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Amanda - reasons for doing a PhD
Name: Amanda
PhD discipline: German Literature
Area(s) of work: Diplomacy (foreign and commonwealth office)
Year of graduation: 2001
Date of Interview: 03/06/2008

Now Playing: Amanda - reasons for doing a PhD
Amanda explores her motivations for doing a PhD.

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Why did you decide to do a PhD?

Mmm, I had basically really enjoyed the studying I had done. I wasn't, I sort of had a notion of the job I wanted to do which is actually this job but I didn't feel at that point you know I was quite ready for that. And to me I really enjoyed academic studying and the absolute luxury was to do a PhD and have the time to just really throw yourself into one subject which I just thought, 'well there'll never be another opportunity if I don't try and do this now', although that's not true because one can be a mature student but at that point it seemed to be just what I wanted to do really. I just was very passionate about the subject I was dealing with. I think because I was involved in the German unification and that happened in my first term at university and I had travelled around Germany and had been very aware of the changes it was undergoing. I had also travelled during my year abroad in Germany all around East Germany and really just felt completely tied up in what was going on, was fascinated by the political side of it which my Masters then looked at, and then the more cultural side of it which my PhD was looking at, so it was just a subject that I was into massively.

Did you ever consider then becoming an academic?

Erm, initially I was motivated to do the PhD and I thought I would then think about whether I wanted to continue or not having done that and then during my PhD I just thought, 'well this is the best thing about academia, being left alone to do your research', and I could see the huge pressures that academics are under and I could see in particular the sad decline of languages in university departments across the country, so I thought unfortunately that doesn't really appeal to me to stay.
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