A Mountain to Climb
With a mixture of excitement and fear the students aligned to the PM scholarship attended their first study weekend in the beautiful city of Canterbury. Previous meetings as a group have been brief, so the chance to get together and learn as a group filled us all with excitement. Most of us did not know what to expect, but after sharing our thoughts and feelings with one another were realised that we were all in the same boat. This allowed our smiles to grow somewhat knowing that we were facing the challenges ahead together.
CCCU, Emma Williams and the team were very welcoming making us feel at home immediately, we knew that we were going to get all the support we needed in the months ahead. Our first evening was spent at a lecture, with many first year Policing students, given by Simon Guilfoyle. Simon’s input covered the Performance culture of the Police and the damage that chasing targets has done to many of our Forces. This was a fascinating input which challenged the thinking of many people in the room and created a healthy debate. It was in the most part a refreshing take on the performance culture in the Police.
Day 2 saw an input from Tom Cockcroft on subjects such as ethics in research, project planning and research proposals. Whilst these titles may seem somewhat bland, they don’t do justice to the enthusiastic and informative day that we spend covering these subjects. Some of the topics covered generated interesting debates and many questions were asked and answered. The inputs answered many of the fundamental questions we had as a group on the next steps to take. By understanding how we were all going to move forward over the coming weeks, it made the whole process feel all the more real.
At the beginning when we were accepted onto the PM Scholarship we all knew that we had a mountain to climb over the next 12 months. Explaining to people that we were undertaking a full time Master of Research alongside our full time roles elicited looks of sympathy from even the most hardened academics. However after our first study weekend together and some fabulous inputs we realised that we have taken a big step up that mountain together.