Friday 11 March 2016 9:57am
The Otago Post issue 7
There is an enviable energy to Dr Catheryn Khoo Lattimore’s descriptions of her experience as a University of Otago PhD graduate; an experience which has sparked an academic career with a continued passion.
Catheryn hadn’t intended getting a doctorate, but while undertaking administrative and clerical work in Otago’s School of Business she was encouraged by an inspiring crop of doctoral candidates and the (then) Head of the Department of Marketing, Professor Phil Harris.
“The next thing I knew, I was accepted for the University of Otago School of Business PhD Scholarship and a year later, an University of Otago Postgraduate Scholarship,” Catheryn says.
From January 2006 to December 2008 Catheryn worked on her thesis, “Home Truths: Understanding the Key Motives that Underlie Consumer Home Choice”, enjoying the support she got from her department.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was given an office, a PC and access to everything lecturers have. I felt respected and valued. There were many PhD candidates at the time I was there; we benefitted not just from one another’s knowledge but also friendship.”
Now, as a senior lecturer in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, Catheryn says she does not see work as “work”.
“Teaching and research are my passion, my hobby. I arrive at work at 7am every morning because I love it, not because I have to. I love the students and seeing their transformation after they’ve taken my classes. I love having the privilege to research any topic I like, and the opportunities to talk to like-minded people about it. I get very excited at the data analysis stage because I see things unfold and questions answered. Research also brings travelling and networking opportunities. Otago has instilled the passion for research in me.”
Catheryn believes Otago PhD’s are well-respected internationally.
“I was offered a travel grant by the American Real Estate Society to present my PhD work at their annual meeting so that must say something about Otago’s degree. At almost every conference, I meet someone who is either from Otago or has been to Otago as a visiting scholar or for conferences, and they all speak fondly of it.”
“I always refer to Otago’s best practices and see how I can replicate them. The Department of Marketing held writing workshops and writing retreats. I’ve organized one for Taylor’s already and people tell me they have benefitted from it. I think Otago has trained me to be very professional at what I do.”
For more information about postgraduate study in Marketing at the University of Otago visit: Department of Marketing