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“If you are serious about a career in research, Corvinus is the best choice” 

2024-03-11 17:15:00

Going from a master's to a doctoral program is a great challenge, but at Corvinus, a supportive environment and experts help doctoral students succeed. In his PhD story, Szabolcs Hadászi, a third-year student in the Political Science PhD programme, talks about  his research in political science and his career start. 

Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

Szabolcs Hadászi is a Corvinus native – an active participant in university life for eight years without a break. He is currently in his third year of doctoral studies, having completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. “It would have been strange to choose another university.  When you’ve been part of a familiar community for five years and you’re still comfortable, there’s no reason to change”, says Szabolcs, who had already decided during his undergraduate studies that he wanted to do a doctorate. 

The challenges of a doctoral student 

Between his Master’s and doctoral studies, Szabolcs felt a huge jump. He has had the opportunity to be on the other side of the classroom, now giving lectures and seminars, and is involved in many of the teaching and research tasks that are an integral part of a university lecturer’s daily life. “These new experiences shed a completely different light on the university. As a doctoral student, I can already see the challenges that academics face,, said Szabolcs, who is undeterred by the many tasks that come with a career in academia. “As my own studies progress, I see better that there are so many opportunities and directions in a research career”. Each year of doctoral training brings students closer and closer to these opportunities. 

Among the many options 

The doctoral student remains committed to political science in academia, although he has also tried his hand at marketing, management, and political analysis. He is currently working as a strategic manager in the SME sector for a local company, but is keen to combine his work with his PhD. As students have to complete courses in the first two years of the PhD programme in Political Science, it is important to assess in advance how they can be working in the labour market and academia at the same time.  

“During this period, you will be given the tools to write high-quality articles and, later, a full dissertation. In addition, there are optional courses to help you develop professionally, where you can explore topics of interest to you”. Szabolcs advises those interested to find out more about the requirements and to ask the staff and lecturers of the doctoral school in person about the approximate time needed to complete the studies. “I’m sure they will tell you at least twice as much as you expect”.  

On the way to political science 

As a third-year student, Szabolcs is now largely focused on his own research. He is concerned with generational differences in levels of trust in post-socialist countries and how this manifests itself in different forms of political participation and attitudes. Among other things, he seeks to answer the question of how the legacy of socialism – a system in which a climate of mistrust prevailed – is leaving its mark almost 30 years after the change of a political system.  

“Ralf Dahrendorf has written that after a change it takes six months for the political system to really change, six years for the economic system to change, and 60 years for social and cultural values to change.  We are now halfway through the time needed for social change since 1990, so we should be at a turning point. On the contrary, we see that democracy in the region is becoming increasingly fragile. I am trying to explore the social reasons for this,, explains Szabolcs. “At the end of my studies, I don’t want to put my new title on posters. I did not decide to continue my studies in response to external pressure. I set this goal for myself years ago, and I want to meet my own expectations by obtaining a PhD degree”.  

Written by: Tünde Taxner 

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GEN.:2024.04.14. - 01:10:21