Image: Ms Scarlett Palmer
PhD in Finance (2019)
Dr Pin-Te Lin is a Lecturer in Real Estate Finance and Investment at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School. He is also the Deputy Director of Studies of their Department of Real Estate & Planning. Inspired by his PhD Supervisors, Dr Dean Katselas and Dr Anna von Reibnitz, Pin-Te is committed to becoming a passionate educator and researcher in his field.
Pin-Te was awarded his PhD in Finance in 2019, with his thesis investigating the pricing determinants of housing markets. Pin-Te’s 2016 3MT presentation on his thesis won the People’s Choice award in the both the CBE and university-wide competitions. Pin-Te was also the ANU Research School of Finance, Statistics, and Actuarial Studies’ Higher Degree Research Student Representative.
Here are Pin-Te’s responses to some questions that may interest you:
Why did you choose to work in the academia rather than in industry?
This is a common job interview question. I like teaching and enjoy the freedom to conduct important research in finance. This stems from a deeper desire and motivation for knowledge translation. I myself had an unpleasant educational experience in Taiwan when I was younger, and I recognise the value of a positive teaching experience, contributing to making society a better place. I share this love for teaching with friends, who became high school teachers. Academia allows me to share my work and research with students, and provides me with the ability to develop my skills and conduct research in areas that I am passionate about that contribute to student learning and industry.
What are some surprises when your first started your academic career?
I discovered that the PhD research is really only the beginning. I keep learning every day, and learn from my students and the ways they approach problems.
What are your tips for a successful academic job application and interview?
PhD candidates are unfamiliar with the academic job application process. Discussing their application with their supervisors and other staff members, who were once PhD students in the job market themselves, is therefore invaluable. These staff members can share their valuable experience, not only from the perspective of a student, but also from the perspective of a hiring committee. It is important for students to reflect on the feedback and look for areas of improvement in their academic job application.
In preparing for my academic job interviews, I also searched online for commonly asked questions in academic interviews – there are plenty of great guides. These questions helped me build a roadmap and identify how best to prepare for the interview. Afterwards, I asked my supervisors and PhD peers to conduct mock interviews with me. Through several rounds of mock interviews with different people, I not only received constructive feedback, but also felt more comfortable, and could answer the questions clearly, with examples I had thought about.
I also viewed each of the interview opportunities I received while in the job market as an opportunity to improve myself. Even if my application was unsuccessful, I still asked for feedback and reflected on it so as to better prepare for the next interview.
What is the day in the life of someone in your role like?
Academics normally have three main duties: research, teaching and administration. Every semester, I need to deliver the teaching required in the timetable, and often provide extra support to students where I can. The rest of the time, I can conduct my research, which includes applying for grants, and also do administrative work, including participating in working committees, which I do in my role as a Deputy Director of Studies. The daily structure is quite flexible, and gives me the freedom to extend my research, examining key concerns in the finance discipline, which have implications for industry.
Reflecting on your time as a PhD student, what were three biggest challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
The three biggest challenges I faced in my PhD journey were passing exams in the coursework component of the PhD, clearly articulating the focus of my dissertation, and securing a job. I overcame all three challenges using the strategy I discussed earlier, namely by getting feedback from my PhD peers and staff members.
From the start of the PhD programme at ANU, I was worried about whether I could successfully complete the coursework, which is a concern I know many PhD students face. My solution to this was to collect feedback from my PhD peers who also were taking the module. In this way we supported each other, and provided a crucial space to talk about the issues we were experiencing together. This ensured we were well prepared for each module, and helped in forming supportive friendships with my PhD cohort.
In terms of my dissertation, I remember being struggling to find an area to focus on. So, I spoke to staff members and sought their feedback. This process also allowed me to identify my supervisors. These supervisors - Dr Dean Katselas and Dr Anna von Reibnitz - provided me with further guidance in shaping my PhD research ideas.