After a year-long of applications, I am very excited to announce that I will be starting my PhD in Natural Language Processing (NLP) at Imperial College London this October 2020! This PhD is in collaboration with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which I believe will give me the perfect mix between research and practical applications that I am looking for.

This was a very challenging journey as PhD in AI research has become so competitive over the recent years. However, I was determined to make this happen, lots of work has been put in from the beginning, and luckily I was surrounded by amazing people who gave me the help and support I needed during down times. This could not have happened without them and I am grateful and thankful for those who have helped and supported me throughout this journey.

Why I quit my job to do a PhD?

The three main reasons are expertise, personal growth and the principle of optionality! Let me explain 🙂

Through a PhD programme, you get to develop world class expertise in a particular field. This is an amazing opportunity for you to really dive deep into a field and push the boundary and make your contribution! You will be recognised as a leading expert in the world at that field, increasing your credibility. For me, that field is Natural Language Processing 🙂 If you don’t know already, my second biggest passion is Natural Language Processing and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do a PhD 2.5 years ago. Since then, all my actions are towards developing my knowledge and skills in Natural Language Processing!

The second main reason is personal growth and ownership. Rather than working for someone else to develop their products, a PhD programme is mostly about you developing your own credentials! You work on your research of interest! You publish papers under your name! You get awarded Doctorate upon completion of your PhD! You are spending time developing yourself and not on others! I rather quit my high paying job to pursue a PhD programme that allows me to develop my own dreams and vision!

The last reason is the principle of optionality. This relates to freedom and options. First of, you have absolute freedom in a PhD programme (well maybe a few restrictions from your supervisors). You get to decide what problems you want to work on, and how to do it! You have absolute control. Secondly, doing a PhD goes well with the principle of optionality! This principle is the idea that at current time, you should be working on things that develop yourself such that over time it puts you in the position to better adapt to the randomness of the future and opens you up to many more opportunities!

I am so grateful for this PhD opportunity. Getting to this point was definitely not easy but I know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter and I have a feeling that this new chapter is going to be ADVENTUROUS AND REWARDING!

My PhD starts on the 5th October 2020!!

Ryan

Ryan

Data Scientist

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