Amy Hyslop – 1st year PhD student at Strathclyde Business School

Name:  Amy Hyslop
Course/project & year of study: 1st year PhD
Home country: Scotland

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m 22 years old and I’m currently in my first year of my PhD studing in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. I came straight from my undergrad where I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship for my postgrad studies and so far I’m loving doing my PhD.

It’s a massive step up from undergrad and is definetely challenging but it’s very rewarding at the same time. I’ve lived just outside of Glasgow all my life, except from an exchange period where I studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing, which was the best six months of my life. Since then I’ve loved traveling, visiting new cities and experiencing new cultures.

Why did you choose Strathclyde for your postgraduate research study?

After having studied my undergrad in International Business at Strathclyde I’d developed really good relationships with people in my department and have always felt extremely supported in my studies. It also has a great reputation as a business school and there are so many amazing opportunities here, in particular for research. The campus is right in the heart of Glasgow and every year I’ve been studying here it has improved, making it somewhere I really wanted to stay.

The campus is right in the heart of Glasgow and every year I have been studying here it has improved, making it somewhere I really wanted to stay.

Tell us about the nature of your research?

My research is looking into the facilitation of high-tech innovations specifically blockchain technologies. 

What do you like about your research area?

It’s a fast moving field which is constantly changing. Every single day there’s a new advancement about this technology, and there isn’t a lot of academic work on it yet, so I spotted my niche and ran with it.

Also so far I’ve been able to make a lot of interesting contacts in the field of blockchain – as a new phenomenon anyone who is involved seems really happy to discuss it. I’m actually going to Switzerland in a few weeks to go to a blockchain conference which I’m really excited for. This was definitely the right choice of topic for me.

What’s the Strathclyde research community like?

It’s absolutely fantastic. One of the things I was most nervous about starting my PhD was the transition from undergrad to PhD without having any industry experience or even a Masters degree. Luckily the community I’m with on a daily basis is so supportive, full of advice and a lot of fun as well.

In the few months since starting my PhD I’ve made great friends both in work and an out of work basis. The research community is one of the best parts of my job and I look forward to continuing developing such relationships.

The research community is one of the best parts of my job and I look forward to continuing developing such relationships.

What are the Strathclyde facilities like?

As I said every year I have been at Strathclyde they have been getting better and better. The new sports centre, for example, is fantastic, and while it’s not directly related to doing a PhD, when I am stressed out or need a break from my desk it really is the perfect escape. Plus my desk faces the gym, so I have constant motivation to go.

In terms of the other aspects, I’m more than happy. I’ve a desktop computer, a desk and free printing. As a tutor as well, I need to do a lot of printing for class materials so this has really benefited me. Everyone is so supportive as well, from the library training sessions, to the IT guys – I always know if I have a problem it will get fixed quickly.

Tell us about the support from your supervisor and the wider Strathclyde team?

I’ve a great relationship with both my supervisors and on multiple occasions I have been able to contact them about either personal or work related issues and they’re more than happy to help.

With the recent launch of the Doctoral School at Strathclyde as well, there’s even more support for PhDs in place which is fantastic. I feel really connected to my PhD community and always know there’s someone there to talk to.

I’m also a PGR rep for the Hunter Centre and I therefore have a lot of contact with others in the University. The new PGR director for the Business School has been great at engaging the PhD community more and providing additional training that is beneficial (for example End Note training and other essentials).

With the recent launch of the Doctoral School at Strathclyde as well, there’s even more support for PhDs in place which is fantastic. I feel really connected to my PhD community and always know there’s someone there to talk to.

What’s the best thing about Strathclyde?

Definitely the people and the opportunities. The people because they keep me sane when I am feeling stressed out, and it’s also a lovely office environment. As a relatively small department, we’re all quite close now and often organise events out with the office. 4 months ago when I started my PhD I met a girl, and now I am her bridesmaid – it really is a community that I feel part of.

As I said I studied as part of my exchange in Beijing at one of the top Universities in China. This is an experience I will never forget, and even within my PhD there will be chances to travel to international conferences and get to network with top academics across the world. I really feel at Strathclyde the opportunities are endless.

What would you like to do after your PhD?

I’d definitely like to pursue an academic career. I’m passionate about the research I’m doing and so far I’ve also loved the teaching side of things. Hopefully one day I will get a chance to work at another top business school, somewhere exciting and maybe a bit warmer. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended back applying for a job at Strathclyde within the business school here, as I say it really is a great University to work for.