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Chris Perkins

MSc International Relations (2007), PhD (2011) 

Why did you choose Royal Holloway for your degree?

The thing that drew me instantly to Royal Holloway was the Founder's building, and it continued to be a really stimulating environment in which to study. The Department of Politics and International Relations is also dynamic and innovative, and offers a wide range of courses in a number of different streams. I decided to stay at Holloway for my PhD for two reasons: (1) I got a scholarship (!) and (2) I knew I would get excellent supervision. And while the extra money was nice, it was the supervision that made all the difference.

How did your time at Royal Holloway help your future career?

I am now an academic, and I think the PhD programme at Royal Holloway gave me a head start in the job market.  I was encouraged to start attending conferences right from the beginning, and the department has a strong research and publishing culture, which meant that by the time I left I already had a number of publications under my belt. The departmental working paper series is a great place to try out ideas and get used to the process of article submission, peer review and revision. The department also supported us in setting up a new journal (the Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies), which we launched at a conference hosted at Royal Holloway, and I think having this sort of experience on your CV is invaluable when applying for university jobs.

What do you do now and what advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in your sector?

I am now a lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. My advice would be to publish lots, network lots, and attend lots of conferences. Jump on opportunities to organise conferences or edit journals. The main thing I took away from Royal Holloway was that you learn by doing. Get yourself out there and take chances. Some things won't go your way, but others will. But also make sure you take time to recharge, although this is easier said than done!



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