On 3 May our second and closing event was organized where we had the chance to discuss what opportunities can the International Relations degree offer for university students. The invited guests were Krisztina Varju, Ministry Commissioner for V4 Presidency; Nikoletta Hossó, Protocol Expert, Analyzer of International Relations, company proprietor; and Csaba Demeter, Technology Operations Manager. Just as usual, the moderator post was assigned to Máté Szalai, our outstanding mentor, researcher of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade and assistant lecturer for Corvinus University of Budapest.
In the first few minutes, we were asking our guests in what extent they find the university courses, especially the International Relations course, functional and useful. They all agreed that a wide range of general knowledge can be gained during the university years which might be used up later, in the time when students face their first carrier perspectives. During their educational training students become well-informed, more aware of global events happening around them. Csaba Demeter emphasized that it is not the most important issue how much benefits someone can get from the courses and use up later in the workplace. Nikoletta Hossó pointed out to the importance of the Master course as it makes youngers even more attractive at the labour market. Krisztina Varju encouraged students to participate in the Erasmus Scholarship and take Erasmus Plus Traineeship in serious consideration as well.
As there was a female majority between the lecturers, we concerned and questioned the women’s disadvantageous situation at the labor market. Neither Nikoletta Hossó nor Krisztina Varju has faced gender-related discriminative situation at their workplaces. However, Nikoletta Hossó disagreed with women who want to benefit from their feminity, she believed that proficiency has to be proved on the basis of existing skills and knowledge. Csaba Demeter also had some comment to the question. According to his working experiences, ladies can also be positively discriminated and nowadays there are more and more women working in leading positions.
The next question was about the importance of social linkages. As far as Csaba Demeter could see, anyone has the possibility to reach the top no matter how many personal relationships are in possession. Essentially, we have to focus on our job and do our best in all situation. According to Nikoletta Hossó, good linkages are necessary, though everything depends on the attitude and dedication. She recounted a sentence from a folk tale: „The good one must take the award.” Krisztina Varju was approaching the question from another perspective. She thought that it is a very complex issue. The social capital always advantageous, in the 21st century we can find people who are in prestigious positions because they have the appropriate relations. Even though she did put her belief in humble working attitude which can result in other’s attention and faith.
Students were asking questions with curiosity about the university courses which had the biggest impression on the lecturers. Krisztina Varju and Csaba Demeter were kindly attending courses held in German. Moreover, Csaba Demeter considered Basic of IT undoubtedly important and he said that from this module he could use many things up at his workplace. For Nikoletta Hossó, courses based on History of Diplomacy were highly enjoyable, they helped her finding the logic of the events and follow them according to the chronological order.
The quality enhancement of the courses was also put on the table. Nikoletta Hossó would insert more modules in the curriculum which are held in foreign language taught by native teachers. Apart from this, she firmly believed that students should have more opportunity to present themselves and improve their rhetoric skills. As far as Csaba Demeter could see, the institute should reform the curriculum and put more emphasis on practice-oriented courses.
In the end of our round-table conversation, Máté Szalai asked the lecturers to give three useful advices to the participating students. Nikoletta Hossó said no one should be satisfied with things in possession, lifelong learning and self-education are the key methods worth following. These two leads to the real success. Never give up! Finally, everyone should seek to keep his or her humanity no matter what happens. Csaba Demeter was trying to calm the audience down, he assured the participating students that with this degree everyone will be able to find a job, what is more, employers will be competing for Corvinus graduated students. His advice was focused on the profession-related experiences and researches. For closure he said we should try to maximize everything and take as much as we can from the life opportunities. Krisztina Varju said it is really recommended to set goals and assign targets. Remain in humility! We must be open for studying, we have to be able to handle and learn from critics.
We are very grateful to the experts for accepting our invitation and for their active participation on the event. We also have to say thank you to everyone coming to see and make questions to the lecturers. Hopefully, you enjoyed and will join us on the next event as well! See you in September!