Celina Smith

Celina Smith

Programme: Doctoral 2010

Subject / area of research:Entrepreneurship and social networks

Business School Research Group:Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group

Nationality: British

Postgraduate: MBA, Imperial College Business School

Employment prior to studying at the Business School: Executive producer and co-director of an independent television production company based in London

Current employment: Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, EMLYON Business School, France

Why did you choose to undertake a Doctoral degree and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

The reputation of Imperial College Business School was extremely alluring. I recognised that, with such a strong brand, a PhD gained from Imperial would act as a calling card and enhance my own credentials. I wanted to study at a business school where I would get access to some of the best scholars in the world and enjoy the support that is in keeping with an institution with such great heritage.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering joining the Business School’s Doctoral programme?

Think both short-term and long-term. Think ahead to working life after you have finished your PhD and ask yourself the following questions: Do you want a degree from a distinguished business school that will reflect well on your own calibre and capabilities as a professional? Do you want a business school with instant name recognition around the globe? Do you want to learn how to conduct high-quality research in one of the most widely recognised business schools in Europe, and indeed the world? If the answers are yes, then a place at the Business School would reap not only short-term but also long-term dividends and the benefits will endure long after you finish the programme.

What do you miss most from your days at the Business School?

Relationships built with many special people, both fellow PhDs and members of faculty, are among my most treasured memories. I miss the team spirit, the intellectual and emotional support, the friendships and the laughter.

I also loved the location of the Business School – between the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Geographic Society and the Royal Albert Hall, all rich with culture and tradition and right in the heart of London

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

In addition to the academic insights from my field, on a personal level I learnt the importance of being open and ready to engage on many different levels.

How has the Business School helped develop your career?

I have left the world of television behind and entered a new world of academia. While I started the PhD with a blank sheet and an open mind, over time and with the intense training I received I began to see that there were even more possibilities of personal and professional development by staying on in academia. Quite unexpectedly I found that there were many parallels with my former profession and this made the transition and decision to stay so much easier. I was further helped by the support of my supervisors who offered guidance and support at every step along the way, and I am especially grateful to them.

How did you benefit from the services provided by the Business School’s Career and Professional Development Services Team?

I found the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Services Team to be first-rate and amazing. They dedicated so much energy, time, resources, and attention to me and to the delivery of my aspirations even before I had completed my PhD. I received personal and individual attention at times when I needed it most – this helped me not only work out what I wanted to do but also how best to sell myself. Their help was absolutely invaluable.

What do you enjoy most about your work and what are the main challenges that you face?

I enjoy the freedom and intellectual challenge of academic life. As a professor I not only have many opportunities to develop new ideas, to pursue my interests and to write, but also to travel, to present my work at conferences, to meet other like-minded academics and to develop new projects. The biggest challenge I face is time, or more specifically the lack of it in order to accomplish all the things that I would like to do.