Dr. Yekaterina Chzhen (’03): At AUBG, ‘I’ve learned how to communicate persuasively, think critically, and appreciate success’
Dr. Yekaterina Chzhen (’03) from Kazakhstan currently teaches Sociology at the prestigious Trinity College Dublin. Back at AUBG, she studied Business Administration and took additional modules in Economics, Political Science, and Journalism. Read our interview with her to learn more about her impressive background in the field of sociology, which includes studying at the Central European University, KU Leuven, the University of York and Oxford, and working at UNICEF and Trinity College Dublin.
What has your life looked like after graduating from AUBG – where have you studied and worked? What is your current occupation?
I went on to do an MA in Human Rights at the Central European University (’04) and an International Master’s in Social Policy Analysis at KU Leuven (’05). I then worked at the Centre for Research in Social Policy in the UK for two years and went on to do my PhD in Social Policy at the University of York, graduating in early 2011. I spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and went on to the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in Florence until 2019. I’ve been at Trinity College Dublin since then (Assistant Professor in Sociology). My entire career so far has been in social science research (in academia and international organizations).
What kind of impact has AUBG had on your personal and professional growth? Which are the essential skills you gained at AUBG that helped you succeed in your career field?
I can’t imagine where I would be right now if it weren’t for AUBG, or, rather, the Soros Foundation scholarship. The liberal arts education gave me an opportunity to try different fields of study without committing to just one thing immediately. I’ve learned how to communicate persuasively, think critically, and appreciate success, not matter how small. On our first day, we were told that we were the future leaders of the region. It was a little hyperbolic but hugely empowering!
What extracurricular activities (clubs, work at AUBG offices, Exchanges, etc.) have you been involved with at AUBG?
I was a FlashNews reporter from my sophomore year onwards.
Do you keep in touch with other AUBG graduates and in what ways?
Some of my closest friends are from AUBG. We do our best to stay in touch and catch up as regularly as possible. Needless to say, we all live in different countries!