Idlan Zakaria

Country of origin: Malaysia

Lecturer in Accounting and Finance, University of Essex

Before coming to Lancaster, I was working as a tutor at a private university in Malaysia. I chose Lancaster to do my MA because of its academic reputation - I was an aspiring academic and I wanted to learn from the best.

A year after completing my MA, I was offered a place on the PhD programme, which I took up almost instantly because of a multitude of factors.

Firstly, the MA that I did opened up avenues to further research which I considered cutting edge in the world of accounting and finance, and I wanted to explore this further.

Secondly, because I enjoyed my previous experience in Lancaster tremendously - both the town and the campus provides a conducive environment for both studying and relaxing.

I enjoyed the PhD in Accounting and Finance, and in particular the seminar series where prominent academics in the field of accounting and finance were invited to present their research. They often took time to speak to the PhD students in the department, giving encouragement and letting us in on the little tricks of the trade. My fellow PhD colleagues – while from different countries and backgrounds – were also very supportive, and we remain friends to this day.

Lancaster is also home to the Dukes, a leading theatre and independent film venue which I frequented, and excellent second-hand bookshops which I patronised often! Furthermore, Lancaster is well connected to the Lake District, Manchester, Glasgow and London, so travelling to the bigger cities was never a problem.

Combined together, the Lancaster experience is one I would not substitute for anything else. I am now a lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the Essex Business School, at the University of Essex in Colchester, but I keep in close contact with the people at Lancaster – both socially and through research collaborations.