Aini Ahmad

Country of origin: Malaysia

Senior Lecturer, Universiti Malaysia Pahang

Lancaster University is always dear to my heart due to many reasons. As a PhD was a requirement for my job as a lecturer, I started to find the best place I could. After getting some information on Lancaster University from the website and also from a UK education fair in Malaysia, I made contact with the person in the Department of Leadership and Management whom I thought could best advise me on whether I could do my PhD research on learning organisations there.

After few communications, I was accepted, and was fortunate to have a great combination of experts, Professors John Burgoyne and David Weir, as my supervisors.

In my three years and three months at Lancaster I had a wonderful experience both intellectually and socially. Intellectually, I learned a lot both in formal and informal interaction with the faculty members and through the great friends I made. The learning environment was amazing, especially the library service and ICT facilities. I got all the information I needed in no time which contributed a lot to my study progress.

Socially, I got to know many friends from different parts of the world. It really helps in understanding the cultures and lifestyles of other people. I love the weather, the breathtaking surrounding area and the friendly and supportive community as a whole. I was also able to practise my lifestyle as a Muslim without any problems. Intellectual discourses on religion are encouraged, and I gained a lot from such activities.

Challenges are inevitable – my research was not progressing well in the first two years. Everything seemed to be unworkable, especially the methodology and the data collection part. Furthermore, I had a child in my second year but surprisingly I was able to manage most of the problems because of the good services and supporting environment within the University.

I am now a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Modern Languages and Human Sciences at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang. I am very thankful to Allah the Almighty, and indebted to Universiti Malaysia Pahang, for making my study at Lancaster University a remarkable experience.