The first day was actually a difficult start for me as I sat and tiredly attempted to assimilate the information being relayed to us. I have no idea how hard it must have been for the ESRs that come from outside Sheffield. By lunchtime, however, we had adjusted to the information overload and I was able to get to know the other ESRs and supervisors. The rest of the day went smoothly and we finished with a wonderful meal and more chances to get to know each other.
The days that followed were easier to adapt to as the core information was outlined in the first day. There was a really positive attitude as people started to learn about the significance of their project within the consortium and the personalities of the people they were going to share the next 3 years with.
The best part was the pub lunch, as everybody had gotten used to the swing of things and people were able to relax a bit and socialise. The hardest moment was probably the preparation of the group projects, as groups of relative strangers worked to ensure that their presentation was of good quality, despite many of us working in unfamiliar subjects.
It was great to have an opportunity to get to know everyone before starting my project and the lectures allowed me to have an easy(ish) introduction to the consortium and the connected body of knowledge.