I have previously presented some advance findings from my PhD thesis at the last BSG conference in Liverpool and the MICRA PhD network conference. However, on those two occasions, these presentations did not include the conclusions from my research. At this year’s annual conference, I had the opportunity to share some of those conclusions, getting some feedback on them for the first time.

My research focuses on the pensions system in Chile as a case study and explores how older people deal with it, using a mixed-methods approach. More specifically, I concentrate on how older people cope using their social support networks. Accordingly, with that topic in mind, I mainly attended those sessions on the theme of “Retirement and changing working lives in later life”. There were several case study presentations, which were helpful for me to understand various retirement experiences in different parts of the world. The sessions were welcoming, and I felt comfortable asking questions, making everything an enjoyable experience.

Attending the British Society of Gerontology conference was crucial for my formation as a PhD student. I presented, and it was highly productive for my research. I had the opportunity to meet new people working on related topics, which made me learn about other theoretical and methodological points of view. Also, I got the chance to share my results and get helpful feedback from experts in the area, which was especially useful for future publications. Overall, attending was a significant help for my professional and academic career, to develop new skills, new professional relationships and gain knowledge.

Finally, if I have to think about what might have been better, I can only come with one aspect: time. Recently, I had attended another conference that had longer sessions with longer breaks of 30 minutes. That extra time was enough to give the audience time to pause and reflect. However, despite this, I enjoyed and learned a lot from this year’s BSG conference. I am grateful to the British Society of Gerontology for granting me a bursary. It was only because of this opportunity, that I had the chance to attend.

BSG Ageing Issues

27th September 2021.