In our ‘10 Questions’ series, KBS catches up with PhD students to find out about their research experience. This month, we put our questions to PhD student Idorenyin Etokakpan.
Idorenyin is a first year PhD student studying Management and is part of the People Management and Organisation research group. He recently completed an MSc in Human Resource Management at Kent Business School, and is an Associate member of CIPD. He also holds an MBA in International Trade from The University of Applied Science Bernburg-Germany. His work experience is in brand management and business retention, and he is passionate about research and innovation.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Confident, results-driven and assertive.
How did you come to realise that you wanted to pursue a PhD?
Reaching the zenith of academia has always been my goal, however, the opportunity to contribute to knowledge in my field through research informed my decision to pursue a PhD.
What’s the focus of your research? Where did your interest in management previously originate?
My research focuses on the role of employer branding in employee retention. It is situated within the broader field of talent management. My work experience began as a talent management trainee and evolved through business development to marketing and brand promotion. Prior to returning to academia, I worked as marketing and business retention executive. Within the role, I was involved in product branding and also customer retention projects. This was where I developed a passion for a cross-disciplinary approach to talent management. I was interested in the application of brand equity to employee retention. Specifically, how branding and brand loyalty can influence employee retention. Effective talent management within organisations is central to performance. The key to unlocking organisational performance is by creating a brand loyalty that allows for effective engagement of best fit employees. How to promote this brand loyalty to enhance talent retention is of particular interest to me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
In 10 years, I see myself as an excellent researcher and talent management consultant.
What important lessons have you learned from studying for a PhD at KBS so far?
I have learnt to sharpen my organisational and time management skills and to focus on priorities while trying to find a balance between my private life and my research project. That’s a real challenge I must confess.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Always look at the brighter side of life”.
What advice would you give other PhD students?
The PhD programme can be quite a lonely journey. However, it’s only as lonely as you want it to be. Make use of the school networks, interact with fellow research colleagues, offer to share your ideas with them and you may get feedback that will inspire your research. Never opt to walk alone.
Do you have a mentor/role model who has inspired you?
My mother. She is brilliant and inspiring.
If you could pick one song as the soundtrack to your research/PhD journey, what would it be?
A hymn by Johnson Oatman Jnr. titled “Higher Ground”.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I am fluent in German.
If you would like to be feature in our ’10 Questions’ series, please get in touch with a member of the PhD & Research Team or email firstname.lastname@example.org.