King’s alumna Toslima talks about her further study journey

Discovering what others did after their studies at King’s is a great way to learn more about the process of decision making, specific career routes in your degrees and what it was like for King’s Alumni to step into the world of work. On our Keats pages, we have a great collection of Alumni Case Studies.


Image of waypoint signKing’s Alumna Toslima Khatun studied a MA in Medieval History and is currently finishing her PhD at SOAS. She works in the field of academia – and is our very own King’s Careers & Employability Enquiries Officer!

What are you doing now? 

“I’m currently a PhD student writing up my thesis at SOAS on Near and Middle Eastern Studies and History. It has been a really interesting time, as I look at the migration of people, the effects of that,  the movement and study of medicine and illnesses that come with that, that has been happening since before the year 1000 A.D/ C.E. Especially now given the situation with the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

Is the job what you expected?

“I love my topic and the research – it is why I chose it. I am surprised at the demand for how many other sectors I can get into. But it is one of those things that as soon as this is finished, I’m going to have to hit the ground running in order to crack the job market.

But there are positions at university too, even before you qualify to teach that are specifically for PhD students – like applications advisor which I was last year until I used that to then find a job at the KCL Careers department whilst I’m writing up.”


How did you get there? What made you focus on this career?

“After I did my MA at KCL I went directly into my PhD at SOAS. I made sure I started early in the year for applications and a lot of it was toing and froing from one supervisor to another in order to see how viable my proposal was and what my next steps could be.

I always wanted to see how far I could go in academia, and I knew I wasn’t done after my MA. I had doubts, and the competitiveness did mean that I was nervous to apply. But now that I am in it, there is a lot of support from my supervisors which I am super grateful for.”


Want to know what other students went to do after their time at King’s? Discover our Alumni Case Studies page on Keats and click to show students from your degree topics or your chosen sectors!


What barriers did you overcome?

“I was the youngest person doing a PhD in my year group as I went straight from my BA, to my MA to my PhD. There was an adjustment period to this that did take some getting used to.”


Do you have any tips for students thinking about going into a humanities PhD?

“There is a lot of critique in getting a humanities-based PhD, but there is also a lot of reward in it. The research skills you gain – even if you do not become an academic – are super important for roles such as risk analyst or other roles that need someone that is good at picking out details and thinking about cause and effect.”


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Thinking about further study, whether it’s a masters or a PhD? Check out our sector guides on academic careers in Arts & hums and Stem degrees, as well as our further study pages!