Dr Maria Antoniou
Charity consultant and career and business coach
PhD Womens Studies, MA Social Research Methods
Currently, I am self-employed with two separate areas of work:
- charity consultant - I help small charities to develop effective systems and increase their income;
- I also teach tarot and help women to transition to self-employment by using spiritual tools as well as traditional coaching.
After completing my PhD I got a Research Assistant job at the University of Brighton. I stayed for six years, moving up the ranks until I was a Senior Research Fellow responsible for managing large scale projects, teaching, and doctoral supervision.
In 2008 I made a career move to the charity sector – it's a cliché, but I wanted to be making more of a difference in the world. I worked for several charities as a fundraiser and then fundraising manager. I also became a Trustee and then Chair of a local charity.
Last year, I left my job to become a consultant and also to pursue my more esoteric interests in tarot and psychic work. Being self-employed has been a learning curve, but I love the freedom and the opportunities it brings me.
How has your degree helped you in your career?
My PhD helped me develop high-level analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as improving my writing skills. Most of all, it has given me credibility within many other professional fields.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
After from achieving my PhD, I am really pleased with how my business has developed over the past year. I have discovered an inner resourcefulness that I never knew I had.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a similar career route and what skills/experience do you consider to be necessary?
Although I've had a patchwork career path, I don't regret any of it. I would always urge people to follow their in their career. It's horrible to remain in a job you hate when your soul is urging you to do something different. Start taking small steps in the direction of your dreams.
What did you most enjoy about your time at Manchester?
I spent a lot of time on Canal Street! Apart from that, I enjoyed making friends with students from all over the world on my PhD programme.
Why would you recommend the University as a good place to study?
Manchester is a place of intellectual rigour and you're assured of getting a high quality education.