The central part of a PhD student's life is, of course, research. In my research, I am exploring how the increasing use of data is changing human resource management in companies and what unexpected consequences and reactions can result from this - both for companies, their employees and for the professional field of human resource management. My research topic is highly topical and affects managers all around the world and in all industries - one could say it is a very 'trendy' topic, which makes it all the more exciting for me to research in this area, as there is a lot of interest in my research. For example, I have been invited several times to give guest lectures here at Loughborough, but also at other universities in other countries around the world.
Loughborough's PhD community
What makes studying at Loughborough so enjoyable and successful is the interaction with other PhD students and academics at Loughborough Business School (LB). My supervisors are genuinely available to me every day, and I have the opportunity to work from our large PhD office, which means you can always speak to someone if you have questions or problems. Sometimes it's an intellectual problem because you don't understand a theory, for example, but sometimes you just want to chat for five minutes to distract yourself - I really have to say that doing a PhD here at Loughborough is not a lonely experience at all.
Lots of different activities and events help you get to know other PhD students and researchers, for example the LB PhD conference where all LB PhD students present their work in different formats. It is really exciting to see who might be working on a similar topic as you. Through this conference, it is much easier to make contacts. It has helped me a lot to build a small support network with other PhD students who, for example, are using the same methodology as me or working on a similar question.
I think it is partly thanks to this research community that I have already published a paper in a high-ranking journal. The collaboration with my supervisors and the inspiration from the other PhD students and researchers in our school has helped me to work on this in parallel to my PhD and motivated me not to lose sight of this goal.
Although many think so, the life of a PhD student is not all about research, or at least it shouldn't be in my opinion. Loughborough University offers many opportunities to explore life away from the PhD office, to exercise and relax. Personally, I spend most of my free time swimming, cycling and running. I have been in the AU Triathlon Club since the beginning and was also female captain of the team for one year. For me, it's a great way to train my body and mind, and it gives me new energy and focus for my research. But even if sport isn't your thing, there are plenty of societies and events that allow you to enjoy Loughborough to the full.
Looking back on the last three years, I think my PhD here at Loughborough has been one of the best decisions of my life. It gives me the opportunity to become an expert in a highly relevant topic while gaining valuable experience outside of my research.