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PhD Inspiration - Nawamin Pinpathomrat, University of Oxford
Posted on 5 Jun '18

PhD Inspiration - Dr Jo Twist OBE - CEO at Ukie

Considering a PhD, but wondering what you'll actually get out of it? We've sat down with some of the UK's top academics to hear their experiences and thoughts on postgraduate study. Dr Jo Twist OBE studied a PhD in Online Communities at Newcastle University and is now the CEO at The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, a company that supports the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. Here she shares some advice for new students.


Video Transcript

What did you love about your PhD?

It was like being an explorer and kind of going into territory that no one's gone into before. So I really enjoyed that privilege and that time to be able to think about things and to be able to kind of put together different theories and create a new framework of understanding for this new thing called the Internet.

What did you do after your PhD?

I sort of fell into industry and I was really lucky. I think everything in life is about being in the right place at the right time sometimes. I literally applied for a job on Newsround because they were looking to develop their virtual community. And I thought, ‘well I've just done a doctorate on that’. So I fell into industry and actually I think it was the best thing I could've done. Particularly again, depending on your topic, I think it depends, but for me, again, because it was about something really cutting-edge and really fast-moving.

How did a PhD help you in your career?

I think what the PhD did for me in terms of my career was just give me the confidence to think about things differently and to have that courage to bring together different ways of understanding in a brand-new field.

Why should people do a PhD?

People kind of assume that you have to be really academic to do a PhD, which isn't the case. I think you just have to have that curiosity and have to have that passion about that particular topic and if you've got that and you can see where it might lead you to, then do it.

The best bit of advice you received during your PhD?

The best bit of advice that I got from my supervisor at the time when I was full of this self-doubt and I was terrified of anyone reading it, he said to me ’remember, you are the only person in the entire world who knows more about this topic. Okay. You know that particular research about this topic than anyone and question because it's yours.’

Top tips for dealing with PhD stress?

I find that games are really, really good for giving yourself that kind of time to think in a different way. Sort of subconsciously almost. If you're stuck, if you've got writers block or you're stuck with how to explain something or write a piece or write a chapter, going and taking a break and playing any kind of game I think will help you resolve some of that block.

Any last thoughts about PhD study?

Another reason why you should do the PhD is so that you can have those two letters in front of your name forever and not have any gender specified kind of Ms, Miss, Mrs., Mr., so I quite like that.




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