Student profile
Anthoulla Phella

Anthoulla Phella

"The friendliest department in an academically prestigious university, as well as a place that already felt like home – Surrey was an unbeatable option."

Entry year
2016

"Economics for me is the driving force behind how our society works.

Policy decisions that influence people’s welfare, socioeconomic status, employment choice and employment opportunities are all based around economic models and concepts. 

I knew from quite early on that I wanted to pursue a PhD in order to have a career in academia. The combination of individual research and the interaction with students made an academic career the ideal profession for me. 

It was during my undergraduate studies here at the University of Surrey that I first had conversations with lecturers on what the PhD process entailed; so, during my masters degree when I had to consider where to do my PhD studies, Surrey was the obvious choice.  The friendliest department in an academically prestigious university, as well as a place that already felt like home – it was an unbeatable option.

I would say that the most exciting discovery you can make during your PhD is how far you can go as a person and researcher. It really is a process where you push your own limits each and every day and set new higher goals the moment you seem to have achieved one. Studying for a PhD is a challenge on its own, as one of my lecturers once said, “it’s mostly bad days with some good ones in between”. However, those few good ones, when things seem to be working out, make up for all the other ones because the output you obtain is the result of your own individual thoughts and work.

"Both of my supervisors are instrumental in helping me achieve my goal"

I have been extremely lucky to be in a department that cares about my progress and career prospects and that makes this process much smoother.

Both of my supervisors are instrumental in helping me achieve my goal of having a career in academia; their subject expertise, as well as their knowledge of how the job market works, provides me with useful insights. 

During my PhD studies I decided to take the Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching with the Department of Education, which is provided for free by the University. This was a very important element in my personal development as a teacher, as up until the second year of my PhD studies I had only ever been a student in a classroom. During my PhD, I had the opportunity to teach some of the tutorials for undergraduate economics students. Having students approach me at the end of a class to say thank you because they have understood a component they had been struggling with, or even just seeing that moment when concepts start to make sense in their eyes, always feels an important achievement for me.

Coming from a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean, Guildford always felt like home, while at the same time offering me all the amenities of a big, cosmopolitan, European town, being only half an hour away from London. The campus life and environment at Surrey are just amazing. It is such a vibrant and friendly community where nobody ever feels out of place."

 

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