Dr ScienceBeaut: My PhD Graduation

Dr ScienceBeaut: My PhD Graduation

Many of you may be aware that I recently became an official Dr, and I’m so grateful for all of the support that all my blog readers gave me throughout my PhD! I’ve charted my academic journey right through to starting out in my career in April, so it seems only right to blog about the final homecoming of the PhD rollercoaster.

Thoughout my PhD, when I was lacking motivation, I found inspiration in reading stories of other PhDs who had made it to the final celebration, most notably fellow Manchester graduate and one of my favourite fashion bloggers Victoria from InTheFrow (you can read her post here). I always loved seeing other people in their gowns, celebrating their acheivements and I couldn’t wait until it was my turn to do the same.


It was a December graduation, and a freezing cold but sunny day. It was so much fun being ‘robed’ in the ‘robing room’ and billowing about campus getting lots of pictures with my other half and our families. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to wear my Christian Louboutin shoes and my favourite red Vivienne Westwood dress to mark the occasion. The thought of buying my own pair of Louboutins and wearing them in my fabulous post-PhD life was often the only thing getting me through, so it was an amazing feeling to have finally made it!


The ceremony itself took place in the Whitworth Hall on Manchester University campus, supposedly the inspiration for Hogwart’s Great Hall. It was a proud moment walking across the stage with my family watching in the crowd, knowing that I had officially made it to Dr Powell too, like my Dad, after all the hard work and long hours in the lab. It was a shame to have to give back the rather bright robe and fetching gown at the end of the day, but they were a lot of fun to wear! After 3 and a half years of ups and downs, a new city, new friends and a new boyfriend that would become a fiance, failed experiments, successful experiments and one completed thesis, the hard work paid off and the celebration was everything I dreamed it would be. I’m Dr Powell and nobody can take that away from me!


Whatever stage of you PhD you’re at, however you’re finding the process, I promise you can make it through! If I can do it, and make it through to the other side, you will too, have faith in yourself. And I promise it is worth it in the end!