Malawian national Zolomphi Nkowani is currently a Lecturer in Law at the University of Central Lancashire; he secured his job in his 3rd year of his PhD while he was writing up. He completed his PhD in 2006. He is an active researcher in his field.
“I found my job fairly easily in my third year. My advice to current PhD students is to try to maximise your employability. You can do this by firstly finding your niche area. Try to make sure this is field which is in demand. As you progress through your PhD, begin to present some of your work in refereed journals as this will expose you and employers will notice you. It works. If you are not doing any teaching hours, ask your supervisor if you can get some as this experience will count towards your skills and experience when entering the job market.
I gained a lot of transferable skills during my PhD including research, teaching, IT, communication, presentation, writing, negotiation, teamwork, time management, project design, interpersonal skills, adaptability and flexibility. So a lot!
I am confident that a PhD opens a whole world of opportunities and possibilities but you do need to be proactive in taking these opportunities. In the longer term, with a PhD, you are a specialist in your area and will be sought after for consultancies and positions of leadership. In the short term, immediately after obtaining your doctorate, work on building your career and a postdoctoral position will be a good launch pad - I believe the key is to find and stay within it!”
I am very positive about my PhD experience at Salford. I found Salford to be a modern, dynamic University with a global perspective that is locally relevant. It has excellent research facilities and motivated and helpful staff, both academic and administrative. All of these factors made my doctoral work fun to get through and the reason why I rate and chose Salford. I do have a passion for my academic field in general which helped to keep me motivated through difficult times during my PhD and has also been important in being able to progress in my career.”
by Fiona Christie