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Carlos Zepeda

profile.jpgCurrent PhD candidate

I chose PAIS because it was definitely a lively space of critical thinking. I could see this from all the publications of its academic staff and by the types of research that PhD students were undertaking. I was certainly drawn by the diversity of views, but most of all, a concern to draw new analysis on how power operates at various levels in social realities of people.

The quality of the teaching and supervision has been superb. I am very happy with how the critical dialogue towards my research has flowed between my supervisor, Prof. Jan Scholte, my co-supervisor Dr. Dominic Kelly and how it has developed in time. They have pushed my boundaries of thinking and have made me reflect in new interesting ideas on how to engage with my research. I have enough freedom to debate with them my ideas and this has made me be all the better in my creative process of writing my thesis.

In addition I can say that the staff in our PAIS department (and this includes both, the academic as well as the administrative) has been most helpful in opening up doors to new spaces in which to take my research and ‘be tested’. It is a very friendly atmosphere and the fact that your work is an on-going process makes it really exciting when you do get things right and get support from the staff to strengthen your academic qualities.

PAIS is a well-regarded department in Politics and International Studies and this has opened up doors for me. I am now engaged with associations related to my research knowing that I have the back up of my department to start with good credentials in any of these spaces e.g. the Development Studies Association, the London Research Water Group, the water politics conferences in the UK, etc.

The department has been very supportive with me by providing me with lots of information on calls for papers for my research, new alternatives for complementary research funding, research skills training and even with my academic business cards when I started going to the conferences. I have taken advantage of participating in lots of academic spaces at Warwick, like the Action Learning Sets (interdisciplinary research groups with PhDs of other departments), training in teaching, etc.

The social life at Warwick is fascinating because it is multicultural and this makes it interesting by itself. The people in my PhD group do not even repeat countries! I have been engaged from student led initiatives like CRIPS (Critical Research group on International and Political Studies) to salsa and Latin-American groups.

I am sure that my life at Warwick is going to have a positive impact in the future in my professional/academic paths. I aim to be working on political issues related with my country and I can think nothing better than to be prepared with the kind of critical thinking I am learning through PAIS. I believe that organizations are made by people, and the people that constitute PAIS really matter in the way this space works. I really enjoy it and I will try to be engaged with PAIS for long after my degree, that’s for sure.

Carlos' academic listing