Debug Blog – Dr Zahid Ismail

Dr Zahid Ismail

Being a businessman and a corporate executive throughout my entire career, never had I thought I would eventually navigate this path to pursue my PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the area of Engineering Management. I knew all along that my technical and business acumen will enable me to achieve career milestones in all my business ventures and project successes but never into developing a thesis on innovating content delivery strategy for broadband service provisioning in Malaysia. However in retrospect I believed that the culmination of experiences that I had garnered throughout the downtrodden business path with its fair share of ups and downs for over two decades had prepared me to pursue this academic challenge which I had successfully completed within three years. The need to understand and address the critical business issues that I am involved with have made the research more compelling as the outcome would have a direct significance in addressing the existing problem that the Malaysian broadband subscribers are facing.

Different people have different self-fulfilling prophecies. To me this is one mission that I needed to accomplish in order to fulfil my lifelong ambition that I had secretly kept aside in my backburner in my quest to climb the corporate ladder. I have gone through the whole nine yards in the world of business but to attain a Doctor of Philosophy is something different presents a very attractive proposition to me as an individual.

Not dissimilar to my approach towards business, completing the PhD dissertation requires serious discipline, single-mindedness, unwavering commitment and especially a very strong determination to develop the thesis while addressing the critical research issues related to the research problems. Like everything else in my life, there is no turning back once I have made my decision to pursue this challenge. Patience is paramount as my thesis had to go through several major refinements as demanded by my ever-committed supervisors. Their experiences were apparent as they had expertly guided me to structure my thesis until its completion. Their advice, guidance and even challenges issued to me have elevated my though process, critical thinking and approach towards research and had improved my overall quality of thesis production. To both of them I would like to express my eternal gratitude.

To me PhD represents a code of academic achievement that announces your arrival to accept an intellectual responsibility towards the community of the area of your research. The contributions made and outcomes achieved should be shared for future researches and references for economic development. This responsibility sets your bar above others and your academic contribution should become a beacon for others to follow.

PhD has also transformed my thought process to be more critical, insightful,creative and always thinking outside the box. The painstaking process to complete the dissertation by itself is a transformational training to be both a scholar and a more rounded individual.

Last but not least the journey does not stop here but it is only the beginning for bigger things to come. Along the way family, friends, academicians and business acquaintances have always provided support and encouragement for me to achieve this academic milestone and they will continually do so for the long haul.