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“If I’m going to give PhD a chance, why not try for the best?”- the PhD story of István Fábics

2024-02-19 13:19:00

Is it worth going back to school? Why is education so useful alongside doctoral research? These are some of the questions answered by István Fábics, who started his doctoral programme with an accounting practice.

Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

István Fábics is a final year PhD student in Financial Management and Accounting. He applied to Corvinus with 10 years of professional experience. “I felt that it wasn’t necessarily a problem if you didn’t start right after a Master’s degree. There is also room for people who start their PhD after the age of 30,” he says. He has benefited from practical experience because the best way to teach accounting is to work in the field. 

“Basically, I started my PhD because I wanted to have two feet in accounting. One foot is academic, where I do part teaching and part research, and the other is professional, where I do market work,” he said when asked why he continued his studies for a PhD. He believes that a balance between theory and practice is essential in the field, as the regulated and volatile nature of the profession makes it easy to fall behind. István has worked as an accounting manager and also as an accounting consultant. 

“Corvinus also has the best name in the field of accounting. It is the best accounting department in the country and it has the most outstanding supervisors,” he said when asked why he applied to Corvinus. He mentioned that his supervisor was Prof. Dr. János Lukács, head of the Department of Accounting and former president of the Hungarian Chamber of Auditors. 

István is writing his doctoral thesis on the usefulness of the reports of non-profit economic entities. His research examines the usefulness of the financial statements of non-profits, i.e. social enterprises, foundations, associations, civil society organisations and churches. This is an interesting question, because for-profit company accounts present the assets and income situation in a way that gives a picture of the essence of the economic entities, whereas non-profit companies have a primarily social mission, which is less reflected in their accounts, but which they are still obliged to prepare. However, it may be more useful for the public to publish a technical report instead. 

In his latest survey, he asked whether respondents felt they had a stake in the accounts of a large or small company. A stakeholder is someone who is involved in some way in the operation of the company and therefore in the presentation of the accounts. An interesting response was that 277 respondents felt that they were stakeholders in both large and small companies for certain considerations. The initial expectation was that only large companies would show a sense of ownership. 

“It is also typical that someone applies to a postgraduate school with a topic, starts researching, studying, reading and then the topic evolves,” said István, who managed to find the focus of his current research with the help of his supervisor. 

Not only has he found himself in research, but teaching is also close to his heart. Since February 2023, he has joined the Corvinus Department of Accounting as an Assistant Lecturer. His long-term plans include a balanced career that includes a path to academia. 

Once he has completed his PhD, he wants to meet the requirements for further appointments. “When I teach, I also learn about myself. It gives me a better understanding of how people think about accounting,” says István, adding that one of the main benefits of teaching is that it gives him a deeper understanding of different areas. “I believe I can give something to students by teaching,” he says, highlighting the benefits of his many years of practical experience. 

He says there is an altruistic part to teaching, where it creates a lasting value that is harder to get in the market or in business. “When someone understands something, they get it as a gift for life. Whereas if you book something, it only lasts for one business year,” he said. 

Another advantage of a PhD is that it gives you access to professional contacts at the highest level. It also allows you to deal with scientific issues that you don’t get to in a master’s programme. For him, the doctoral training made it clear how to formulate a hypothesis, what a scientific article and a complete research project look like. “If you have professional curiosity, Corvinus is a good place to get to the bottom of the mysteries of a field of study,” István recommends the doctoral programme to those interested in professional knowledge. 

Written by: Fruzsina Máriássy 

‘More information’ button: https://www.uni-corvinus.hu/post/landing-page/doktori-landing/  

Related news: https://www.uni-corvinus.hu/post/hir/legyen-a-tudas-a-karriered-jelentkezz-doktori-iskolaink-egyikebe/  

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GEN.:2024.05.30. - 09:25:04