Five Questions to the PhD Supervisor

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Here you can read what our supervisors say about the Hanken PhD Programme and what it is like to be a PhD student at Hanken.

 

gyongyi_kovacs.jpgGyöngyi Kovacs, Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics:

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring, publishing)?

We have a very active research group that organises doctoral courses and frequent research seminars for doctoral students in our major (Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility). We also have a very good network with other research groups and participate in joint seminars, and organise joint courses e.g. through KATAJA but also other groups. Publications are key to our success. Researchers at our unit edit the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and participate in the organisation of various conferences - e.g. CR3+, EDSI, NOFOMA. Our PhD students are encouraged as well as supported in their publication endeavours - they typically publish at least one journal article / year. Co-authoring is much encouraged, though PhD students shall also publish single-authored articles in line with Hanken's regulations for a doctoral degree.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

PhD students in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility should be pro-active, outgoing, professional in approaching others, team players, and people who do not shy away from field work and work together with companies and various types of organisations - NGOs, UN agencies etc. They are our face to the world; therefore their approach to managing such connections is crucial. We are seeking critical thinkers, good writers, and people who can work in projects as well as drive projects. Academic writing is key.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

We work in projects together, we conduct field work together, organise seminars, conferences, travel with them, and most importantly, write with them - and have a lot of fun while doing so. Where appropriate, we incorporate PhD students in our teaching and in our projects, and we encourage them to visit other universities in our network. We introduce them to a network of researchers as well as organisations as it fits their own projects and studies.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

There are many different reasons to pursue a PhD within our field. There are those who aspire to an academic career, others would like to pursue work in industry or the humanitarian community. We try to align the supervision and the advice we give PhD students with their own career aspirations.
Most importantly, a PhD in our field is a way for personal development and learning! That said, it is of utmost importance to us that our research is not only rigorous but is also relevant to the community it addresses.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Our PhD alumni have placed themselves either within academia (in Finland and abroad), industry (e.g. the Finnish Railways, VR), or are employed by humanitarian organisations (e.g. UNOPS).

 

tore_strandvik_2012.jpgTore Strandvik, Professor in Marketing:
 
Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring, publishing)?
 
PhD students in Marketing are encouraged to early on create a plan and time schedule for their doctoral studies, including outlining which courses to include and how to conduct the doctoral thesis considering the general structure and regulations at Hanken.  While some doctoral courses are given at Hanken, PhD students in Marketing also include national courses provided by KATAJA or occasionally international courses. It is seldom possible to know exactly the variety of courses that will be given, which means that PhD students need to be agile and capture opportunities emerging during their studies. Progress in the thesis work is followed up by annual internal seminars and an internal manuscript seminar before the thesis will be submitted. Doctoral students are encouraged to participate in international workshops, seminars and conferences. Co-authoring articles with supervisors and other doctoral students is encouraged. Likewise, doctoral students should early on plan for participation and presentations of their work in international conferences and for writing academic working papers and articles.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

Hanken’s research in marketing is well known internationally for its unique approach, the Nordic School approach. Typical for this approach is a focus on cutting-edge issues, a style of challenging existing knowledge, conceptual studies, and use of qualitative empirical material. A PhD student in Marketing at Hanken fits into the research community if the person enjoys finding new avenues for research and knowledge, has independent working skills, has an ability to focus and work persistently, and has teamwork skills.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

Fulltime doctoral students in Marketing are integrated into the department’s research community at CERS (Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management) together with fellow doctoral students. This enables peer to peer support that is a valuable aspect of belonging to an active research community.   PhD students are from the beginning of their studies encouraged to collaborate with supervisors, senior researchers and other doctoral students. The supervision process is both structured and tailor-made to each doctoral student’s needs.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

Hanken’s marketing department is internationally famous for research in service and customer relationships, and has an established position internationally. Service research is currently the leading area within marketing and covers modern aspects of marketing, such as technology-based marketing, service marketing, customer experience, business to business marketing and branding.  Hanken’s marketing department and research center CERS (Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management) are founders of the Nordic School approach in marketing, which has established itself as a unique way of doing research that is recognized all over the world.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Typically PhD students majoring in Marketing have become either academic researchers, lecturers at Universities, higher educational institutions or consultants.  Some have pursued a career in business as managers or entrepreneurs.

 

martikainen.jpgMinna Martikainen, Professor in Accounting
 
Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring, and publishing)?
 
The courses provided in the Hanken PhD programme in accounting are almost 80% nationally co-organised courses with KATAJA / Graduate School of Accounting. Moreover, our students actively take part in international EIASM courses.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

Talented students with good analytical skills who are interested in profound theories of business such as accounting. Accounting underlies and forms the basics for how businesses and regulators are co-working interactively to establish more functioning environments for businesses to develop themselves.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

Team work in larger research groups.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

Our major is very practically oriented, providing extensive analytical skills. These skills are highly useful when thinking about a career in business after the PhD.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Both in academia and the corporate sector.

 

Denise SalinDenise Salin, Professor in Management and Organisation

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring, publishing)?

 All PhDs in Management and Organisation complete four initial in-house doctoral courses: 'Managing the Research Process' (which introduces ways of doing research and getting organised in that process), 'Perspectives on Organisations' (which, as the title suggests, examines different approaches to studying organisations and management), 'Quality in Research: Philosophies, Methodologies and Qualitative Methods' (which combines theoretical concerns with an introduction to qualitative methods), and a course on quantitative data analysis. In addition each student completes about another four more hand-picked courses to suit their specific research needs and interests. These latter courses may be in Finland or elsewhere. In addition, there are regular departmental seminars, with many visiting local and international speakers, as well as a number of more specific research groups and discussions - some short-term, some longer-term, for example, that on Gender Relations in Organisations, Management and Society that has been active over 15 years.

Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to publish and to present their work at international conferences during their doctoral studies.  More generally, there is a high level of international publishing in Management and Organisation with many articles, chapters and books being produced by faculty and researchers.

There is a large variety of topics supervised and faculty are involved in a number of different fields. These include, but are not limited to, organisational behaviour, organisation theory, gender and diversity, strategy, innovation management, and CSR.

 

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

Resilience, analytical and critical thinking, and a strong curiosity about organisations and management, and how they work in theory and in practice. Students also need good communication skills, especially the ability to write text in fluent English.

 

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

The most important issue is regular availability as a supervisor; this is important throughout the process, but often especially so at the beginning in clarifying and setting up the project, and then in the final stages of writing and submission of the thesis. Some students work very independently on projects they have developed themselves, others are involved in larger research projects together with faculty. Students get regular feedback  on their thesis projects and articles and get help and advice on writing funding applications. Supervisors vary in to what extent they co-author publications with doctoral students, but all doctoral students are strongly encouraged to publish, either on their own or together with faculty from Hanken and/or other research institutions. Many doctoral researchers have two supervisors; a few have three. Furthermore, advanced students are also given the opportunity to take part in teaching and thereby develop their teaching skills.

 

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

In terms of the subject of management and organisation, there are many reasons, but centrally there is the issue of the importance of organisations and management in the world today, and the intense thrill of working on complex questions of theory and practice. At a general level, I would say one should only do a PhD if you have a true desire to do so. It is tough challenge, and for most people more demanding than they first imagine.

 

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Many continue with research and teaching; a few go on to consultancy or management in business or the public sector.

 

nari3_1.jpgNari Lee, Professor in Intellectual Property Law
 
Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring and publishing)?

Hanken’s PhD studies in intellectual property law consists of course work (IP Law in context, research seminar, litterature courses, current topics) in order to allow students to gain  fundamental knowledge about the methodologies and perspectives in intellectual property research. The courses are often taught by external visiting professors from European universities as well as US law schools. In the past, the courses have been taught by amongst others Hanken’s DS Fellows, Professor Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford University), Professor Annette Kur (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition law), Professor Jens Scholvbo (Copenhagen University), and Professor Barton Beebe (NYU Law School, USA). Students are also encouraged to participate in doctoral workshops and seminars arranged by the Nordic Intellectual Property Network, a bilateral doctoral seminar arranged together with the Graduate school of Bayreuth University in Germany, as well as WIPO’s Advanced Research Forum on Intellectual Property. In addition to this, the IPR University Center which is a national joint universities research forum that allows doctoral students to network with other doctoral students working on the topic of intellectual property in Finland. Students are also invited to participate in academic research projects. Commercial law currently has two large scale research project financed by the Finnish Academy of Science (PATLIM and TRANSIP), and one by Tekes (AdManI).

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

We seek students who have demonstrably sound previous knowledge in intellectual property law and policy, (shown by specialized IP Master’s program), with excellent academic transcripts and a publishable master’s thesis, as well as with methodological willingness to experiment with cross-disciplinary methodologies. As the program is quite independent, we are looking for students who are seriously interested in learning, and capable of following through a research project independently.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

We encourage students to take own initiatives to follow through their own projects. As law researchers often have a tendency to write works under single authorships and in the form of monographs, it is not so common to jointly author a paper with PhD students. However, if there happens to be serendipitously similar research interests, students may collaborate with faculty members and get additional financing by partially working as research assistants. Furthermore, advanced students are encouraged to do joint research leading to joint publications and participate in academic research projects and teaching.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

A master’s degree specializing in intellectual property has been popular in Europe. During the master studies, one learns fundamental IP law knowledge. To deepen one’s academic knowledge to participate in discourses on how the law and policy on IP should develop, one needs to pursue PhD level research. Furthermore, to differentiate oneself in the job market in Europe for IP experts in European organisations, PhD would be beneficial.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Our PhDs are both in academia and in practice (law).  Due to the nature of the discipline, if the students have practiced law before pursuing a PhD, they are likely to go back to legal practice. However, as the doctorate tends to encourage students who want to get into academia, I would say more graduates are in the academia.

Joakim Wincent, Professor in Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring and publishing)?

The major in entrepreneurship encourages PhD candidates to develop strong skills for a fruitful career in our field. This implies not only intellectual capacity, this also includes valuable knowledge for the future regardless if they continue in academia or industry. We offer and coordinate international courses in our main topic, train our PhD candidates to develop strong skills in scientific thinking and in scientific methods, and encourage our PhD candidates to travel and develop competitive knowledge by participating in conferences, working and co-authoring papers with highly skilled international researchers. We have close collaboration with other geographically close institutions such as the Aalto University and a broad international network, which opens up to collaboration opportunities, such as research visits and joint studies.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

A PhD candidate should have analytic skills, be persistent in solving and working with challenging scientific problems, oriented towards learning new things, and be positive. We strive to be excellent, but also to have fun at work.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

A typical collaboration could be in co-authoring academic papers and reports, but also discussing potential solutions to the challenges the PhD candidates face with their individual research projects. We also help our students to find funding for their work.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

The importance of entrepreneurship is increasing. This implies a need for highly educated persons willing to take on challenging consultancy projects for private companies, highly educated policy-makers with deep insights in the mechanisms with which entrepreneurship can be stimulated and how its effects can be enhanced, as well as for scientists who can create the next generation of frameworks and models of entrepreneurship.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

A PhD in entrepreneurship opens up for getting interesting and challenging jobs in both academia, the corporate sector, and also important roles in the public sector.

 

timo_korkeamaki_1_1.jpgTimo Korkeamäki, Pentti Professor in Finance, Dean of Research

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring and publishing)?

PhD students in Finance take the Graduate School of Finance core courses in theoretical asset pricing, empirical asset pricing, theoretical corporate finance, and empirical asset pricing. On top of that, the typical course choices include methodology courses both at Hanken and courses offered by FDPE (Finnish Doctoral Program in Economics). Our students can also select courses offered in other Scandinavian countries by other Nordic Finance Network member schools.

We have a joint seminar series with Aalto University, which brings top researchers from around the world for our Monday seminars that are housed at Aalto every autumn and at Hanken every spring. Our PhD students have opportunities to present their own research at departmental seminars, workshops arranged by the Graduate School of Finance twice per year, and at the Nordic Finance Network conference, that rotates through Scandinavian countries.

Our recent students have had both sole-authored studies, and studies co-authored with Hanken faculty and faculty in other universities.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

PhD studies in Finance are challenging, and a solid quantitative background helps a student in getting through the course work. Students who have an insufficient background in Finance from their Master's studies are required to supplement that by taking Master's level courses.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

We treat PhD students as valued colleagues at the department. PhD students in Finance are typically assigned two thesis supervisors who guide students' progress towards completion of the doctoral thesis. As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for students to have co-authored works with faculty.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

A PhD in finance should be pursued by those who are ready to be challenged intellectually. A prospective PhD student needs to have a desire to create new knowledge through research.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

We place students in both academia and corporate sector. Our recent PhD graduates are working both in academic institutions and at financial institutions around the world.

 

knif_johan2.jpg

Johan Knif, Professor, Finance, Vaasa:

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring and publishing)?

The PhD program with a major in finance is structured as a full-time four-year program with coursework in the beginning and increasing in-depth research towards the final publication and official defence of the PhD dissertation. The PhD courses offered are both theoretical and empirical in the areas of Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance, Financial Management, and various Quantitative Finance courses. The courses are delivered both by our own experienced faculty and by visiting international scholars. We are also a part the the Graduate School of Finance (GSF), the Finnish Doctoral Program in Economics (FDPE), and the Nordic Finance Network (NFN). These connections offer additional and recommended course opportunities for our PhD students.

During the PhD program our students actively participate in in-house PhD seminars, national as well as international PhD seminars, and international research conferences. This offers the opportunity for the PhD student to develop an international research network that often results in joint-research publications with peers, faculty, and internationally established finance scholars.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

The PhD program in Finance is challenging and requires a thorough background in both finance and quantitative methods. The PhD student needs to have good communication skills, a very high motivation, and an ability to stay focused on coursework and research.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

We offer our PhD students a good environment for collaboration between peers and faculty members. For each PhD student there is an assigned degree supervisor and assigned thesis supervisors. Towards the end of the PhD program, we also try to offer a visiting PhD-student period at a recognised university or business school abroad. 

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field?

A PhD in Finance from and accredited business school like Hanken opens up an international job market in academia, the corporate world, as well as in all areas of the global finance industry.

Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

Our PhD alumni are found in academia, as government employees, and in the finance and corporate sectors. Furthermore, they are today in fact found in all parts of the world.

 

topi_miettinen_789_kopia.jpgTopi Miettinen, Assistant Professor, Economics

Describe the PhD studies within your major (courses, seminars, co-authoring, publishing)?

A full description of the content delivered in Helsinki can be found at http://www.fdpe.fi/ . In addition, studies during shorter periods up to a year abroad at a good university are possible.

What personal and academic qualities should a good PhD Student within your major have?

  • Analytical skills (including ability to derive new ideas from analogue problems in related fields, i.e. vision of ideas)
  • Good communication skills, especially ability to write text in fluent English
  • Dedication and ability to perform even sometimes painstaking work
  • Personal ability to contribute to the social environment among her/his peers, i.e. a good student has a social value.

How do you collaborate with your PhD students?

We support our PhD students on all levels. We:

  • advise them in the planning of studies
  • give feedback on thesis projects and articles
  • help and backup for applications of scholarships
  • are occasionally co-authors on research projects/papers
  • are their mentors during their PhD studies.

Why should one pursue a PhD within your field? Where do PhDs within your major place themselves on the job market (academia vs. corporate sector)?

The future prospects of PhDs in economics are good, especially if the students focus on topics where there is demand and interest outside academics. Typical employments are experts in demanding economist positions. If the student is especially bright and ambitious a career in academia is also a good option. The academic market is highly competitive these days.