By studying an Economics PhD, Mahreen gained the skills and knowledge to pursue a career as an academic. Mahreen enjoys how varied and flexible their role is – teaching, research, administrative tasks, and meetings.
What course did you study at Kent? What attracted you to the course?
I studied for a PhD in Economics at Kent. The research portfolio of the department and the scholarship they offered attracted me to the course.
What are you doing now?
I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics at the University of Exeter.
How did studying your PhD prepare you for your current position?
It was instrumental in paving the way for a career in academia in two ways. One, I got the opportunity to teach at the undergraduate level which helped me understand how academia works in the UK. Second, I got valuable training in the process of conducting academic research and support for conducting primary data collection.
Could you describe a typical day in your current role?
My role is a combination of teaching, doing research, and fulfilling administrative or citizenship roles within the department. So on any day, I could teach a class, then attend a meeting with co-authors for a research project, write or review some code for analysis, and attend a meeting about the departmental seminar that I help co-organize.
What do you love most about your role?
Being free to choose the topics that I do research on and the flexibility in how, when, and where to work.
What steps did you take to get into your current role? What was the process during/after University?
During my PhD, I focused on building a solid research agenda and presenting it at conferences and seminars. This paved the way for the Postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Oxford which I did after graduating from the University of Kent. During my postdoc, I continued to invest in my research portfolio and network which enabled me to get the permanent academic post that I am currently doing at the University of Exeter.
What skills did you gain at the University, not just from your course that you use now in your career?
Perseverance. Research is not a linear process and can often be challenging and frustrating, especially in how long it can take. Therefore, it is crucial to keep trying and to not give up.
What advice would you give to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?
Focus on your future but also enjoy the journey. Make sure to seize the opportunity of benefiting from the helpful staff, form a network of peers, and of course, build lifelong friendships.
What’s your best memory of studying at Kent?
The charming city and campus!
Mahreen Mahmud studied a PhD in Economics and graduated in 2016.