Interviews

‘I was drawn to Apeejay Stya University’s transdisciplinary approach’

Akshita Chauhan, who recently enrolled with ASU’s School of Management Sciences to pursue a PhD in Finance, talks about how supportive the faculty has been

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Akshita Chauhan, 23, Noida, is all set to begin a new journey as a PhD student at the School of Management Sciences (SoMS), Apeejay Stya University. In an interview, the Junior Research Fellow shares what motivated her to apply for PhD at the institute. Edited excerpts:

What is your PhD on? What made you want to pursue it?

My PhD is on credit management in banks, whether private or public. Prior to this, I was preparing for banking examinations while pursuing my graduation in Commerce. But I was not eligible then owing to my age. I was intrigued by the idea of a PhD during my master’s and was inspired to study my subject more deeply. So, I discontinued my preparations for banking and focused on PhD.

Tell us what encouraged you to apply at SoMS.

As a research aspirant, I was drawn to Apeejay’s transdisciplinary approach. While going through the website before applying, I came across some webinars and seminars that the university had conducted so far. I think these sessions are great in enhancing and updating students’ knowledge base and I wanted to avail that opportunity. Even while researching about the university, I got a lot of positive reviews, which encouraged me more to apply for PhD at Apeejay.

Have you had a chance to interact with the faculty?

Although our session begins in January next year, I have already connected with the Dean Dr Suneel Kumar Roy, who helped me at each and every step to acclimatise to a completely new academic world. I cannot thank him enough for all his cooperation and support.

You also earned the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). How many attempts did you need and how did you prepare for it?

I cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) examination in the second attempt. For my first attempt in 2019, I was not prepared at all. I could not clear NET by just one per cent, which actually worked in my favour. I realised I would be able to make the cut-off next time if I prepared well. So, for the next eight months, I focused all my energy and hard work into preparing for this exam and finally got JRF.

Any tips for those preparing for NET?

First, you need to clear your basics—that is something many of us miss out on. I took almost two months by myself to do that. I also followed YouTube videos of two teachers for Paper 1, which covers a variety of topics, from Mathematics to English, Environmental Sciences and Logical Reasoning. This is the paper where you can score a lot of marks.

What are your plans after PhD?

I want to become a professor. So, after PhD, I am planning to apply for the position of an assistant professor, preferably in government universities.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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