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What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?
It started when I was doing my MSc dissertation back in 2012 -2013. I took International Business at the University of Birmingham and I did a piece of research on the vertical integration among manufacturing firms in Asia. I really enjoyed it and I wanted to learn to develop it into a further research project. Plus, I have two supervisors who are very supportive, both of them are my MSc lectures, I really admire their work. Those are my main motivations to apply and continue with this PhD programme.
Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?
When I did UG and PG, which were both taught programmes, everything was decided for me. i.e. specific timetable, assignments deadline, course structure, etc. Whilst now, doing PG research gives me more flexibility. You will have more pressure with time, as sometimes you have to submit several works at the same time, but you will get used to it eventually. Those are some of the benefits of doing research, it allows you to create your own timeline and set your own goals on how much you want to achieve.
What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?
For me it is to be able to present at local and international academic conferences, I really appreciate this kind of exposure to my work. Following my fieldwork in Indonesia back in 2016, I found that Indonesia as an archipelago has a unique character of solving problems and different ways of doing business compared to the other shipbuilding nations and it is interesting to be able to explore that.
How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?
I am very keen to keep working in the research environment after I completed my PhD. Therefore, I am using this opportunity to keep learning new techniques. Having said that, apart from working on my PhD project, I am also involved in several other research projects within the university. That helps me a great deal to improve my research skills.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?
Always choose a research project or a theme that you are interested in. It has to be something that you enjoy reading, developing, writing, and talking about it, and for the next 3 – 4 years. More importantly, it has to be fun!