Posts By / sashraf

Dr. Samreen Ashraf: Keynote Speaker at the PGR conference- Bournemouth University

Dr. Samreen Ashraf was invited as a Keynote Speaker at the 13th Annual Postgraduate Conference organised by the Doctoral College- Bournemouth University on 01/12/21.

The keynote covered Samreen’s research topic of multiple identities where she talked about juggling multiples identities successfully. Though everyone holds multiple identities, but this session was focused on PGR’s multiple identities. Discussing questions like, who we are/how we would describe ourselves and what determines our behaviour in certain situations enabled the audiences to reflect on their respective journeys.

Drawing upon Samreen’s own PhD journey, the session was ended by bringing in the positive side of having multiple identities and the ways to utilise them in our best interest.

Dr. Samreen Ashraf Guest Talk

Dr. Samreen Ashraf was invited to be a guest speaker at the Virtual Bootcamp even organised at the Foundation University Islamabad- Pakistan for the aspiring entrepreneurs. The event was well attended by national and international audiences.

Samreen presented her talk on understanding the importance of multiple identities for entrepreneurs to excel in their respective projects. While talking about entrepreneurial identity, Samreen shared some key takeaways, first,  importance of understanding who one is to be able to know their own skills, attributes and values, second, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses which then enable them to recognise the right opportunities, third, thinking out of the box and saying ‘No’ to any of the opportunities which are beyond entrepreneurs scope and might not align with their entrepreneurial identities.

The talk was very well received by the students, staff of Foundation University and others present at the event.

Service Excellence Conference

In the current virtual world where we are trying to get used to of this ‘new normal’ life, it was encouraging to attend the virtual ‘Service Excellence Conference’ with award-winning public speaker, Nigel Risner, thanks to Susanne Clarke and Camila Devis-Rozentel for organising this. The conference was well attended and it was great to see colleagues from across the University on this platform. Apart from understanding your team members via a zoo analogy, it was interesting to hear Nigel’s take on ‘becoming a champion’ (if you are not one already). I can see its relevance to my role as an educator and a Programme Leader to make a positive impact. Following is my brief take away from the day which you may also find useful:

Character: Knowing who you are and what do you stand for, ultimately will help to be authentic.

Heart is the key. It is utmost important to be a good listener in order to help/advice/support others.

Attitude: Positive attitude goes a long way.

Mission: We are phenomenal people, teaching phenomenal people to produce phenomenal results.

Perseverance: Consistency is the key.

Integrity: Honesty is the best policy.

Organisation skills: Team work is the dream work.

Nerve: I will try again tomorrow.

Have a good weekend 🙂


SURE Conference 2020 : Encourage your students

The SURE (Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence) conference is returning for its 5th year, taking place on the 18th March 2020.​

You can encourage your dissertation students and/or students whose work you have marked already to submit a 250 words abstract to the SURE conference with the deadline of 20th January.  Work can be from individuals or groups (including alumni students) but must be undergraduate. Further information can be found here .

This also provides a great opportunity for the students to be considered for the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) which enables the students to showcase their research inside parliament at annual Posters in Parliament event. Further details can be found here .

Samreen wins Jane K. Fenyo Award!

Samreen Ashraf has presented her research paper titled’ Between a Banker and a Barbie: The illusions of social media’ at the ‘Academy of Marketing Science Conference’ which took place in Vancouver in May 2019. Samreen has won the best research paper (PhD) at the conference and is awarded with the prestigious Jane K. Fenyo Award. Samreen’s paper explores the gap between students’ digital identities and their potential professional identities.

Samreen Ashraf- AMS


CEL Co-Creation Award- BSc Marketing Students

Following a competitive bidding process, Emma Keene and Julia Karol (BSc Marketing, final year students) have been successfully awarded this year ‘staff student co-creation award’. Emma is awarded for the project’ The contour generation’ which looks into the negative impact of social media on millennial’s mental health. Emma is mentored by Samreen Ashraf.
Whereas Julia’s project, “The snob effect” looks into the impact of Instagram influencers on the consumption of luxury fashion”. Julia has worked under the supervision of Dr. Elvira Bolat.
Congratulations to both the winners!

Most read article (Early Career Researcher)

The first article published by FOM academic Samreen Ashraf has become the ‘Most Read’ article on Research Gate compared to those published by other authors in her department.

The paper focuses on consumer trust in Islamic banks. The authors differentiate between the definitions of trust and confidence in the paper. Specifically, it addressed the questions: to what extent are trust and confidence active influencers in the decision-making process, are they differentiated or are they one of the same? Also how does the Pakistani collective cultural context further complicate the application of these concepts? These questions were addressed by using qualitative methods.
This study provided further insight into consumer behaviour within financial services and specifically Islamic banking and has contributed to the theoretical understanding of the concepts of trust and confidence.

For those interested in reading the paper the full reference is: Ashraf, S., Robson, J. and Sekhon, Y., 2015. Consumer trust and confidence in the compliance of Islamic banks. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 20(2), pp.133-144.

Alternatively, the paper can be accessed via Research Gate!


An update on Academy of Marketing funded research

The findings from current research conducted by Dr Julie Robson and Samreen Ashraf from the Faculty of Management were presented at the Academy of Marketing conference, Northumbria University recently.

The research, funded by the Academy of Marketing, uses concepts from behavioural economics to help understand how people perceive their pension and how they are likely to use their pension money in retirement. The study focuses on people originally from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.) but who are now living and working in the UK. A key question therefore is the role that culture has on the perception and use of pensions.

Given the pension reforms last year this research is timely as UK pension-holders aged 55 and over now have the freedom to use their pensions as they wish. Not surprisingly there has been much media speculation on how this money will be used – will it be blown on luxury goods (e.g. an expensive holiday or sports car?), used to pay off existing debt, given to children to help them get onto the property ladder or invested for later life?

As many retirees are known to have insufficient money for their retirement this research will be of interest to policymakers as many first generation South Asians living in the UK are now coming up to retirement age.

This research project runs to September 2016 when a final report will be issued to the Academy of Marketing.

Me and Julie picture

Two pieces of good news from the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Consortium and Conference

AMS is one of the key conferences for international marketers. Following a competitive selection process, Ms. Samreen Ashraf (PhD student from the Business School) was selected to attend the doctoral consortium organised by the Academy of Marketing Science. The consortium aimed to bring renowned scholars together in the field of marketing to discuss emerging areas, along with the art of producing publishable research. Some of these areas were marketing scholarship and new frontiers in services research. However the main focus was to identify the ways which can assist early career researchers to increase the impact of their research. 

Me and Julie picture

Ms. Samreen Ashraf also presented a research paper at the main conference which was co-authored with Dr. Julie Robson and Dr. Najat Abdullrahim titled: Faith, trust and pixie dust: a comparative study of consumer trust in Islamic banks’. This paper explored how and in what form trust, in an Islamic bank compliance with Sharia law, occurs in two distinctly different contexts, namely England and Pakistan; and how this in turn influences banking behaviour. Trust was investigated from cognitive, affective and behavioral dimensions. 

The AMS consortium and conference took place in Orlando, Florida. 

ESRC Seminar on Financial Services and Consumers

An ESRC Seminar on Financial Services and Consumers was held at the University of Edinburgh Business School earlier in October, 2015. This seminar was specifically designed for early career researchers (ECRs) whose work focuses on financial services marketing. One of the keynote presentations was given by Dr Julie Robson from the Faculty of Management. Julie outlined how ECR’s can make the most of academic conferences to promote their work and to develop their research careers. Hint and tips were provided on identifying the right conference, preparing to deliver the paper and the need for a well-rehearsed ‘elevator pitch’ to communicate your research in a clear, succinct and interesting way.

Being on the editorial board of Journal of Financial Services Marketing and the International Journal of Bank Marketing, Julie also took part in the meet the editor session and highlighted the importance of working with the financial services sector and building a network with practitioners. This provides a sounding board for research ideas, helps to provide insight into the managerial implications of their work and can ultimately contribute to impact cases.

Ms. Samreen Ashraf, also from the Faculty of Management, presented her current work from her PhD research at the event. This examines the role of identity in bank choice. Further, Samreen along with other presenters have also been invited to submit their manuscript in the Journal of Financial Services Marketing.

Samreen Edin Julie Robson