Current postgraduate researcher, Peilin Jiang, details her experience of the event.
Experienced researcher presents to current postgraduate researchers at the Scottish Business Schools Postgraduate Research event

I am very grateful to our Business School and Ben Marder for organizing this Scottish Business Schools Postgraduate Research Event, where I met many scholars from Scotland, from universities such as University of Stirling and University of Glasgow. As Ben mentioned in the welcome talk, we are all on the same journey, sharing its joys and anxieties. However, we have been relatively isolated, limited to our current school or cohort.

This opportunity has greatly opened our circles, and in the process of making new friends, I received a lot of encouragement and heartwarming words. It made me realize that pursuing a PhD is not just a lonely journey, but also one that is shared with many companions with many commonalities. For example, I met Dr. Ines from the University of Stirling, and during our conversation, we discovered that we both are scheduled to attend the same conference this year.

Having experienced researchers share about publication was very beneficial. During the presentation on “Strategies for publishing in your discipline”, the presenter, who is from the field of marketing, first discussed content related to marketing journals, such as their publication cycles, as well as which journals prefer in-depth data processing, and which tend to favour stories from a business perspective. This provided me with valuable guidance for choosing which journal to submit my paper to.

Then, she shared what to pay attention to when writing a paper, such as emphasizing the importance of the introduction and how we should position content to attract reviewers. Lastly, she mentioned how to learn about more fresh ideas and make friends through networking and attending conferences. One of the most inspiring points that the presenter mentioned was that as an experienced researcher, she is still continuously improving her research strategy and writing skills, and therefore I realized that there is no so-called 'end point' in academia; doing research is a long-term process.

Additionally, during the panel discussion, another presenter's story deeply moved me. She mentioned that she did not have outstanding outputs right after her PhD graduation and struggled for a long time to find a satisfactory job. However, she kept improving her skills and publishing papers, and now she is a senior lecturer. This story alleviated many of my anxieties because I realized that short-term success or failure does not define us; rather, it is long-term persistence that is the key to success.

Current postgraduate researchers participating in a creative activity at the PGR event for Scottish Business Schools


In addition, we participated in a creative activity to metaphorically represent our PhD journey in a drawing, like climbing a mountain or navigating a maze. Besides the important process of exchanging ideas, it was also a clash of inspirations, making us rethink the possible experiences on this journey.


For example, our group depicted this journey as riding a bicycle, with "headwinds" of resistance, like harsh reviewers, and "tailwinds" of momentum, like a supportive department. Our mentors were like training wheels, initially helping us move forward, but eventually to be removed. We also likened brakes to self-control; in this journey, we should know when to stop and when to proceed. However, we discussed the metaphor of the bike’s frame for a long time. Initially, it represented the university, but later we decided to view it as self-awareness, because all foundations should be based on self-knowledge, recognizing one's abilities, one's progress, and learning to get along better with oneself.

When presenting this drawing, I realized that as we ride along this journey, it is an adventurous one, so we need to firmly hold onto the handlebar, and carefully control and choose our directions and look ahead at the paths. But it is also a journey filled with hope and beauty, and I hope everyone can fully enjoy it!