Ysabel Gerrard

Ysabel Gerrard

Why did you choose to study your PhD at the University of Leeds? 

I earned all of my degrees (BA, MA and PhD) at the University of Leeds and it feels like my second home. The School of Media and Communication is fantastic with a rich and inspiring research culture, and plenty of opportunities for research collaboration, teaching and mentorship, which made it a natural and easy choice for me.

Tell us about the opportunities you took advantage of at Leeds.

I took full advantage of the opportunities available to me in the department. I was a research assistant on several projects - two of which have resulted in academic publications - and a teaching assistant on a number of undergraduate modules. I also organised several academic conferences and became involved in international associations like the European Communication Research and Education Association.

How has your experience of studying a PhD helped you in your career?

I recently took up my first academic post as a Lecturer in Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield and owe my career successes to my mentors and colleagues at the University of Leeds. They gave me invaluable opportunities to help me in such a competitive job market and taught me how to mentor my students, publish and present my research, and other essential skills for an academic career.

What advice would you give to future PhD students?

I would encourage future students to make the most of the mentorship available to them, as I learned – and continue to learn – a great deal from my colleagues at Leeds. I’d also urge students to get involved with the PhD community and build a strong support system to guide them through the highs and lows of the process.