Interview with my PhD supervisor
Hi guys. It’s finally December. It has been a busy and hectic year where a lot has happened for myself from starting to be a blogger for Loughborough International, to completing my dissertation and starting my PhD. To highlight the biggest milestone of the year, I can safely say that doing a PhD is the one. In this blog, I will explain my rationale behind doing further study and I have interviewed my supervisor on how she perceives PhD.
After completing my undergraduate degree in Loughborough, I have set my sights on further education such as doing a master but doing a PhD was nearly the last one on my list. I was petrified by the term PhD and I felt like I might not be good enough to complete or even study this three-years’ worth research degree. Despite I have received couple of masters offer from different universities, I couldn’t make up my mind on what I should pursuit for study. I felt like I might not learn as much from a one-year master’s degree as I would from a PhD programme.
Thus, I consulted my supervisors Quddus and Marianna for their advice. After discussing with them, the idea of doing a PhD reignited in my mind with their assurance that doing a PhD is value for money both financially and in terms of personal development. Moreover, I had a clearer understanding of what a doctoral degree is. Essentially, PhD is a three to four-year research programme to create new knowledge for the society. With the nature of knowledge creation in PhD, I can develop a serious contribution to some themes that I do care a lot about and that is the main driver for me to pursue doing a PhD. Moreover, throughout the learning process, I would be able to develop expert skills in methodology for which is more beneficial for my academic development.
Marianna, as my PhD supervisor, has provided a great deal of guidance in pointing me to the right direction for pursuing a PhD and I have interviewed her to provide thoughts on why doing a PhD and the way she perceives it.
Q: Why did you do a PhD?
A: To be honest, when I was attending the undergraduate degree in civil engineering in Greece, I have set my sights on finding a graduate job and settle for the rest of my life. I didn’t see myself working in academia at all. However, in the final year project, I found it very meaningful and useful. The amount of development that I have attained in the last 6 months in my undergraduate studies was beyond compare with other years. Thus, I discussed with my supervisor for the options in further studies. Vying between offers for masters and PhD, I have finally decided to come to Loughborough for its international learning experience and financial convenience.
Q: Who is a PhD suitable for?
A: Not everyone is suitable for everything and so does doing a doctoral degree. A doctorate is suitable for students who are curious; aiming to develop skills consistently and enthusiastic about learning. Students have to be very disciplined and passionate about their work as it is at least three years’ worth. Moreover, a substantial amount of work is carried out independently which prove discipline is key.
Q: List three adjectives to describe the desired traits of PhD students
- Adventurous – students should be curious about the subject matter that they are working on.
- Disciplined – students should be independent and disciplined in terms of the working schedule and progress.
- Perseverance – there might be hard times in doing a PhD but it is important to maintain a high level of consistency and do not let failure discourage you.
Q: What is expected from PhD students?
A: I expect students to develop high enthusiasm for what they are doing. Furthermore, to fall in love with what they are doing as well as appreciate what they are researching. They should believe that what they do will create value and contribute to the society.
Hope this little blog can give you guys some insights into what a PhD is. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Catch you guys in 2018!