by Zaira Solomons (PhD student)
I would like to share my experiences of the annual Doctoral Capability and Development Conference 2019, which has been both rewarding and transformative. I have been encouraged and supported by my Director of Studies to participate in the conference and after careful consideration, I have decided to present a poster. My abstract was accepted, and I consulted my Director of Studies for guidance and advice in planning and designing my poster. I found this exercise very helpful, as it gave me a head start in the right direction. The Doctoral College has also provided some support in designing posters and all of this aided a successful outcome, though I had to use my own initiative and design outline to channel my focus, which I found throughout the process very challenging and demanding, but very fulfilling at the same time since it was my first encounter designing posters. On the day, my supervisors displayed a keen interest in my work and ideas. I feel that I have gained so much from this experience as I attracted a number of academics, students and researchers who all actively engaged with my work. Through their engagement and interest, I also garnered new ideas and perspectives for my research. This interaction also gave me a chance to network and forge new relations in my academic circle. I am truly indepted, in particular, to Prof. Katherine Wimpenny for all her unwavering support in my progress and for always looking out for me and believing in my potential. Also, I would like to acknowledge Dr Gurnam Singh for all his mentorship and guidance and to everyone at GLEA who are always providing constructive criticism on my work.