Investing in your future

Maria Skordia, PhD student
Maria Skordia
Sheffield University Management School
PhD researcher
Maria studies the role of CEO positivity and paradox mindset in Greek SMEs.
Maria Skordia, PhD student

Maria is from Greece and studies remotely from Athens. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a freelance copywriter and translator. She has also participated in major corporate projects, as well as academic projects in the area of organizational behaviour and strategic management.

If you are looking to study for a PhD, go for it! It is not an easy nor a short journey, but it is a truly meaningful one!

Maria Skordia

PhD student

What is your PhD research topic?

Managing in a high institutional complexity context: The role of CEO positivity and paradox mindset in Greek SMEs

Who is your supervisory team?

Dr Martina McGuiness, Senior Lecturer in Risk Management, SUMS and Dr Yuyan Zheng, Lecturer in Leadership, SUMS.

How did your research interests evolve? 

At first, I was only interested in organizational parameters, but after doing a lot of reading, I realized that it is also individual characteristics of leaders that I am very interested in. This opened up a new world of possibilities concerning my research and led to a research topic that actually fascinates me! It was a process that was significantly facilitated by my supervisors. 

What have you most enjoyed about your PhD so far?

I really enjoyed the 2018 SUMS Doctoral Conference! Presenting our research to other doctoral students and members of the academic staff was a fantastic experience. This enabled me to know what to expect when attending international academic conferences and to make the most of them. Plus, being a remote student and spending much time away from the University, the Conference contributed to me feeling as part of the university research community.  

What do you like most about the city of Sheffield and why?

I love Sheffield! The city centre is lovely to walk around, and there are plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafeterias. There are many things to see and do outdoors, and it is a lively city, full of green spaces and friendly people!

How do you think your experience at SUMS will shape your career?

Doing my PhD at SUMS has provided me with valuable skills: international orientation, self-discipline, time management, critical thinking, and writing and presentation skills. Such skills are highly desirable in the workplace. Also, I have found the online training options very helpful; for example, I completed the “Equality & Diversity Essentials” online course. I really believe such courses are indispensable nowadays.

What are your career aspirations?

I would like to work in academia and the completion of my PhD is the first step in that direction. I want to be an active researcher, who will make a contribution to the creation of new knowledge. 

What advice would you give to those looking to study for a PhD?

If you are looking to study for a PhD, go for it! It is not an easy nor a short journey, but it is a truly meaningful one! It changes the way you think about yourself and about the world; it creates an amazing sense of fulfilment. It may be a little hard at the beginning, but after that it flows. Depending on whether it is a full-time or a part-time PhD, there are different requirements in terms of time; so make sure you make the right choice concerning the mode of study. 

The more the PhD process advances, the more confident you feel. And once you get to participate at academic conferences, you become part of a wider community of PhD researchers, with whom you are so close, even if they live in other continents.

A PhD also makes career changes possible, may they involve working in a different sector or another country. It is a true investment in your future! 

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