Dr Huw Thomas is a Lecturer in Management in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law.
Tell us about your journey into academia…
My journey to the University of Bristol is somewhat unusual in that I went straight from school to an undergraduate degree, to a master’s, to a PhD, and finally to here, a Lecturer, at Bristol!
I began with a BSc in Business Management from Cardiff University with the idea that the flexibility in the degree could take me anywhere. After a number of (unsuccessful) interviews for Human Resource positions, where one interviewer stressed that I was ‘too nice for HR’ and having impressed one of the lecturer’s, I was urged to stay on to do a PhD in international employment relations.
During my studies I spent two years working at the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialised Agency of the United Nations, as well as field research in palm oil plantations of Indonesia, and tea estates of Sri Lanka. Working with social actors and taking these experiences into the classroom is something I enjoy immensely. Currently I’m interested in labour rights, global supply chains, international organisations, activist scholarship and air traffic controllers.
Most recently I have developed the new MSc in Human Resource Management and the Future of Work, which I am particularly excited about and looking forward to welcoming our first students to this state–of–the–art programme.
What tips do you have for prospective postgraduate students?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the lecturers on the course! We’re a friendly bunch with a wide range of expertise, both in terms of the different programmes but also the University as a whole. At the same time, do your research. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of different programmes, but also consider where you want to be for a year. There is life outside of academia after all!
What’s your experience of events at Bristol?
I really enjoy these events at Bristol. It’s great to engage with prospective students and show off the amazing programmes that we’ve developed. My experience has been that students really enjoy the opportunity to engage in open discussion with their prospective lecturers. We also enjoy talking to those who want to pursue their academic career further, the best students are those who are most engaged! So, ask us anything.
Do you have any advice for how prospective students can make the most of the events?
No doubt that doing these events virtually is not the same as face-to-face. We’d love to have you here, but, with some preparation it’s just as useful. Take a look at the multitude of materials we have online, many of the normal questions will be answered by having a browse online. Following this, write down some questions. What’s perked your interest in the programmes? Where do our students go after graduating? What’s the unique selling point of this programme? These are the type of questions we love to answer.
What kind of things can students ask you?
Ask us anything, we’re here to answer your questions. There’s no such thing as a stupid question in my book. Ask me about myself and my research interests, the programme, what it’s like to be in a classroom (virtual or face-to-face) with me, or what’s good to do in the evenings in Bristol.
Why is it important to attend the open week?
This is a great opportunity to get a feel for what the University has to offer. By chatting to us, we can make sure you’re suitable for the programme and that it’s a good fit for you. It’s also a good chance to talk to your prospective lecturers. It’s always great speaking to students in these events and welcoming them to the classroom the following year.