Spotlight on the Postgraduate Society
PhD student and President of the Surrey Postgraduate Society, Lester Buxton, tells us how the group can help students navigate postgraduate life at Surrey.
Going to university for the first time is often a nerve-racking but life changing experience. It usually means exploring a new place, meeting a variety of people, and of course, learning a huge amount about your chosen subject.
Embarking on university life for a second or third time as a postgraduate student isn’t too different. Granted, you may not necessarily want to do everything that the typical 18-19 year old undergraduate is doing, but there’s still a lot to learn and discover.
What does the society stand for and who runs it?
Surrey Postgraduate Society works to build an active, supportive, and inclusive postgraduate community that is represented within the University and its Union.
We are run by a committee of three signatories who are elected yearly, and members who volunteer to run socials and events. I, Lester Buxton, am this year’s President and I’m supported by a VP and a treasurer - we hold elections every year so look out for our AGM if you’re interested in running!
How can students get involved in the society?
You can join for free on the Students’ Union website or follow our events on Instagram and Twitter @SurreyPostgrads. We’re made up of both PhD and masters students and even if I, as president of the society, do say so myself, we’re quite a welcoming bunch!
What sort of events happen?
We’ve had to adapt to the pandemic and are offering weekly virtual socials every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm - details can be found on our social media @SurreyPostgrads. We have also started The Surrey Postgrad Podcast sharing experiences of postgraduate students from across the university.
How does the society interact with the students?
Once you’ve signed up as a member on the Students’ Union website you’ll be added to our email list and Teams channel, and we’ll send out information regularly through those channels. You can get in touch with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by searching for Surrey Postgrads. Feel free to email us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does the society support students?
The Surrey Postgraduate Society mainly deals with the social side of things, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t help out in other aspects of postgraduate life as well. We can help communicate to the University or the Students’ Union about any problems that you may be facing as a postgraduate student. Whether it’s an issue with a supervisor or a difficulty you’re experiencing in your studies, we can help. What’s more is we don’t just have formal discussions, by being part of a community of postgrads across campus we can talk to each other to see how others in similar situations are dealing with their problems.
Why should students join a society?
Postgraduate study can be lonely and isolating especially when done virtually or with social distancing. Joining a society, whether that is Archery or Debate club, can take you away from work to destress and help you meet like minded people. We at the Postgraduate Society can introduce you to these clubs and help you meet other Postgrads with like minded interests.
What are your tips for getting the most out of being at University of Surrey?
Do your best to get out and meet other people from across the university, even if it is virtually. If you can, get out and explore the campus and surrounding areas. Make the most of your continuing time as a student, it won’t last forever…