The URL might have already given it away, but my name is Gaby Wolferink, and I’m a Dr now!
I’m a 31-year-old Research Associate at Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics. It took me a while to get here, though, via some various unfinished courses and some years out of academia working full-time. However, in 2009, when I decided to give academia one last try, everything started falling into place. In that year I started my BA in English Language and Literature at the Radboud University in the Netherlands. There, I have developed a taste and passion for (post)colonialism and the sociological effects that, primarily, the Great British Empire had on the identities of the colonized peoples.
Thanks to the Harting Scholarship I was able to study a full year at the university of Hull where the focus of my modules was on colonialism and power and resistance. Hull appeared not to be the ‘dump’ people always say it is, and I decided to do my Masters there as well. So in 2013 I’ve finished an MSc in Human Geography focusing on “Motorcycle Travel and Frontier Landscapes: a Unique Combination for Experiencing the World”. The thesis was a project based on qualitative research of travel accounts of ‘motorcycle adventurers’ such as Ted Simon, but also the more commercially bound Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Being a motorcyclist myself who loves to travel (on a BMW R1100GS), I sought to combine those passions with my passion for research and Human Geography. This MSc was solely based on research as opposed to a taught masters. I aimed for this project to be the a solid groundwork for research training, but hoped to continue in a PhD afterwards that focuses more on a combination of Human Geography and Sociology and Social Policy.
This wish for a PhD Studentship was granted when being accepted at Loughborough University in October 2013. Now, 3.5 years later, I have successfully defended my PhD thesis where I explored job searching practices as a work club volunteer. This project has provided me with a solid base for making a difference, somewhere, no matter how small, in the ‘real world’.
Outside my academic (wannabe) life, I’m also a passionate runner with Barnsley Harriers, marathoner and wannabe ultra runner, I love to cook and bake, discovering and tasting new whiskies and beers/ales, and to, together with my husband, travel the world (and hopefully a lot more after finishing my PhD) on our motorbikes and with our Mazda Bongo Camper Van. We live in a village near Barnsley in the beautiful South Yorkshire.
My motto: if you want to do something, stop wanting, start doing.