Dr Javaid Butt was always clear on his long-term aspirations: a career in academia.
Javid completed his PhD in Additive Manufacturing in 2016. ‘I always wanted to become an academic, hence the reason for undertaking a PhD degree,' Javaid explains.
This focus has certainly paid off for Javaid, as he is currently working as an Associate Professor at ARU: ‘I have been working extremely hard to build my career and establish myself as an expert in additive manufacturing. The skills I learnt during my PhD studies have proved to be extremely beneficial in becoming an Associate Professor in just four years.'
How did Javaid manage to accomplish this? ‘I was quite pro-active in checking the jobs.ac.uk site and discussed career options with my PhD supervisors who were very supportive.' Timing was also important as he ‘applied and secured the job before submitting my thesis.'
"‘The skills I learnt during my PhD studies have proved to be extremely beneficial in becoming an Associate Professor in just four years.'
In addition to preparing him for an academic career, Javaid also gained many transferable skills from his PhD. ‘I learnt many things including the difference between academic and general writing, data collation and analysis methods, communication skills and answering a technical question with evidence’, Javaid clarifies. These skills have helped Javaid in his career. '[They] have been useful in writing grant applications as well as research papers. They are a critical part of my career and I have been quite successful with them.'
Despite focusing on an academic career for himself, Javaid highlights that this is only one of many career paths open to PhD graduates. ‘Please don’t think that a PhD only leads to a career in academia. You'll develop transferable skills to ensure that you can succeed in any career option you choose in life.'
Does Javaid have any other tips for PhD students? ‘Work hard to become an independent researcher’, he says, ‘you are responsible for your PhD, not your supervisors, and you must take responsibility for it.'
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