Silim M. Nahdy (PhD Agriculture 1995)
In 1995, I graduated from the University of Reading with a PhD in Agriculture. Since then I have dedicated most of my working time to Agricultural research and development. I have held many different roles over the years, but at the moment I am the Executive Director of the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS). I am also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alfasan Uganda Ltd and Farm Support Ltd, manufacturers and distributors of livestock drugs, and a member of the Board of Directors of Bee Natural Uganda, a company dealing in bee products.Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?
I first heard about the University of Reading from my colleague and was further motivated by the experiences of the University's alumni. Another reason for choosing the University of Reading was its outstanding status in Agriculture related courses, especially Tropical Agriculture. I was further encouraged by the University's willingness to admit me on a split programme, where my research work was primarily conducted in Uganda.What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?
The best bit of living and studying in Reading was its conducive academic environment and the cool green surroundings in addition to the good computing services. The international student outlook and student support services were helpful in creating diversity and an enabling environment for learning and networking.What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?
Some of my top tips for students are:
- Attend various extra training and communication skill classes
- Interact widely with staff and students of various backgrounds for networking and learning
- make the most of the extensive IT and library facilities
- Take part in extracurricular activities to make your time enjoyable
I have had a focused and upward career path both in the public and private sectors, mostly relating to agricultural research and development. I have presented my work at several international conferences and workshops and have become a continental and global expert in agricultural extension and advisory services. This success is in part due to the research skills acquired at the University as well as my constant quest for learning. I have also over time built networks to stay connected with my peers.How has the University helped you in your career?
The University grounded me more firmly into the R&D arena. The University also greatly enhanced my communications skills and expanded my professional network. The PhD programme greatly expanded my horizons and improved my research skills. This has greatly helped to expand my thinking and understanding of contemporary issues in international and rural development.What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?
The University of Reading prepared me to analyse, learn, adopt and to survive different challenges both professionally and personally. Some of my favourite memories include the time I spent with my supervisor and various colleagues at the University. And who can forget having strolls in the woods and around the campus?