Jai Mackenzie

Jai Mackenzie

Current occupation
I am currently working as a Teaching Fellow at The University of Birmingham.

Brief outline of PhD research
My PhD research explores constructions of motherhood in an internet discussion forum for parents, Mumsnet Talk.

Why did you choose to study for your PhD in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?
LSS formed a great contrast to my previous university: it is a small, intimate school, a bit like Aston as a whole, and this meant that I could really feel part of the whole community. I also chose to study here because I wanted to work with my supervisor, who is a leading researcher in my field, and because I was offered a full scholarship - without this I don't think I would have been able to complete my research.

What did you find most useful about the PhD programme?
We had a great introduction through the research methods course in the first year. I also found the LSS research students' conference, the IPC, invaluable, especially as we had the opportunity to get involved in the organisation. Last but not least, the staff and students at LSS are a great bunch - they have provided support and encouragement throughout the process and I feel very privileged to have worked with them.

How has your PhD helped you in your current occupation?
The excellent supervision and support I received means that I was in a strong position at the end of my final year to apply for academic jobs. Being given the opportunity to teach whilst studying meant that I had enough teaching experience to secure a job as a teaching fellow immediately after submitting my PhD. I also have the research skills necessary to now go on and apply for research-focused positions.