Why are you doing a PhD?
After graduating with an undergraduate degree, I worked for over ten years before hitting a crossroad in my professional development. Returning to university appealed to me as it would increase my expertise and future career options. I successfully studied for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at The University of Sheffield and really enjoyed the challenges of postgraduate research. It was a natural decision to develop my career further and pursue a PhD research project which I am passionate about. I could not pass up an opportunity to focus on a subject that I’m naturally interested in.
What is your PhD topic?
My research is in e-learning with a narrow focus on online MBA courses. Due to the advancement of technology and with the increase in the use of online facilities, this has facilitated the growing phenomena of Higher Education organisations offering online courses to meet demand.
Why did you choose Leeds?
Moving to Leeds for my PhD gave me a great opportunity to increase my networking capacity, which I see as a great chance to learn from others. This may provide future opportunities for collaborative work both academically and with industry. My research will work within the White Rose University Consortium, which is a strategic partnership working alongside Sheffield and York universities.
Why did you apply for a research scholarship?
Applying and obtaining the Research Scholarship provides me with the peace of mind to focus for the next three years on my PhD topic without financial stress.
What impact would you like your research to have?
Currently, many universities are either offering, considering, about to offer or have totally disregarded e-learning as an option. I hope this research offers relevant and up-to-date information to facilitate these decisions. Furthermore, potential students of online MBA and employers of MBA graduates may also be interested in this research, as it will deliver insight into the content and delivery of e-learning.
What are your intended career steps after completing your research degree?
At this stage I’m focusing on developing my expert knowledge in the area of e-learning. It will be fun to see how academia works compared to industry and I hope to work between the areas in the future.
How have you found the first few months of studying for a research degree?
The first few months of studying have been really enjoyable. I have found a real community spirit in my department with new starters and researchers more advanced with their research. Many are from different parts of the world and from varying discipline backgrounds. I feel I have made many new friends since I started. I have taken the opportunity of becoming more involved with the PGR community by becoming a First Year Representative for the PhD Student and Staff Committee, which facilitates discussions around any issues and future plans that may affect researchers. This has allowed me to get to know students and staff from across my department.
Receiving a scholarship has allowed me to pursue a PhD, focusing three years of my life on a subject I find fascinating. I want to achieve a PhD while ensuring my research can inform the delivery of e-learning courses in the future.