On Wednesday 24th February, 2016, three City University alumni – Sini Timonen (BIMM), Laura Seddon (University of Portsmouth) and Robert Percy (Composer) – came in to discuss the paths that they have taken since completing their PhDs in the Music Department. It was an informative session for current postgraduates, and fascinating to learn how each member of the panel had charted their own course – both in and out of academia – after completing their research degrees.
As a composer, Robert balances commissioned works with lecturing, including the UG module Orchestral and Instrumental Studies at City. Through teaching experiences gained during her PhD research, Sini quickly found her way into a management role at modern music institute BIMM. Laura set up her own contemporary arts production organisation, before finding an interdisciplinary academic post for her research on gender and music, in the School of Languages at the University of Portsmouth.
Sini, Robert and Laura all agreed on a number of important aspects for planning life post-PhD. They recommended making and maintaining personal connections, as well as thinking outside the box (and outside of jobs.ac.uk) when considering employment opportunities. They all created their own events and found innovative ways to disseminate their research. Most of all, they reminded us that creative thinking and new ideas can be applied to finding your way in life after the PhD, as well as within your thesis.
Tullis Rennie, Visiting Lecturer in Composition