Ikram Nur Muharam
"I must say that I am very fortunate to have two supervisors who are not only experts in their fields, but also have warm personalities."
CourseHospitality, Tourism, Transport and Events PhD
Blockchain-based Sharing Economy
“In the last few years, I entered the academic field and feel that I have a passion in this realm. To achieve what I aspire to be, I knew I had to replenish my qualifications and abilities, therefore I endeavoured to do a PhD. The University of Surrey was my university of choice because it has always been top 5 globally in the field of tourism. Moreover, they have a Digital Visitor Economy Research Centre which is closely related to the topic that I chose: Blockchain-based Sharing Economy, and my supervisors also happen to be experts in this field.
My PhD topic is a combination of my educational and practical backgrounds. In addition to two masters degrees in both tourism and finance, I have more than ten years' experience as an IT consultant, five years as an event organiser, three years in the banking industry, and five years as an Airbnb host. I believe that tourism and technology will become increasingly important in the future, so I have chosen this field and topic.
Surrey has a structured program for PhD students. From the moment of arrival and for each phase we go through, there are many workshops, seminars and other activities that we can participate in to ensure the smoothness of our studies. The Doctoral College, the Researcher Development Programme (RDP) and The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management are very supportive. Above all, everyone here is amiable.
"I can safely say that the University of Surrey has a complete set of facilities to support the academic activities and social life of students."
I must say that I am very fortunate to have two supervisors who are not only experts in their fields, but also have warm personalities (Prof Iis Tussyadiah and Dr Albert Kimbu). They had helped me a lot even before my studies began, such as helping sharpen my proposal, apply for a studentship and making sure all my study preparations went well. Both of my supervisors are very open and easy to contact both for academic and non-academic matters.
As a PhD student, of course, I am required to read continuously, and also discuss my ideas with many people. The more I read and discuss the more new things I discover; this has indeed led to many new ideas related to my research. Although it is still in its initial stages, I feel that I have increasingly gotten a picture and direction for the research I am doing.
I’ve attended almost all workshops, seminars and activities held by the Doctoral College, the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), and The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. All of these activities were very helpful in the progress of my research. The ease of online access to books and journals owned by the Library also really helped me.
At the University of Surrey, everyone is very enthusiastic and open with their research. I have talked with several other PhD colleagues, and it is possible to collaborate in the future. Collaboration with industry is also very possible, mainly because my supervisor strongly encourages this and is willing to help facilitate the process.
Besides exploring the beautiful environment, I enjoy my social life here. Staff and research students on the Hospitality and Tourism Management PhD programme have a regular schedule for meeting up once a week. This gathering is meaningful because, in addition to opening up opportunities for collaboration, it also increases friendship.
After completing my PhD, it looks like I will be pursuing a career in academia as a lecturer and researcher, also developing a technology platform for the field of tourism. The University of Surrey has many programmes to improve the skills and expertise needed at work.”