From NHH to Manhattan: ‘There are so many opportunities that people don’t know about’
PhD candidate David Ogudugu spends his days writing his doctoral thesis at NHH. Last year, he swapped NHH and Bergen for Rutgers University in Newark.
‘A lot of people don’t realise the opportunities you have when you take a PhD,’ explains David Ogudugu, who is now in the final year of his PHD.
The 32-year-old conducts research at the Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law and is writing his doctoral thesis on pensions. The thesis comprises three articles that focus on a change that was introduced a few years ago.
‘It started with me writing a master’s thesis on pensions, which I really enjoyed. It felt very natural for me to go on to take a doctorate.
The path to research
After taking a bachelor’s degree at BI Norwegian Business School, Ogudugu took a master’s degree in finance at NHH. He got a taste for research but also for the United States.
‘The master’s is a research project. If you enjoy writing your master’s thesis, you may well also enjoy being a PhD candidate,’ he says.
The 32-year-old stresses that you must be curious by nature and mustn’t be afraid to immerse yourself in your studies.
‘When taking a PhD, it’s important to realise that you won’t find what you’re looking for on Google. You need to enjoy getting to grips with a topic.’
Ogudugu spent last year on a research stay in New York.
‘As a research fellow, you often travel alone, and there isn’t the same framework in place as there is on bachelor’s and master’s exchanges. However, that allows you even more freedom to travel where you want, and do exactly what you want.’
‘Why did you choose USA and Newark?’
‘I primarily went to the USA because my BI supervisor is based at the university I went to – Rutgers University in Newark. As far as NHH is concerned, research fellows are free to choose where they want to travel.’
After a year in ‘the Big Apple’, the NHH student has experienced a lot and now has a larger network.
‘The main thing I gained from my research stay is a larger network. The research communities in the USA are much larger than in Norway, which was a really interesting experience,’ says Ogudugu.
The primary goal of the research stay was to spend time with other PhD students and researchers.
‘I will most likely work with several of the people I met at some point in the future,’ he says and adds:
‘I’m guessing there are several hundred accounting researchers in the New York area. There are a number of universities just in Manhattan. There is also Rutgers University in Newark, which is where I was. Although I was based there, I got to know people across universities. That was one of the reasons I went.’
He adds that several of his colleagues have travelled to universities around Europe on exchange courses and conferences.
Students are surprised
The doctoral programmes at NHH recruit PhD students from all over the world. Ogudugu says that he meets students in the corridors at NHH who aren’t aware of the opportunities that exist when taking a PhD.
‘I’ve been on a stand during the Career Fair and people are so shocked when they hear about what it’s like to be a PhD candidate. For example, few people are aware that we get paid.’
The 32-year-old from Oslo is in no doubt that he has made the right choice after submitting his master’s degree.
‘I think it’s absolutely fantastic that I could continue studying and get paid to do so.’