My PhD Journey - Dr Kailin Wu
Friday 18 May 2012
Dr Kailin Wu was awarded her PhD in February 2009 by the University of Surrey. We asked Dr Wu to describe the focus of her thesis and her research objectives for the future.
My doctoral thesis examined the pre-purchase behaviour of family consumers. Unlike previous studies, the research employed an interpretative approach to explore how families with young children reached a specific purchase choice: visiting a museum as a group.
The data was obtained from the groups’ recollection of relatively fresh-made decisions and the child participants aged over five were included in the qualitative interviews. The findings provided a deeper understanding of the decision roles children played, especially in the joint decision making. New insights into the interactions during the decision-making process, both inside and outside the groups, were also revealed.
Many people say that pursuing a doctorate is a lonely process. However, I was very lucky to have the following people walking beside me. My two wonderful supervisors Professor John Tribe and Dr Kirsten Holmes were extremely supportive throughout my study in Surrey, always offering critical and valuable comments on my work. All my fellows in the Tourism Subject Group were not the stereotypical PhD students, who lock themselves in shoebox-sized offices and talk to no one but the books or the papers they read. By contrast, we helped each other overcome fear and self-doubt on the research journey. They inspired me to find ways to move forward. In 2010 I joined Middlesex University and work as a lecturer in marketing. I continue to collaborate with John and Kirsten on publishing journal papers. The support both of them offered extends beyond my graduation. They are my great role models for PhD supervisors and my lifelong friends now.