Naval Bhandari studied Computer Science at Leeds, graduating in Summer 2015. He was interested in going straight into work, but also really interested in research and doing a PhD. He wrote two posts for us last summer. In this first post, he outlines how he chose, and landed, his EngD opportunity at the University of Bath and what he found useful when considering doing a EngD.
Whilst at university, I was anxious to get into the real world and get a job, but I loved my academic studies and learning in this environment, so I was torn between a PhD and working after I had finished uni. In my second year, I had spotted a flyer on one of my lecturer’s doors and inquired about it. It was for an EngD (Doctorate of Engineering) in Computer Graphics/Digital Entertainment. EngD is similar to a PhD but aimed more at those with future interests in industry (there is further information about the differences here). The course structure had the first year be similar to a research masters degree, and the final three years in industry, whilst completing your thesis. It was aimed more towards industrial research as opposed to purely academic research. This seemed like the best of both worlds for me, as I could do full time work, as well as do research! The lecturer who advertised it explained a lot about it to me, including the hardships that come with doing a doctorate and how intense they can be. At that point I already had a placement year lined up, and I was only a second year student, so would have to wait 2 years to apply. I made sure to keep tabs on it until I entered my third year. Continue reading
Concerned about career planning? This post gives you a different perspective on the traditional concept of career ‘planning’ and some tips on how to approach this in a world which can be random and unexpected.
At this time of year many of our thoughts turn to the coming year: What we might try to achieve or change in our lives. It is for many, a time for goal-setting and thinking about where they want to be. It is also a time when many people’s thoughts turn to their careers.
I have never particularly subscribed to the view that a career can be planned per se: Life is too random and there are far too many variables involved to make the construction and implementation of a rigid plan feasible. As such, I have always been drawn to theories of career development which acknowledge the impact of outside influences, unexpected or chance events and encounters on our careers. Theories such as Planned Happenstance (Mitchell, Levin & Krumboltz, 1999) and more recently, the Chaos Theory of Careers (Pryor & Bright, 2003) particularly resonate with me. You can find out more about Planned Happenstance and how to use this here and more about the Chaos Theory in this video or in the journal articles referenced at the end of this blog. Continue reading