PhD EnglishLamiya Sami, Pakistan

Tell us a little bit about your background...
I completed my MLitt at Strathclyde in 2019 and started my research/Ph.D. immediately after that. Prior to joining Strathclyde, I held a degree of MA in English Literature from Lahore, Pakistan. In 2002 I moved to Dubai, UAE, where I lived and worked in media/advertising for many years. It helped me gain a lot of experience in my field, but I always wanted to go back to academia. So, eventually in 2016 I made up my mind to go back studies, and a few years later that’s where I my journey at Strathclyde started.

What made you choose to study Literature, Culture & Place at Strathclyde?
The course has been great. I loved the idea of combining the elements of culture - interculture communication with places and literature, and I couldn’t find any course similar to it across other universities in the UK. It is not a generic English Literature degree, but it helps you explore more contemporary fields in connection to English studies, which can help you in the future both academically and professionally.

What made you want to progress to postgraduate study?
I always wanted to do research as I love to ask questions and try to find answers for them. When I started my MLitt course at Strathclyde in 2018, I got a chance to engage with different disciplines and developing fields in the humanities, this exposure gave me the cues for to my own research project where I combine different disciplinary theories to my area of research.

Do you have a highlight of your time at university?
The seminars were great, always engaging and exciting. Our MLitt convocation (prior to Covid lockdown in November 2019) was an amazing experience. Nowadays, I enjoy meeting my supervisors on Zoom and other virtual seminars and meetings with other fellow researchers and academics.

What specialist knowledge/professional skills did you develop on the programme?
I would have to say knowledge-wise, I learned to look more precisely at things and go beyond the simplistic understanding of them. Professionally, as a writer, I feel I have improved my academic writing skills to a great degree.

What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
I would just ask them to do a little bit of research about the course, and also look for the exact credit courses they want. This can also help them evaluate their professional or academic progession in the future.

What are you doing now?
I am a fulltime Ph.D. student at Strathclyde School of Humanities and Social Science.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
The year 2020 unfortunately has been very different from what I expected. I wasn’t sure about anything, but I received every possible support that I could from the faculty and the university which helped progress with my research project. Therefore the most memorable moment so far is my annual progression and the opportunity to engage with other researchers and academics closer to my field of research.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to carry on the path of academia, and engage with research from different other positions in my particular area of research.

Any final points or words of wisdom?
The place where I am today has been a long journey, and the COVID-19 pandemic made it even more difficult. But I truly believe that you can achieve anything if you put your heart to it. So, no matter how long or hard the journey appears: keep going and don’t give up on your dreams!