Yawei Jiang, PhD candidate, School of Business

As a PhD student, I have spent several years developing my research skills, looking forward to becoming a successful academic. I believe a good researcher also needs to be equipped with transferable and professional skills to apply his/her knowledge and capabilities to cope with practical challenges in the industry. The HDR Placement Program – developed by the UQ Graduate School – is a great opportunity to showcase our research and project management skills in diverse work situations. My placement with EarthCheck (an international tourism advisory group) has been a valuable and mutual-learning experience for me.

Solution? Solution. Solution!

The ability to deal with challenging issues in the industry is the top priority for consultants. I was involved in the regular project meetings with both clients and cooperative partners, where all parties shared different information to drive the project progress. Different from what theoretical contribution could be in academic research, what solutions could be provided in what ways (how) are always the center of the discussion of industry work. This has inspired me a lot regarding how my research can make meaningful practical implications to the industry. An easily-understood communication of research findings should be built for information transmission. 

Research Knowledge Transferred to Industry Work

My research field is highly related to risk and resilience planning in the tourism sector. With this disciplinary knowledge, I was able to find and search the most relevant information to support the consultancy projects. My former data collection experience in Queensland state have also enabled me to understand the tourism management and marketing structure, which in return has helped me to analyse the collected information from a different angle.

Research Skills Contributed to Work Efficiency

In the placement, I strongly felt that my qualitative data analysis skills, such as rapid information processing, content analysis of online reviews, synthesis of key information, have contributed to my work efficiency. For example, when supporting a consultancy project on tourism infrastructure improvement for the local council, I was able to quickly identify potential review sources, extract online reviews to excel spreadsheet, and conduct content analysis to identify key terms and phrases to address the current issues of the camping sites. This has played a supportive role for completing the consultancy report.