Testimonial by Agnieszka Skowron
I joined the Centre for Aviation, Transport, and the Environment (CATE) in October 2007 after receiving the MMU’s doctoral scholarship. I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived – I was a double outsider in the sense that I’m originally from Poland and that it was my first serious job after my graduation. Quickly it turned out that I feel like at home, both academically and socially. CATE is an open and friendly place, where are plenty of opportunities to get to know fellow students and staff. During my first year I attended a variety of courses offered by Student Development Programme, which helped me to feel more confident and upbeat.
Working in CATE is a pleasure, also from a formal point of view. The facilities here are excellent – a desk and computer are offered to all research students. The flexibility of the course of study is also a significant point, as I am a mum of 1.5 year Tymon, so it was crucial for me that I was able to suspend my thesis or change the mode of study.
The PhD is not only 8 hours work 5 days a week, in a sense is your way of life. After a while, your topic absorbs you completely, you are even dreaming about it. This is hard work with their ups and downs, and most importantly with your satisfaction. It is worth to remember that if you really want something you will achieve it!
Anyhow, you can’t concentrate on your research 24/7 and there is a solution for it. Being located in centre of Manchester means that you can get anywhere you like/need quickly and easily, e.g., you can see a good film, eat ecological food (and not only) or simply swim at Manchester’s Aquatics Centre which definitely will refresh your mind; all just behind the corner!