Friday, 1 September 2017

PhD student Wasim Ahmed completes work placement at Manchester United

My name is Wasim Ahmed and I am a PhD student at the iSchool, where I also obtained my MSc in 2013. I recently completed a work placement at Manchester United within the analytics department on a social media research project. The collaboration was made possible due to a University of Sheffield scheme known as the Postgraduate Researcher Experience programme. I have been a life-long fan of the club, so I was really happy to have had this opportunity.

I found the placement to be very beneficial for a number of reasons. This is because after spending a number of years working in an academic context, I had not fully considered the intelligence that could be extracted from social media platforms for commercial uses. My academic research, as a result of the internship, has improved and I will now consider potential uses of a research project, as well as the academic insight that can be gained.

As a research student you will develop a number of skills that can be applied in an industry setting, and by undertaking a work experience placement this really becomes apparent. My confidence has really improved in terms of considering careers post-PhD. I think research skills that students will gain from completing a PhD can be applied across a number of industries.

Everyone was really friendly at the club and there was a real team spirit in the office. On the last day of the job, I was given a pair of tickets to Michael Carrick’s testimonial which I thought was a really nice touch. I also had the opportunity to look around Manchester in the evenings, and it is a great city with a lot going on. As a result of my positive experience, I would highly recommend work placements to research students.

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