PhD Management, 2010
Country of origin: UK
My background before commencing my PhD was in Psychology and Organisational studies. I completed a joint honours degree in Psychology and Organisational Studies here at Lancaster University in 2004. Like many graduates at that time, I applied to several fast-track management schemes from which I was lucky enough to be offered and accepted a position as a trainee manager/consultant for a recruitment company.
During this time I gained valuable experiences and insights into the harsh realities of operating in an often fast-running and competitive environment. After eight months the company I was working for announced it was going into administration but I was quickly head-hunted by a larger competitor. By this time I became slightly disillusioned with the industry and as a result I began to question what I wanted to do as a long-term career.
It was at this time I looked back at my experiences and my education and realised I was fascinated with understanding the psychology of the workplace. Consequently I applied and was accepted to study for an MSc in Occupational Psychology at Nottingham University. Completing this course really helped me to consolidate my main interests and I was able to develop a greater understanding of how psychology can be utilised to tackle a wide range of workplace issues, many of which I faced myself at work.
As I was particularly interested with issues of workplace stress and improving the wellbeing of employees, I was already contemplating a PhD within this area. I was forwarded an advert for a scholarship to undertake a PhD in Management here at LUMS, evaluating stress interventions within several multi-international organisations, including AstraZeneca. The successful applicant was to be awarded funding through the Steven Williams Scholarship and was to be supervised by Professor Cary Cooper who I was already aware from my studies at Nottingham is the world-renowned expert in this field.
As I did my undergraduate study at Lancaster I was also aware of the Management School's PhD programme and its world-class reputation. This, in addition to the award of a funded scholarship, the opportunity to gain my chartership as an Occupational Psychologist, to work within several multinational organisations, and be supervised by one of the leading world experts in the field, was an opportunity of a lifetime.
My experiences on the PhD in Management so far have been fantastic. The optional lectures and seminars across departments have been very interesting and stimulating, especially as my research area is cross-disciplinary. I have tried to utilise the many different facilities and activities that the Management School has to offer - such as optional training, external guest speakers, and the approachability and helpfulness of the Management School staff. This has provided me with a wide variety of different and useful perspectives which has enabled me to broaden and develop my own knowledge of related areas to my PhD.
The most enjoyable aspect of studying here, other than generally being involved within the Management School community, has been the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills I am continually developing in real organisational settings. I have an amazing opportunity to make a real difference in multinational organisations, and with the support from these organisations and LUMS I am able to learn and see the results first hand.