Samanjar Ashraf is a recent graduate from the School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt University. She completed a MA Hons in Business Management. Her research interest are in the field of entrepreneurship.

If you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to get your dissertation published, the answer is a no-brainer: Yes, definitely. Although I will say this, you should be prepared to invest a lot of time and be dedicated enough to do it. Here’s a little brief about myself, I just graduated from the School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University. My undergraduate dissertation explored the behavior of Generation Y within Dubai in relation to their intention towards online shopping. My research revolved around the theory of Technology Acceptance Model by Fred D. Davis, Richard P. Bagozzi, and Paul R. Warshaw. Under the guidance of Dr. Rodrigo Perez Vega, I worked towards possible expansion areas for the theory and studied the limitations of the model from Dubai’s millennial’s viewpoint.

Right before my graduation, I was invited to the International Conference on Organization and Management (ICOM) 2015 organized by the College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi which was an academic conference in collaboration with Asia Academy of Management (Asia Chapter of Academy of Management, USA), Hong Kong. This is when I decided to convert my dissertation into a conference paper and the experience of this seminar was awe-inspiring.

Attending this academic conference gave me an understanding towards the life of an academic and lifelong researcher. Initially, I assumed it would be a very formal environment where I was expected to present my paper and compete with others like me. The reality of the experience was well beyond my expectations.

It was a three-day event, very well organized and planned out by Abu Dhabi University. All the scholars that flew down to Abu Dhabi for this three-day event were welcomed at the university for a dinner the night before it all began where the organizing committee gave us a tour of the campus and we got to network amongst ourselves. Believe it or not I was extremely nervous when I realized I was the only one who was presenting a paper at an undergraduate level as there were researchers and professors there who have been doing this for several years (I even met someone who was 76 years old from Iceland and has written 5 books and a number of research papers). While speaking to everyone there, I was asked questions like where I had done my Ph.D. from or if I was teaching at a university here as the majority of them were in the academic profession.

They were a little astonished to find out I was just about to finish my undergraduate studies, nevertheless, I was treated like one of them. I chatted with them about their experiences in this profession and it was wonderful to see how each and every one of them loved what they do for a living.

I believe this was a big turning point in my life as being a student just graduating and heading out into the real world came with a lot of bewilderment and clouded ideas of where I wanted to see myself few years down the line. Spending time with these erudite beings gave me the insight into what my life would be like if I were to follow in their footsteps (which I plan to do now). I spent the next day jumping from one meeting room to another attending various presentations on a variety of topics. While attending one of the presentations on the topic of entrepreneurship using Instagram, I realized some of the research gaps in this certain paper were actually addressed in mine. At the end of that presentation, I found the confidence to invite the people interested in learning about those research gaps to my presentation which was scheduled for the day after.

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The following day when I put forward my research findings in front of the panel I was appreciated for my work well beyond my expectations. Presenting my paper to 200 scholars and researchers from around the world provided me with a holistic breadth in my academic endeavors and increased my keenness towards research. Currently my paper on “Insight into Dubai’s Generation Y’s Online Shopping Behavior” is under review for to be published in a Special Issue on “Managing Enterprises in the 21st Century” in Journal of Enterprise Information Management by Emerald Publication. It’s a yearlong process with a lot of reviewing and rewriting to do, but I know this is what I want so I am glad I took this step towards my interest and goals.

Presenting at an academic conference.

Presenting at an academic conference.

 

Beside my curiosity towards research, I also hold a great deal of interest in the field of entrepreneurship which is rapidly growing as a discipline that receives a considerable amount of attention. I believe the significance of entrepreneurship cannot be overemphasized. It has a remarkable influence on the economic development of a country. As a major engine of economic growth, entrepreneurship accounts for the majority of new business development and job creation; entrepreneurship spurs business expansion, technological progress, and wealth creation. Along with the practical importance of entrepreneurship comes the interest of academia. The amount of research on entrepreneurship has grown dramatically over the past two decades, which is why I want to peruse my academic goals in this direction by pursuing a Master’s program in Canada this fall. Individual differences of entrepreneurs and the circumstances which provide favorable or unfavorable environments for entrepreneurial activities is a particular curiosity of mine, which I would like to look into for my next research. So if you have the opportunity to attend an academic conference, I’d definitely say you should go for it. You have put in a lot of work and effort into your research, I’m sure the words “publish or perish” are self-explanatory. Who knows if chose to take my word and decide to present your work at an academic conference, we might bump into each other at one of these seminars one day!

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At ICOM 2015 in Abu Dhabi