ENGLISH-SPEAKING PHD DEGREE PROGRAM IN BUSINESS, SZEEDSM SZÉCHENYI ISTVÁN EGYETEM

The 2017 Szem-Jam event of the English-speaking PhD degree program in Business, SZEEDSM, was held on 22nd September of 2017, with the active and heavy participation of (i) the first year PhD students of the 2017 Cohort, (ii) the second year students of the 2016 Cohort, and (iii) the post-Comprehensive Examination students Cohort, along with representatives of the Hungarian National Bank, Széchenyi István Egyetem faculty members, and foreign academicians.  The program lasted an entire day. 

The 2017 Szem-Jam event of the English-speaking PhD degree program in Business, SZEEDSM, was held on 22nd September of 2017, with the active and heavy participation of (i) the first year PhD students of the 2017 Cohort, (ii) the second year students of the 2016 Cohort, and (iii) the post-Comprehensive Examination students Cohort, along with representatives of the Hungarian National Bank, Széchenyi István Egyetem faculty members, and foreign academicians.  The program lasted an entire day.

 

The 2017 SZEN-Jam program served as an excellent orientation for the newly admitted 2017 Cohort of PhD degree students, who presented their preliminary thoughts on doctoral research.  The 2016 Cohort of PhD degree students and the post-Comprehensive Examination students Cohort reported on their progress in the program.   Both 2016 and 2017 Cohorts were represented in these presentations and those in the post-Comprehensive Examination Thesis-Writing phase interacted with these Cohorts as well.  All received feedback from foreign academics. 

 

Participants began to gather in the VIP Room from 9:00 AM.  The program began at 9:30 hours with a welcome by Professor Gyula Vastag, the Program Director of the English-speaking PhD degree in Business, or SZEEEDSM.  He informed the attendees that Professor Péter Földesi, Rector of Széchenyi István Egyetem, was in Budapest, visiting the Hungarian Accreditation Board in connection with the accreditation of the English-speaking PhD degree program.

 

 

 

Then Professor Vastag introduced Dr. Ádám Banai, Director for Financial Systems Analysis at the Hungarian National Bank.  In his presentation, titled, Policy and Research – Why do a PhD?, Dr. Banai talked about the interest and commitment of the Hungarian National Bank in the English-speaking PhD degree program in Business at Széchenyi István Egyetem.  He emphasized the importance of close monitoring of economic trends, and of research and acquisition of insights for the activities of the Hungarian National Bank.  He gave the example of the financial crisis of 2007, when Hungarian financial system suffered significant stress.  Over the succeeding years the managers of the Hungarian financial systems realized that they did have options available to them to address the crisis efficiently.  However, this insight was not available to them when it was needed.  The Hungarian National Bank believes that its support for education in general and for the English-speaking PhD degree program in Business at Széchenyi István Egyetem in particular, is consistent with its mission of serving the national interest.

 


Dr. Banai was followed by Professor Gyula Vastag, Program Director of the English-speaking PhD degree in Business or SZEEEDSM, who presented the State of the Program.  There are 21 students who have joined the program through the 2017 Cohort.  There are already 19 students from the 2016 Cohort, who are continuing the program.  Additionally, two students have successfully passed their respective comprehensive examination, and are now in the thesis writing phase.

 

At 10: AM, there was a coffee break, providing the students, old and new, to network among themselves and with the participating representatives of the Hungarian National Bank, Széchenyi István Egyetem facuty members, and foreign academicians.

After the break, Professor Gyula Vastag introduced Professor Nik Dholakia, who is Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the College of Business Administration at University of Rhode Island in USA.  Professor Dholakia made a presentation to the participants, titled, Life’s Journey: Are the Forks not taken the correct paths?  He traced his own decisions and how those decisions influenced the trajectory of his career, and concluded that one can never know whether one took the correct path.  However, one can make something of the path one does take!  He exhorted the participants to pursue their choices with enthusiasm and gusto!

 

 


After Professor Dholakia’s presentation, Professor Vastag introduced Associate Professor Carmela di Mauro of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale Department at the Università di Catania in Italy.   Dr. di Mauro described how one can efficiently publish one’s research even before the conclusion of the program of study.  The title of her presentation was, Getting your research published during your PhD. She discussed various strategies for effective and efficient progress through the program of study. She emphasized the importance of passion for the research topic; inspiration that drives the researcher to pursue continued learning through network of scholars at various seminars and conferences; acquisition of analytical, communication, and networking skills; accepting critiques; and packaging the report to capture the readers’ attention and interest.  

 

Then, Professor Vastag introduced Professor Krishna Dhir, the former Dean of the College of Business and Economics of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, who is also the Henry Gund Professor Emeritus of Management at Berry College, both in USA.  Professor Dhir spoke about the PhD as a verb, as something a student must do rather than obtain.  His

presentation was titled, To Doctor! He stressed that by being admitted to the PhD program, the student became a member of the community of learners, and that this membership was a privilege, not a right.  He also stressed the importance of choosing a disciple for study, and learning the language of the chosen discipline. He described why it is important in a doctoral program for a student to seek a mentor.   Finally, he emphasized that the membership in the community of learners, at the Széchenyi István Egyetem, carried with it certain responsibilities towards the Egyetem, its faculty, and the discipline of study. He described these responsibilities.

 


After Professor Dhir’s presentation, the participants took a break for lunch in from of the VIP Room from 12:00 to 13:30 hours. During the lunch, the students continued to network among themselves and with the participating representatives of the Hungarian National Bank, Széchenyi István Egyetem facuty members, and foreign academicians. The faculty members and scholars participating included István Ábel, Zoltán Baracskai, Zsuzsa Deli-Gray, Krishna Dhir, Nik Dholakia, Tibor Dőry, Tamás Dusek, László Józsa, Marta Konczosné Szombathelyi, Carmela di Mauro, András Nemeslaki, Peter Németh, Edith Sule, Andrea Szirmai, and Gyula Vastag.

 

After lunch, at 13:30 hours, students from all cohorts were assigned to six different sessions, with each session containing representatives from both, 2016 and 2017 Cohorts.  The two students in the Thesis-writing phase also interacted in some of

these sessions.  Each session was held in different classroom.  2017 Cohort of PhD degree students presented their preliminary proposals on doctoral research.  The 2016 Cohort of PhD degree students and the post-Comprehensive Examination students Cohort reported on their progress in the program and research. Each session was chaired by at least two, if not three faculty members serving as mentors.   

 

At 16:45 hours, all sessions gathered back in the VIP Room for a plenary session.  At this session, the mentors provided feedback to the students on the strengths and weaknesses of their proposals and progress.  In the associated photograph included here, Dr. Zsuzsa Deli-Gray is seen presenting her reactions.

 

At 18:15 hours, Professor Gyula Vastag brought the formal sessions to a close with expressions of gratitude and thanks to all who particpated in these proceedings. The participants moved to Hotel Famulus for dinner.

 

 

 

 

The participants, including the students and their mentors, gathered at the Budapest Terem of Hotel Famulus for dinner at 19:00 hours, the conclusion of which brought the SZEM-Jam 2017 to a close.

 

Report

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Note: The photograph of Professor Krishna Dhir was taken by Professor Gyula Vastag.  All other photographs were taken by Professor Krishna Dhir

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