Meet Professor Albert Sanchez-Graells, lecturer at the University of Bristol Law School.
Tell us about your journey into academia…
Believe it or not, as a teenager, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. But I started getting lost in the abstract world of maths and physics during my A levels, so I eventually decided to study law and business. These are two very ‘real world’ applied fields of study, although there is scope for rather intricate theoretical, ethical and philosophical approaches too!
After graduation, I went to work as a lawyer for a British multinational law firm, and then for a Spanish industrial company with worldwide operations. After a few very stressful years, I decided to enrol in a PhD programme to follow my passion for economic law, and this opened the door to academia for me. In the 10 years since I finished my PhD, I held academic positions in Madrid, Hull, Leicester and Bristol. This has given me enormous opportunities to engage in exciting teaching and research opportunities, and to build a truly international network of like-minded colleagues.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching on postgraduate taught programmes at Bristol?
I love teaching at all levels, but postgraduate teaching offers the possibility to engage in the aspects of my field of knowledge closest to my current research. I have recently been researching the impact of digital technologies on several areas of economic law and public governance. Getting to discuss these developments with bright and engaged LLM students always helps me improve my own understanding and push the boundaries of our collective knowledge. Seminar teaching where we can engage with these issues in detail is always energising and a good way to open the door to even more concentrated research efforts, such as through the dissertation. Supervising dissertation work is probably another of the parts of my job that I love.
What’s your number one top tip for prospective PG students?
My top tip would be to know yourself and your interests. Knowing what tickles your brain will help you find the right postgraduate programme for you. This is an intense experience that will have many demands but, if you are doing what you are passionate about, not only will you do better, but you will really get the most out of it. And make sure to do it in a place that supports you and excites you, so you can flourish.
I have found endless reasons to love Bristol, not only the University, but the city and all the opportunities it offers—for me, as a runner and a bit of a foodie anyway! So think about what and where to do it, and then go for your postgraduate programme with all your might.