and those involved really needed to be committed to be able to pull it off at all. Being on the committee was tough and took up a lot of time. Whilst I didn’t let it take up too much my Ph. D time it did eat into my personal time but it has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in terms of both the learning curve and the *feel good vibes* from working with a range of people outside of my field and putting together something massively beneficial to our community.
I learnt an awful lot about how different sectors of the university work together, especially those outside of academia where the politics and personalities seem to differ slightly. I also made some great friends and connections who I feel will be there for me through out the rest of my Ph. D.