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Cecilia Martinez, 2nd year from Mexico

Cecilia MartinezI'm doing my PhD in the Evolution and Development Group, under the supervision of Dr Beverley Glover. I come from Mexico, where I did my undergrad, followed by a Masters in Oxford. I had worked in different areas of the biological sciences and with different organisms, having a mainly ecological background, before turning to plant molecular biology in the pursuit of a long time interest in evolution.

In coming to Cambridge one of the things that most attracted me was the personal approach given to each student. In my case, I was able to go into an area of research new to me, while still working in a project around my skills and interests. After one year, I have found the experience of being a graduate student very rewarding. The Department provides a great atmosphere to conduct research, where you can work with some of the most talented scientists in the area. Outside the lab, you have plenty of opportunities for professional and personal development in the form of conferences, out-reach activities and courses ran either by the University, the Department, or by getting involved in one of the many student societies, which allows you to pursue all your interests.

So far I've had the opportunity to demonstrate in lab practicals, participate in an international conference and meet with fellow researchers outside the UK. Outside the academic sphere, last year I joined the University Ballet Club, and this year I have started practicing Irish dancing and enrolled in German courses offered by the University Language Centre.

For foreign students, Cambridge is a great place to study. There is a wide international community and most nationalities have their own societies, where you can meet with people from your own country, so that even if you come from far away, you can still feel at home. Additionally, the University has a great scholarship programme for overseas students, I am fortunate to be a Gates scholar and I'm looking forward to another exciting year here.

Cecilia Martinez page.