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Student Profile: Charalambos Samir
Ph.D in Law – Thesis Title: “Assessing Mergers & Acquisitions in the Energy Sector: an investigation of past, present and future issues”.
Where are you originally from?
Where did you do your undergraduate degree?
Lancaster University, UK
Where do you live?
About your studies:
Why did you undertake a postgraduate course?
What motivated me in undertaking a postgraduate course was mainly the fact that during the last decade there has been a tremendous increase in the number of undergraduate students who decide to take on a postgraduate course, something which definitely strengthens competition for career opportunities.
Another reason was the fact that I wanted to expand my knowledge beyond undergraduate level and being a person who likes new challenges, I trust that my decision to study for an LL.M degree and currently for a PhD degree was one of the best decisions I have made so far!
Why did you choose your course and why did you choose to study at The University of Manchester?
I decided to undertake a PhD in Law course, focusing on Mergers & Acquisitions in the Energy Sector, for three principal reasons:
During my LL.M course (in “International Business Law”) at the University of Manchester, I was so amazed by the significance of competition law, and particularly of Mergers & Acquisitions, and as such I decided to dedicate myself to study in this particular area in more depth, and thus I decided to undertake a PhD course.
Studying for a PhD degree can fairly be described as a continuing challenge since I always have to stay up-to-date with my area of research. I have the opportunity to observe things not only from a theoretical point of view but also from a practical one, by interviewing professionals who live and apply the theory.
Currently I am working as an advocate – I am a member of the Cyprus Bar Association – and I strongly believe that having a PhD makes it easier to gain people’s confidence, mainly due to the fact that by successfully completing a PhD means, not only that you have obtained a great expertise in the particular field of practice, but also that you are an individual who is characterised by dedication, enthusiasm, and professionalism.
As far as the reasons why I decided to study for my PhD at the University of Manchester are concerned, these are:
- Its exceptionally high academic and research standards.
- Its great reputation not only in the United Kingdom but also internationally.
- It’s astonishing study and research facilities, especially the reputable and state of the art John Rylands Library.
During my LL.M at the University of Manchester I was very pleased by the friendly approach and support I received from all of my Lecturers and Supervisors, and therefore I decided to carry on studying at the same University in order to carry on receiving all the above-mentioned benefits.
What do you enjoy about your course/research?
What I enjoy most from my course and research is the fact that I have the opportunity to examine various topics, which are either directly or indirectly related to the area of my research, from a practical point of view. Another factor that I find incredibly enjoying is the fact that almost every week I find new information regarding my PhD and this is surely something that maintains my level of interest and enthusiasm.
What new skills do you think you learnt through your postgraduate studies?
Some of the most important skills I think I have learnt through my postgraduate study are:
- The ability to work effectively, even under pressure.
- The ability to conduct targeted and constructive research.
- The ability to analyse and assess data and other information producing interesting and authentic conclusions/results.
- The ability to perform interviews.
- The ability to pass on my knowledge and my understanding of things to other people through presentations.
How was the course/research programme structured and what contact did you have with lecturers/supervisors etc?
During the first year of my PhD I attended a series of Research Methodology and Literature Review lectures at the University of Manchester, which helped me significantly in structuring my research.
I have very good contact with my supervisors as I work closely with them by providing them with constant updates of my Ph.D. Particularly, I send my supervisors small drafts of certain parts of my thesis which they review and then they come back to me with any comments and/or suggestions. This way, my supervisors are aware of my progress and it helps me to stay on track.
Also, I have regular meetings with my supervisors to discuss the progress of my PhD as well as any matter that is likely to affect my research. I find such meetings exceptionally beneficial since I have the opportunity to exchange ideas and suggestions with my supervisors hence, each meeting helps me to improve myself.
How many hours are you on campus and how many hours self study do you do?
Being a PhD student, I spend many more hours on self study rather than on campus. Particularly, I spend approximately 3-5 hours per week on campus and this is only when I need to search for something in particular at the Library, whereas the number of hours I spend on self studying, usually at home, is approximately 12-15 hours per week.
What are your future plans and how do you think your postgraduate study will help you achieve them?
My future plans are basically to establish my own corporate and legal advisory firm, something which I believe will happen in the very near future, as well as to give lectures and presentations, either as a part time lecturer or as a visiting lecturer, at Universities and other institutions and organisations. An additional future plan of mine is to be able to advise companies in the energy sector on various issues regarding Mergers & Acquisitions and other competition related matters. I strongly believe that my postgraduate studies will assist me significantly to achieve these goals because as I already mentioned, Manchester University provided me with the necessary tools to achieve my future plans. The knowledge and confidence I have gained through my LL.M, and am still gaining through my PhD, will definitely assist me to turn my plans into reality.
Away from your studies:
What do you like about the city?
Is there really anything not to like about Manchester? I honestly cannot think of anything that I would not like about the city. The people, the environment, the opportunities that exist, the notably reduced crime levels, and generally the amazing feeling that people get every time they set their foot on Manchester ground says it all.
Additionally, with places such as the historic Oxford Road, the famous Manchester Trafford Centre, the reputable Old Trafford Stadium which hosts perhaps UK’s finest football team Manchester United, the mega-building “Beetham Tower”, one of UK’s tallest and most prestigious buildings, the Palace Theatre and the amazing night life. All constitute a small taste of what Manchester is all about. Every time I am in Manchester everything looks so familiar and this makes it feel like home.
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time with my family and good friends, going out for a meal and some drinks as well as watching lots of movies. Also, I love playing tennis, working out at the gym and hiking.
How affordable is Manchester?
Even though Manchester is one of UK’s largest Cities, it is surprisingly affordable. You can undeniably have a high quality of life by NOT spending a fortune, and the best thing is that there are special discounts for students almost everywhere!
How would you describe your time at Manchester University to a friend from home?
That is perhaps the best question of all the above questions. First of all I will have to restrict myself in answering this question as I could go on talking for hours describing my time at Manchester University. However, in simple terms I would describe my time at Manchester University to a friend from home in just three words: unforgettable, valuable and meaningful.