My first choice for research
Why did you choose to study your PhD in the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield?
The Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield excels in the area of Labour and Education Economics specifically focusing on the empirical analysis. That is why I preferred it over the other universities in the UK.
The department is privileged to have Dr Sarah Brown who was my inspiration and an important reason why I choose Sheffield for my PhD. I came across her publication on the reservation wages. I contacted her about her article and she advised me to apply for the PhD degree at the University of Sheffield.
"If you have made up your mind to pursue the PhD degree in Economics and your area is either Labour or Education Economics then Department of Economics, University of Sheffield should be your first choice."
I contacted the department to find out about getting a place. I found the process of admission easy and the staff were very helpful. I got very quick and helpful responses to all my queries.
What interested you about your particular area of study and your thesis?
I decided to choose labour economics as my area of interest to pursue further research because I felt there was gender discrimination in the labour market.
I observed that differences in the labour market status and the wage differentials are the reflection of differences in the human capital endowment of male and female workers which is due to differences in the education level.
This issue proved to be a motivation point for me to explore the demand and supply-side factors affecting an individual’s participation in economic activities.
In my dissertation, I did explore the differences in the states of the labour market, wages and occupations across gender and regions in Pakistan using a micro-data. Applying statistical techniques and econometric models were very challenging.
To tackle the issues in research, patience and determination is the key to success. Now I am able to decipher data.
I found a PhD to be the logical decision and reasonable step in order to acquire knowledge and enhance skills which are the basic ingredients of academic research.
What would you say to someone thinking of studying for a PhD in the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield?
If you have made up your mind to pursue the PhD degree in Economics and your area is either Labour or Education Economics then Department of Economics, University of Sheffield should be your first choice.
I recommend you to go to the website and thoroughly look at the profiles of the Research staff and try to contact the department and the potential supervisor because finding the supervisor whose area of expertise matches your potential research area is an ideal situation for a PhD student.
What do you think of the research environment in the Department of Economics?
It is a very nice new building, with a separate room for all the PhD students. There's flexible working. You can go to the department at any time of the day or night as long as you have swipe card access to enter.
You have access to all the relevant journals and updated version of Econometric software and database. The constant logistic support from the technical and support staff is really good. There are regular internal and external seminars. Thought-provoking discussions and presentations boost the thinking process of research students.
What do you think about the support you received from your supervisors?
I am really grateful to my supervisor Professor Karl Taylor for his constant guidance, invaluable comments and feedback with constructive criticism. He has been a tremendous mentor for me. His contribution to enhancing my knowledge and interest in Labour Economics is priceless. His attitude has helped me grow as an independent researcher.
I do appreciate my second supervisor Dr Pamela Lenton for her contributions in terms of providing encouraging comments, suggestions and above all the moral support.
What are your plans after you complete?
Being an international student, after completion of my degree, I will return back to my home town, where I will pursue my career in academics. I would probably serve as an Assistant Professor in the best Business school in Pakistan.
I am quite hopeful and confident that the PhD from the University of Sheffield will grant me a competitive edge on the scholars back home. Furthermore, I will carry on with my publications and try to continue to practice all the skills I have learnt from here and pass on this knowledge to my students.
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