Alumni Services

May 2018

Five PhD alumni share anecdotes from their student days and describe the different career paths they have taken.

PhD Horizons

Three of our featured alumni this month have pursued academic careers: recent graduate Kwabena Duedu is a senior lecturer at a university in Ghana, while Professors Ali Wardak and Narayan Hosmane both have long-established careers.

Meanwhile, city councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan and author-activist Mandy Haggith demonstrate that the advanced research skills gained through a PhD can also help graduates looking to work in other roles.

Ali Wardak

Dr Ali Wardak

A shoemaker's kindness and Pollock Halls feature in Professor Ali Wardak's memories from his PhD days. In his career since, the criminologist has earned praise for his research which influenced the reform of the justice system in Afghanistan.

Read Ali Wardak's profile.

From 2006 to 2008, I worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kabul, and co-authored the 2007 Afghanistan Human Development Report where a “hybrid model” for a post-Taliban justice system in Afghanistan was proposed.

Professor Ali WardakProfessor of Criminology, University of South Wales

Amy McNeese-Mechan

Amy McNeese-Mechan

After almost a decade working in East Asia, Dr Amy McNeese-Mechan gained a Masters in Social Anthropology, followed by a PhD. A city councillor and trade unionist, she tells us about her many roles and the diverse people she works with.

Read Amy McNeese-Mechan's profile.

Activism, and an interest in people, led to me standing for elected office in 2017 and I was elected to a five-year term.

Dr Amy McNeese-MechanCity councillor

Narayan Hosmane

Narayan Hosmane

A studentship enabled Narayan Hosmane to come to Edinburgh in 1971 to study a PhD in Chemistry with Professor Evelyn Ebsworth. He tells us about his academic career in Northern Ireland and the United States.

Read Narayann Hosmane's profile.


If I have any success in my career now, that is only because of my education at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Narayan HosmaneDistinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Illinois University

Mandy Haggith

Mandy Haggith

Following two research degrees in Artificial Intelligence, Mandy Haggith changed tracks and now splits her working week campaigning to save the world's forests and lecturing in creative writing.

Read Mandy Haggith's profile.

My research degrees at Edinburgh helped me develop the ability to do research, to think, to work in a team and to communicate well. These skills are applicable to many different topics.

Mandy HaggithAuthor and activist

Kwabena Duedu

Kwabena Duedu

Extra-curricular activities and professional development courses enriched Kwabena Duedu's time as a PhD student. The microbiologist is now working as a research scientist and academic in Ghana.

Read Kwabena Duedu's profile.

The University of Edinburgh is more than an educational institution, it offers a unique opportunity to develop a great personality across all spheres of life.

Dr Kwabena DueduSenior Lecturer

PhD Horizons Careers Conference

The annual PhD Horizons Careers Conference will return to Appleton Tower on 6 June. Dedicated to showcasing the breadth of career opportunities open to PhD graduates of the University of Edinburgh, the conference will include over 30 inspring speakers from a wide range of occupations, as well as opportunites for gain advice and inspiration .

PhD Horizons Careers Conference

Send us your profile

We are interested in the role that the University has played in your life, either directly - in terms of skills and knowledge - or indirectly, via friends, experiences or chance encounters. Please get in touch and you and your experiences could feature on our website.