Name: Ali Mirchi
Alumni: Water Resources Master's programme
Now: Doing a PhD degree at Michigan Technological University
What did you do after getting your Master’s from Lund?
I knew that at some point I wanted to do a PhD degree, but not immediately after finishing my Master’s. I wanted to work first for a while. So after graduating, I went back to Iran and was offered a job. It was a steep learning curve, but I was able to take advantage of the skills that I learned during my Master’s programme, like reporting skills and searching for information.
When I decided to go back to do my PhD, I emailed the graduate program at Michigan Tech, and told the director about LTH and my work experience. He replied and told me I was a suitable candidate for their program. I believe LTH and Lund University stood out, because MTU receive a lot of applicants.
Soon after I joined the research group I am working with now, there was a presentation about the application of system dynamics in water resources research, and they were looking into using that approach to analyze some problems. One of the slides had a quote from a paper, whose authors were from Lund University. I really liked that – being so far away from the university, and seeing a quote from researchers in Lund. That felt really good.
What did you like about studying in Lund?
The professors and teachers here are really great. Apart from the technical knowledge that they give the students in their courses, they also help their students develop their skills in presenting and reporting their work. They also focus a lot on critical thinking and problem solving, which are skills the students benefit from throughout their career.
However, what stands out the most about Lund University is the number of international and exchange students. The level of teamwork is much higher here in Sweden and that’s a real advantage. You get a really wide international network. I was working on a project once, and was given a technical document that was written in Chinese. I was able to scan the document, send it to one of my old Lund classmates and ask her to translate it for me.
A professor once joked that it was like he was lecturing to the United Nations. Professors would present cases from different parts of the world, and there was always somebody to comment on the case and provide firsthand input.