UNSW Business School PhD students turn their passion into a career

By UNSW Media  Friday, 19 July 2019  @Business School

Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar was headed for a career in banking and finance law when she discovered her passion. Now Senior Lecturer and Co-Founder of the UNSW Tax Clinic, Ann's PhD from UNSW Business School in taxation and business law fast tracked a career in academia.

"I was on a career path that would have led me down a banking and finance lawyer sort of route," Ann said.

"I wanted to be involved in policy making and I wanted to be able to contribute to thought leadership on a bigger scale."

Opening up opportunities

Academia isn't the only path open to UNSW Business PhD graduates. Dr Mark Humphery-Jenner, Associate Professor of Finance at the UNSW Business School, received his PhD from UNSW Business School finance. He said industry is looking for employees with deep analytical skills and the ability to tackle complex challenges.

"There are a lot of opportunities that open up after a PhD," Mark said.

"There is the most obvious one, which is an academic job. But there are other industry jobs that arise as well. Particularly as industry values more and more critical thinking skills and analytical skills. Hedge funds for example have PhD graduates. Major firms will have PhD graduates."

Mark's research focuses on corporate governance, law and finance.

Pushing the boundaries   

Rina Dhillon, Lecturer in Accounting at UTS, started her career at Deloitte as a management accountant before leaping into a PhD in accounting at UNSW Business School. Rina said her questioning mind led her down what was a challenging and incredibly rewarding path.

"The PhD provided the flexibility and freedom to spend time tackling issues or problems I care about," Rina said.

"In the Accounting field, it used to be about the numbers, but there is a push now to understand the meaning behind the numbers. Why is it we do something this way and not another way? Whether it be economics, accounting, or sociology, you look through a different lens and get a more holistic picture."

Rina, who is also a mentor for PhD students at UTS, explained how her own research explores the impact of rankings, reviews and ratings on everyday life.

Building resilience    

For Ying Dou, Lecturer in Corporate Finance at Monash University, patience is a prerequisite. Ying completed his PhD in finance at UNSW Business School.  It was a long-term commitment that helped build his resilience.

"From when you start an idea to when you publish that idea, it is two to three years minimum," Ying said.

"There will be times when you feel you haven't made any achievement and think it is not going to progress. Before you know it, you achieve your goals.

"My supervisors and peers were really amazing, providing emotional support. The UNSW Business School also helped financially. We were encouraged to travel around the world and present our ideas to leading academics. Completing my PhD is without a doubt my greatest achievement."

The UNSW Business School's four-year Doctoral Program is fully funded and features two successive years of advanced coursework, providing students with an impressive breadth and depth of business research knowledge across a range of topics. Find out more about the new UNSW Business School Doctoral Program and your field of interest.

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