Student profile
Xiongbin Gao

Xiongbin Gao

"As a previous student at Surrey, I really enjoyed the supportive academic environment and the vibrant social life here. I have been encouraged to pursue whatever I am passionate about."

"I studied an undergraduate degree in tourism and studied MSc Sustainable Tourism at Surrey before undertaking my PhD. The more I learned about the field of tourism, the more interesting I found it and the more I wanted to know. However, I only decided to pursue a PhD during my MSc programme when I discovered my passion for doing research.

Before studying my MSc, I could never have imagined I would be competent enough to do a PhD. The boost of confidence I received during my MSc programme was an important reason for my decision to undertake a PhD.

I really have the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Surrey to thank for this. During my MSc, I felt that I was encouraged to discover where my interests lie in the field of tourism and to speak out my own ideas and opinions.

As a previous student at Surrey, I really enjoyed the supportive academic environment and the vibrant social life here. Like doing a PhD anywhere else, it is challenging. However, overall I have found it very enjoyable as I have been encouraged to pursue whatever I am passionate about (as opposed to being told what sort of research topics are ‘good’ and ‘suitable’).

My supervisors are extremely supportive all the time. They always give me sensible advice. At the start of the programme, I was struggling with specifying my research topic for months and they were very patient. They could have easily told me which direction I should go, but instead they encouraged me to find my real research interests. Those few months were difficult, but when I look back now I believe it was necessary in order for me to find a topic that I am really passionate about.

The Library is amazing here as it always helps me to find the resources that I need. I also attend the workshops provided by the Researcher Development Programme which are also very helpful.

My biggest achievement has been the pass of the confirmation - it really is an approval for my research. After the confirmation I also did a presentation in the research seminar within the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which I feel proud of too.

I really enjoy the social life at Surrey, as I love meeting different people from different backgrounds. I always feel that I learn something new from talking to them.

After my PhD, I would like to find a job as researcher or lecturer in a university."

 

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