Adviya Khan Jameel MA scholar
Current job title: Research and Participation Assistant
Organisation: The National Portrait Gallery
What would you recommend about studying for the MA in Islam in Contemporary Britain/your PhD at Cardiff?
I would say it is a great course, with experienced teachers and staff who are at the forefront of research in the area. This makes it an exciting and also really relevant subject to study.
How did your Cardiff studies help you in the career or job you have now chosen?
My scholarship and MA at Cardiff directly contributed to the position I have now as it gave me knowledge on Muslims in Britain and the issues of diversity, immigration and other contemporary issues.
What did you enjoy most about your course/research?
I enjoyed the wide network of people I met within the department but also at conferences which added to my knowledge of who is doing what in the area.
What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?
I loved the size of Cardiff, and the friendly nature of the people and departments. It was a completely different experience from being in London and I really look back fondly at my time there.
Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.
I have been working with the National Portrait Gallery since December 2011 on a project that is looking at the portrait of a Black African Slave, called Suleiman Ayuba Diallo from 1733. He was an educated man from an African Muslim family who got taken to America as part of the transatlantic slave trade and set to work on a plantation. Through a series of fortunate events, he arrived in the UK where he impressed his friends with his knowledge and character and was later freed. The portrait has been loaned to the Gallery by the Qatar Museums Authority and we are now sharing it with three regional partners. It is a remarkable and inspirational story, and my job includes finding ways to get local community groups and a wider audience getting involved in the themes of identity, diversity, displacement and faith. I love the fact that I can use the knowledge from my undergraduate degree and my masters at Cardiff whilst being in a busy working environment in the heart of London.
Tell us about your career path in brief since leaving Cardiff.
I am working at the National Portrait Gallery for the next few months, and hopefully intend to stay if funding permits. However, I am also looking into research roles, running my own business and considering the possibility of a PhD in the future.
What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a Cardiff University Jameel Scholar?
I feel I have a good grasp of knowledge in this area and it has given me a good standing to apply for a number of specialist roles, and contributed to gaining the position I have at the moment. If you network well, it can give you endless contacts and opportunities.