David Shim is working as Senior Lecturer at University of Groningen. In this interview, he gives insights into his current job and time as a doctoral researcher at the GIGA.
Spotlight on ... David Shim
David Shim completed his PhD at the GIGA in 2012. His dissertation with the title “Seeing is Believing: Imaging North Korean in International Politics” has been published with Routledge. As a Senior Lecturer at University of Groningen, David continues with his research on the visual and spatial dimension of global politics at the intersection of International Relations, Geography, and Area Studies.
What do you like most about your current job?
I like the flexibility most that our job brings (if your teaching obligations are not too heavy of course). You can divide your time according to your own needs and preferences, something which requires a certain degree of self-discipline I believe. But I like to be independent in that way.
Were you clear about what you wanted to do after your PhD or was your career path more by chance?
After I completed my PhD it was rather clear that I would like to follow an academic career. However, the decision to do a PhD took longer. I did some internships before, that is after my Master, in order to gather some experiences in other fields. That I ended up (so far) in academia is due to my former supervisor, who encouraged me to start a PhD.
What was the most valuable piece of advice that you received during your doctoral studies that you still draw on today?
My supervisor advised me to aim high with my submissions to journals. He would encourage me to submit my papers to top tier outlets. Another advice that I heard throughout my career was to always have a paper in the pipeline, that is: a paper of yours should always be under review somewhere; but I am not sure if I followed this advice every time.
What advice would you give our current doctoral researchers for the transition phase after the PhD?
Be patient, you need a lot of stamina. Build your profile and network. The best things happen in the end.