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Helen - the meaning of the PhD
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Name: Helen
PhD discipline: Chinese and German
Area(s) of work: International relations and research council work
Year of graduation: 2005
Date of Interview: 17/06/2008

Now Playing: Helen - the meaning of the PhD
Helen contemplates what the PhD means to her, and her colleagues attitudes to it.

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Transcript:

What does the PhD mean to you?

It's been very useful in my most recent job, working in China, it really has been useful, it's given me a lot of kudos because a PhD in China is seen as having a lot of status and being a woman and relatively young I've seen the impression that it makes when I hand somebody my card and they go 'oh Dr', so that really has made a difference.

I knew that would make a difference long term if I did want to work in China already, so that probably was another reason in the back of my mind why I wanted to finish the PhD.

My sister is a medical doctor and I just, you know, I'd gone down this route also to become another type of 'Dr' and I didn't want to fail to achieve it.

So it does give me a sense of achievement and I do now use the title on my business line, so I'm proud of it, it does mean that I think it shows that I'm academically competent, but it makes me feel that I'm more intelligent or something like that.

Among all the people that I work for in the Royal Society, a lot of them assume that I've got a science degree I think, and at the British Academy too when I started using the title 'Dr', it just made people think that I wasn't just an administrator, that I was somebody who had something in common with them, and yeah, I'm glad about that. 

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