View from the inside: what is it like to be a member of the Welcome Team?

Posted in: Uncategorised

Ever wondered what it is really like to be a member of the Doctoral College Welcome Team? As we are now looking for some new recruits, we thought you would like to hear it from the horse's mouth! Bethan and Jane tell us a bit about what they've got out of the experience:

When I first joined the University, the Doctoral College did not exist. However, since its launch in the summer of 2017, I can see that it was something that was sorely needed. The College has provided a way for doctoral students to escape their departments and branch out to students across the University. Meeting others in similar positions to you, but from outside your field, is a refreshing and healthy part of doctoral life that was often missing before, and I am happy the Welcome Team has been able to help facilitate this. 

A surprisingly challenging aspect of the Welcome Team role when I first came to it was justifying the existence of not just my role, but the new Doctoral College to fellow students and, especially, academics. With all that takes place within departments, was the College needed? But that is the point, the College provides an inclusive body that helps ensure doctoral students feel part of the University of Bath, rather than just the Department of X. And, with Welcome Team-led events, blogs, induction documents, as well as the ever popular Friday coffee mornings (Cake in the Commons) I don't have to justify my position. I hope the College and the new Welcome Team can continue to build on the progress achieved this year.

Bethan Charles, Welcome Team member 2017-8 (the face behind our fabulous Taste of Research poster induction event!)

When I joined the University last June, I was co-located across two Faculties and felt a little bit like a fish out of water not having been in full-time education for 30+ years and arriving just before everyone went on holiday.   When I saw the application for the Welcome Team in my inbox in July, I jumped at the chance even though I was a ‘newbie’ myself; after all, by the time everyone else arrived in October, I would be a seasoned doctoral student!   Thankfully the interview panel saw my experiences as useful, offered me the post and personally I haven’t looked back. 

So why get involved in the Welcome Team? 

No 1:   I believe in the Doctoral College. It’s fantastic to have an inclusive body that looks after us and is continually working to ensure we are all supported regardless of the multiple diversities within our student community. I know many students at other universities wish they had one.

No 2:  It’s a great way to meet other people, not only in the Welcome Team but at Doctoral College events throughout the year.  I can safely say I’ve made lifelong friends through being part of the team. 

No 3:  It’s a great way to give back and help shape our University.  From working at events, writing blogs, giving Eleanor (Doctoral Engagement Manager) helpful (!) suggestions, being an ear on the ground and writing the ‘mid-year arrivals guide’ I’ve had a great time and genuinely feel we have made a difference. 

No 4:  Finally, it’s provided me with a healthy break from my research from time to time and a bit of normality in what sometimes feels like a very messy world! 

Jane Mackay, Welcome Team member 2017-8 (mid-year arrivals guru and coordinator of the mid-year arrivals guide for new students)

If you are interested in joining the team, find out more information about the role and read the full job description.

Fill in the application form. Applications close on Sunday 13 May at 23:00.

For queries about the role that are not covered in the job description, please email

Posted in: Uncategorised


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response