Amna Shaddad

PhD in Geometric Mechanics

Amna Shaddad

The thing I enjoy most about my PhD is the work flexibility. I get to work when I'm at my most productive.

What were you doing before you began your PhD here at Manchester?

I did my undergraduate degree in Mathsmatics at Imperial College London, followed by my MSc at King's College London. Then I purused a Part III Tripos at The University of Cambridge, an analyst internship ar Citigroup and another analyst internship at Nubuke Hedge Fund. Now I'm studying for my PhD in Geometric Mechanics at The University of Manchester from September 2013 to September 2017.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue a PhD? Was it something you always wanted to do?

I always thoroughly enjoyed completing my masters’ dissertations and always did very well in them: that’s when I knew research was something I wanted to pursue. Between the end of my BSc at Imperial and before my second internship I continued to keep in touch with the Geometric Mechanics research group at Imperial for which I contributed some research assistance at times. I decided that banking/finance simply wasn’t for me so I finally decided to go ahead and pursue a PhD.

What do you like most about life as a PhD student? 

Definitely the work flexibility! I get to work when I’m at my most productive and not feel as if I'm rotting away in boredom at my desk for more than 10 hours every day. The work is truly mentally engaging as well. 

What is the biggest challenge you face as a PhD student?

The uncertainty. It’s not like the very structured and clear-cut BSc, MSc or Part III. You don’t always get out what you put in. How productive you are is completely arbitrary because of the uncertainty. 

Do you have any idea what you would like to do after your PhD?

I believe I will apply to a variety of things: Governmental Policy research, some appropriate industry work, even the BBC and I will also try for postdocs. My thinking is I will make the decision according to the job offers I receive.

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