April 16, 2019, by International students

International Alumni Stories: Noureen from Pakistan

I am Noureen Asif Shivji, a former PhD student of the University of Nottingham. I completed my PhD from the school of health science, University of Nottingham in December 2018. My thesis is on ‘exploring puberty experiences of young males (aged 18-21 years) living in urban Pakistan’. My research interests are in qualitative research methodology, young and adolescent’s health, mental health of young people, public health and health promotion and primary care.

I am originally from Karachi; Pakistan and my PhD thesis data collection were mainly based in Karachi. I have been living in Nottingham, UK now for almost five years and recently moved to Keele University as I will be working as a research associate in primary health care institute of Keele University for one year. In Keele, I will be working on a qualitative project associated with Versus Arthritis.

I had a great learning experience of studying at the University of Nottingham. The amount of support and guidance I received from my supervisors, colleagues and friends was tremendous and because of their support, I was able to achieve a great milestone of my life in the form of PhD.

There were high and low moments while studying and doing a PhD. However, my family and friends were always there to support me, specifically the international community of PhD friends around me in my department always gave me motivation and strength to keep going on. Belonging to an international community (Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim/ Aga Khanis) was another blessing for me, as I always got extra support and care during this journey. The community people always made me feel like home. In addition, the multicultural environment of the university and the beautiful campuses of the UoN  never made me feel isolated and I always was surrounded by loving and caring people around me.

The University of Nottingham will always have a special place in my heart as it fulfilled my dream to achieve the highest degree and opened doors for many opportunities. I also received a Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarship, which helped me to support my tuition fees for the PhD and able to study for this prestigious degree. While undertaking PhD, I also attended and presented in many conferences such as, SRIP, Link 16, Link 17, Link 18, International health conference in Oxford and CLAHRC in London; I also won the best oral presentation and 3-minute flash presentation award in Link 17 and SRIP conferences. However, I am extremely proud and delighted to receive the Travel award from SAGE and International Institute of Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) to attend the 17th IIQM conference in Brisbane, Australia and looking forward to attending and make the most learning experience out of it.  I am also very thankful to my supervisor Prof Jo Lymn for providing me the recommendation for this award.

The research skills and knowledge that I have gained from University of Nottingham during my doctorate studies also helped me now to undertake research work independently after finishing my studies. I worked as a research assistant within the same school for few months after completing my PhD and now have secured the full-time research associate position in Keele University. Thanks to University of Nottingham for giving me confidence in my future.

Overall, Nottingham has made me a better person and made me learn doing many things independently, which I would have never learnt if not studying here. I am extremely thankful for all the contributions Nottingham has made in my personal, professional and academic life.

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