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Saima Eman

Lecturer in Psychology at LCWU and PhD Alumna at University of Sheffield

MSc Applied Psychology, 2008

What made you choose Middlesex University?:

My mother. She noticed the advertisement at the examination centre where I went to take the TOEFL iBT. It was very popular among advertisements in consultants’ offices in Pakistan and affordable.

What course did you study and what attracted you to that course?:

Since a UK Masters degree at that time (2008) was equivalent to MS/MPhil in Pakistan, I chose to study MSc Applied Psychology (research based) in London - one of the most well-known cities in Pakistan - and prepare for my PhD. One of the main reasons for which I chose this course at Middlesex was the great variety of modules covered within a one year programme. Also, compared with other universities, Middlesex’s fees were more affordable.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy the most?:

I enjoyed studying business psychology, criminological psychology, sports, and health psychology. My research supervisor secured ethics approval for my research very quickly. This was an experience that helped me learn about regression analyses in SPSS and gain writing skills.

Everything was available in the library, which was easily accessible. I enjoyed the visit to the Court and the Holocaust Centre. Attending a conference at Trent Park was also a good experience.

What is your fondest memory of Middlesex?:

I enjoyed social activities: going to the see the fireworks on Guy Fawkes' night, playing football on Fridays, and going to the Cineworld cinema movie with my friends. I also had great memories of being involved in a free volunteering course.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?:

To enjoy both studying and your social life as much as possible. Be yourself, be confident and be ready to embark on adventure! Explore London and enjoy your stay. London is huge and there is a lot to explore!

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?:

Following my graduation at Middlesex University, I secured a government job in my home country as a Lecturer in Psychology at LCWU. I received the commonwealth scholarship in 2013 and completed my PhD in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, UK. I am the first and only foreign qualified faculty member at Department of Applied Psychology, LCWU, Lahore, Pakistan and this is a landmark in the history of LCWU. Also, I set the foundation for the first ethics subcommittee at Department of Applied Psychology. All these achievements are based on the knowledge and overall experience I gained while being a student at Middlesex.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?:

My mother, a Cambridge University UK graduate and alumna, funded my study at Middlesex University. She applied at LCWU on my behalf. She helped me with my employment work, my scholarship and post scholarship funding. My mom's moral and practical support helped me become the successful career woman that I am now. My mother, Manzur Fatima Husain (Mrs. Zafar) deserves all the credit for my lifetime achievements.

What has been your defining career break of highlight to date?:

The most significant achievement in my career was to obtain the PhD Commonwealth scholarship - the world's best scholarship. What made this possible was graduating from Middlesex University and becoming the first qualified foreign faculty member in my department.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?:

Cherish your parents and spousal/partner support. Grab any opportunity that comes in your way. Never get tired of refusals! Always keep trying. Imagine your goals and you will achieve them one day. Trust Allah/God Almighty. Always keep hoping.

What skills have been most valuable in your career so far and how have you developed these?:

Writing skills, proposal writing, report writing, scientific writing, reading, listening, speaking, SPSS, computer skills, research supervision, editing, proof reading.

Hard-work, experience, advice, humility, practice, hope, willingness to travel and explore, curiosity, passion, enthusiasm, persistence, enjoyment in what I do.

Research and technology is my life.

Are there any tips you can give international students looking to move abroad to study?:

Socialise; be clear, straightforward, confident, and specific about expectations from your supervisor. Think before you speak. You might be speaking to someone who is a friend or colleague of someone you dislike. Do not procrastinate. Pray and trust God. Balance handwork with family time and entertainment.

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