To date, my PhD experience in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cambridge has been highly rewarding, yet also highly demanding. In contrast to an American PhD program, I was immediately dropped into the laboratory and challenged to adapt and perform. UK PhD programs expect a high level of independence, creativity, and intellectual flexibility. Self-instruction is essential. Specifically, I had to undertake challenging experiments alone on a modified transmission electron microscope outside of Cambridge without my supervisor’s assistance. Talented students are transformed into hardened scientists, well prepared for independent research in a government, industrial, or academic laboratory.
Numerous evenings have been spent wandering between local pubs with friends from lab. Candle-lit formal dinners in Peterhouse College’s ancient dining hall have given me a real sense of Cambridge’s rich history and tradition. Exploring the varied towns in East England has made me appreciate choosing to study in the UK.