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Name: Susan
PhD discipline: English Literature
Area(s) of work: University administration (skills training and career development)
Year of graduation: 2008
Date of Interview: 14/05/2008

Susan - background to the PhD
Susan describes her educational background prior to embarking on the PhD.

Tell me a bit about your educational background 

Well I was born in Northern Ireland. The education system there is slightly different and so I attended a grammar school because we still have the 11 Plus and so we were creamed off quite early on. From there I went to Queen's University, Belfast. I applied to Cambridge and didn't get in but that was on the whole positive because it meant that I was able to spend a year in the United States on a full scholarship supposedly studying business. But as it turned out you know, studying English and Women's Studies and the kinds of things I was actually interested in, which was really good. I spent a year in Tennessee. And then I came back and finished my degree in English at Queen's.

In my third year I thought 'I want to do a Masters' because I could. I wanted to go to, well Queen's was a very good institution, I wanted to come away from Belfast and get more experience than that. I wanted to come to, you know, a top institution in Britain in England and so I applied and got in to do Women's Studies at the institution in question. I got on well with my supervisor and decided to stay on and do a PhD.