August 2, 2022, by Leah Sharpe
PhD: The Beginning of a New You
By Anastasia Lazaridi, PhD alumna
The start of my Journey as a PhD student
The University of Nottingham gave me the opportunity to make my dreams come true when I was offered the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Research Excellence and welcomed me to be part of a pioneer research team in the School of Medicine. As a Registered Dietitian, I was intrigued to investigate innovative practices that would help my patients be healthier, one of which is the activation of brown adipose tissue. My PhD research question was to find a daily routine to activate the brown adipose tissue in humans, which can lead to burning calories.
What did I gain from my studies?
The unchallengeable prestige of the University of Nottingham, combined with a highly innovative research programme supervised by experts and distinguished academic staff, and the exceptional quality of the facilities were vital requirements to ensure my optimal development. The experience and efficiency of my supervisors ensured I had all the information and guidance required in an amazingly swift and analytical manner. All of the above helped me to grow both professionally and personally.
Balancing PhD with my personal interests
During my studies, apart from enjoying playing my favourite sport, table tennis, inside exceptional sports facilities at the David Ross Sports Village, I had the opportunity to be involved in the Nottingham Advantage Award. Through this Award, I participated in Leadership in Sports, volunteered in schools performing nutrition research and health seminars for children and provided English language support to refugees and migrants in the Nottingham area.
Balancing my PhD with all these extra activities, was challenging, but it was a great opportunity as I was shortlisted for the Leadership Prize by “Mars”. In the final year of my studies, I took part in the Peoples Committee as a Postgraduate Research Student, a board of members that oversees the development and delivery of a People Strategy at the School of Medicine. These helped me build my network and contribute to postgraduate students’ well-being and engagement while hearing their needs. In the meantime, I obtained the Associate Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy, where the exceptional personnel of the University of Nottingham guided me through every step. I am honoured to be an interviewer for selecting the prospective undergraduate students of the School of Medicine.
Change of career plans due to COVID-19 and my advice for the new students
Before getting into the job market, I had the opportunity to be advised by the Careers team. They guided me by adding value to my CV and discussing my career plans, helping me to prepare for my next career step with confidence.
At the moment, I run two successful businesses. The first one refers to my passion for Dietetics while carrying out dietitian sessions and corporate events, and the other one is to import and distribute Greek products in the UK market, to familiarise people with the Mediterranean diet. Especially after COVID-19, my career plans significantly changed; however, my goals and dreams remained the same.
What I would suggest to students who think about choosing a PhD is, do not to give up your dreams, always have your mind open for any changes in your career, squeeze every single opportunity you can out of your doctoral studies and be ready for new adventures.
If you’re thinking about studying a PhD or currently studying a PhD and looking into your career options, explore the dedicated Careers webpages for information, resources and support.
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