What I like the most is having the time to pursue your own ideas to the fullest extend, and having the chance to publish your work.
What were you doing/studying before you started your PhD?
I started my PhD in Pure Mathematics in September 2013, and am due to finish in 2017. Before embarking on this, I studied MMath here at The University of Manchester from 2008 to 2012.
When did you realise that you wanted to pursue a PhD? Was this always something you wanted to do?
I haven’t always known that I liked mathematics, and in primary school I used to be absolutely terrible at it -- I used to get 0/10 every day for “mental maths” tests. So I haven’t always known I wanted to do a PhD. I grew interested in physics in high school (my mathematical ability had improved a lot by then), but I eventually realised maths was more fun and more satisfying. When I was in my third year of my MMath, I realised I was growing very interested in certain parts of mathematics , and that is when I decided I wanted to do a PhD.
What is your favourite thing about being a PhD student?
What I like the most is having the time to pursue your own ideas to the fullest extent, and having the chance to publish your work. Also, you meet lots of people (at conferences etc.), and this gives you the opportunity to find someone with a similar outlook on mathematics.
There is an intense pressue that you can put on yourself to work at a good pace, which can be stressful. Using your time effectively is probably one of the hardest parts of doing a PhD, but it is possible with discipline, and it's definitely a great opportunity to enhance organisational and time management skills.
Do you have any idea what you would like to do after your PhD?
Ideally, I would like to go into research. However, this is a very hard path to follow, so I have a number of back-up plans! You can do so much with a PhD - it opens up multiple pathways!