My name is Fiona Schultz I’m doing a PhD with Integrated Studies in Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbine Applications and I’m researching material science. I chose Birmingham because it has its own Metallurgy and Materials department which is fairly unique, and it’s such an outstanding University that I really wanted to join. At the moment I’m preparing a poster, so my usual week includes lab work, includes writing little bits and bobs. I’m just trying to analyze my results already as I go along. The poster that i’m preparing I’m more concentrating on what results I have now and what I want to get out of this, how do i want to present it to the wider audience. I’m usually seeing my supervisor at least once a month and if I need more help or if I need to make sense of something I can go and see him weekly if I want, or even every other day. The postgraduate community at Birmingham is really good, you get a lot of support from your peers, and when i first came to Birmingham the community made me feel very welcome. The thing I like about being a post-grad researcher is that I have the freedom to organise my project myself, so I can go in and I can decide what do I want to do today, and I plan my project myself and then with the guidance from my supervisor obviously, it has always a sense of direction in the end. When I graduate from the University of Birmingham I would like to go into industry and start gaining my industry experience. For my research I need machines like tensile test machines or scanning electron microscopes, and the good thing about Birmingham is that we even have speciality facilities like electron discharge machining. Last year I started teaching undergraduate labs so I’m demonstrating in labs or I’m marking lab sheets. The top tip for a prospective student at Birmingham would be look into what you want to do, look at what the University has to offer and once you start get involved with student societies and campus life.