Thomas.

PhD at NCRE.

How has UC got you out and about?

I’m a Ph.D. student at the National Centre for Research on Europe, here at UC. The Centre provides us with the opportunity to attend conferences and workshops, as well as carry out fieldwork, around the globe. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Samoa. Such opportunities are not only an excellent method of increasing one’s academic capabilities, but also provide the chance to experience new cultures and ways of life.

Highlight of your travels?

I was lucky enough to cycle through China for 4 weeks as part of a climate change awareness raising campaign. This campaign was organized by the NGO ‘Pole to Paris’ for which I was the General Manager. It was a very humbling experience in that it allowed us to experience first-hand the serious impacts of climate change and to also hear the stories of the people most affected by these changes. The power of these stories really brought home the importance of continuing the fight against climate change. We cannot continue to ignore the facts, we must all act and we must all act now.

You’re involved with the UCSA, what’s that?

It’s the UC Student Association, which advocates for and supports students. It's run by an elected student body and this year I'm the Postgrad Rep.

What’s it like being on the Exec?

It's a fantastic way of gaining exposure to a management role. You learn how to deal with complex situations in an environment where you still have a strong support network.

"We cannot continue to ignore the facts, we must all act and we must act now."

Why did you decide to get your Ph.D.?

I would like to assist, in some small way, in making this world more sustainable and equitable. A Ph.D. is a qualification that will potentially allow me to sit at a level where I could add value to this negotiation process.

What advice would you give to people just starting out?

Ask yourself, ‘What inspires you? What gets you out of bed in the morning and makes you put in the hard yards?’ Finding the answer to these questions is the start of fulfilling your own personal dream. Success isn’t about being smart, success is about achieving something that you see as meaningful, something that makes you happy and encourages you to make a positive difference to those who mean the most to you.