15. The many faces of academia

Thought of academia as one career? Think again.

One minute I’m a researcher, trying to have new breakthroughs. The next a student, always learning from peers. Then I’m a teacher, inspiring the next generation. One day I’ll be a business salesman, selling my project to people for them to ‘buy’ in. I’ll also work as a secretary, writing up meeting minutes and circulating agenda items for my supervisors. I can also be an event organiser – organising seminars, conference sessions, socials and so much more. During my time in a PhD I’ll also act as a journalist – writing not just academic pieces but also blog posts about anything interesting, like this. I can also be a film maker, producer and director creating films about my research. One evening I’ll be discussing my research at 9.45pm, another morning I’ll be up at 5.45am on my way to work. My favourite though is being an explorer, whether that be through my fieldwork or numerous travels abroad to conferences and other events.

And that’s why I love my career as an academic – demands are constantly changing and something new pops up every day!

Like what you hear? A PhD might be for you.rgs-faces

By Dan Casey, University of Sheffield