PhD student profile: Min-a Jung
What was the best or most useful thing about the course you studied in the Department of Sociological Studies?
I would say that communication is the best part of the PhD course in the Department of Sociological Studies. My supervisor, despite his enormously tight schedule, has always provided not only regular supervision and academic advice but also other support needed for administrative work at the right time, regardless of the physical distance. I suppose that my supervisor has done so because he read each student's own situation and difficulties in a considerate manner. Other faculty and staff members in the department also responded to my enquiries and requests with quick, exact, and useful information. This was very helpful especially to me, an international student with experience of a different higher education system.
Why did you decide to study at the University of Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield had three advantages to me. First, I was able to get a chance to be supervised by one of the most prominent scholars in my academic area of ageing and work, Professor Alan Walker. This advantage was extended to having the opportunity to hear directly from leading scholars through various seminars, workshops, lectures, and conferences, which were provided or supported by the university.
The second reason was more personal. My siblings were doing their PhDs at the University of Sheffield and the University of Leeds, and I wanted to be close to them for my psychological welfare. My decision based on the second reason, as a result, seems to have helped me save money as well since the living cost in Sheffield was relatively lower than the one in other areas.
What is your fondest memory from your time in Sheffield?
In my first year in the department, I went to an area of the Peak District with some faculty members and other PhD students for an overnight workshop trip. Although I was still shy to talk to others, it was definitely a good chance to express myself, get to know colleagues, share something, have the sense of belonging to the Department, and feel warmth of the nature.
If I can have only one reason why I like Sheffield, then that would be the Peak District. It helped me to spend pleasure time with people and consoled me whenever I was facing tiredness or difficulties.
What has your career path been since graduation?
I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students at Dankook University in Cheonan, South Korea, as a part-time instructor. I am planning to apply for a full-time research fellow post in a national research institute or a full-time lecturer in a university as my publications pile up.
What piece of advice would you offer new students to the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield?
To be honest, the most regrettable thing during my days in the Department is that I did not mingle with others, mainly because I wanted to get the degree as soon as possible and partly because I was worried about my English speaking not being fluent. Having plenty of time to focus on your own work is definitely needed for achieving a success in your PhD, however, isolating yourself could rather extend your tough time and/or have a less-satisfied output.
I would like to tell new students, especially international students, that when we learn from and be stimulated by various interactions with others, we go further and maybe we get there quicker.
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