Jessica Lautz
I love that NTU provides an environment for professionals who are established in their careers to further their study while working. I was also attracted to the cohort style of the programme so I could get to know and build relationships with other students.

More about Jessica

Can you tell us more about your Professional Doctorate thesis and why you chose to focus on this area of study?

“The core of my research focuses on demographic trends in real estate. The U.S. housing market is facing an affordability crisis and a falling homeownership rate. I am looking at the price of housing purchased by demographic groups, and how student loan debt plays a role in this. I believe this is important as it speaks to potential buyers who are, and will continue to be, priced out of the housing market.

“I am undertaking the research with an econometric approach, and I’m conducting focus groups with student loan debt holders in cities nationwide. The findings are reported nationally, then broken out by metropolitan statistical areas based on high / low home prices, high / low inventory, high / low unemployment rate, share of population over / under the age of 65, and share of population with undergraduate degrees.”

Why did you choose to undertake your research at NTU?

“In the field of survey research there is generally only so far you can go professionally with a Masters degree. I did not want to become stagnant in my career and wanted the ability to grow academically but also professionally, so decided on a Professional Doctorate.

“I love that NTU provides an environment for professionals who are established in their careers to further their study while working. I was also attracted to the cohort style of the programme so I could get to know and build relationships with other students. This is especially important to me as a distance learner. I’m able to keep in contact with them during the year, in between trips.”

How do you find the facilities on offer?

“The beauty of the campus and the modern facilities always strikes me when I visit NTU. Librarians and other staff have been incredibly helpful.”

How do you find the working environment at NTU?

“I have enjoyed the cohort setting and the multidisciplinary nature of the programme. By learning and speaking with other students doing a vast array of projects, it pulled me out of my comfort zone. I would never have considered focus groups without discussing the approach with my classmates.”

What advice would you give to prospective PhD candidates about undertaking their research at NTU?

“Do it. It is a leap into the complete unknown, but I’m so happy I did it. I am learning so much and there are challenges at times, but embrace it.”

As an international student, what do you like most about studying and living in Nottingham?

“I live and work in Washington, D.C. and I am always excited to make the trip to Nottingham. The city environment is perfect for learning, and full of cafes and restaurants to take a break at the end of the day.”

Director of Studies: Professor Michael White

External role: Managing Director (Survey Research and Communications), National Association of Realtors.

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