Just a minute with… Amy Shields

amyAmy Shields a third year history PhD student, and current editor of our postgraduate journal, Pons Aelius. Her research focuses on seventeenth century republicanism in England, Venice, and the Dutch Republic. She is on twitter @ahshields90

  1. What did you want to be as a child?

An Olympic swimmer, an author, and a vet. I think I may have been a bit over ambitious.

  1. What advice would you have for current UG or early stage PG students?

Get involved in as many things as you can! Not only is a great way to meet new people, but you gain new skills and your CV will look great.

  1. What is the most important life skill you learnt whilst being a PGR student?

How to blag confidence and ignore that gnawing feeling of panic that I’m out of my depth. Imposter syndrome is all too common in academia, but if you act like you know what you’re doing and just go for it, you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

  1. What has been the most significant/memorable moment of your academic career so far?

When I got accepted to give a paper at Berkeley in California. I’d written the abstract just a few days before the deadline, and didn’t really expect to be accepted. I’d also never been to the US before, so that was a really great experience.

  1. If given complete freedom to start over, what profession would you like to do and why?

When I was little, I really wanted to be a vet because I absolutely love animals. I gave up on that dream because I found sciences much more challenging than humanities at school, and also because I’d get upset far too easily! But if I went back now, I wouldn’t let myself give up so easily.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

One Hundred Years of Solitude is sitting on my bedside table right now, but I’m only a few pages in. I have a habit of getting too distracted by a good book – I won’t notice that hours have passed because I’m so hooked! Last week I read the Hunger Games trilogy in four days….and my supervisor wonders why I miss deadlines… (sorry Rachel!)

  1. What has been the highlight of your week?

It was great to see the finished version of the newly renamed E-Journal, Pons Aelius, going live this week. Linda and I spend a lot of hours working on it, so we were really pleased to see it finally published. It also helped that we could celebrate with a few glasses of wine at the PGF party!

  1. Do you have favourite hidden gems of Newcastle?

It’s not hidden as such, but I love going to Intermezzo at the Tyneside Cinema. It’s a great place to while always the afternoon over a glass of wine and a good book.

Thanks, Amy! Hope you have a wonderful holiday period, and we will see you all in the New Year!