ISB Students Publish their Research

Ask a student what their favorite class is, and not many will say research. Navigating the ins and outs, from defining a problem to finding a solution, takes some practice and can be a big challenge, even for professionals. But once the process is clear, diving headfirst into a topic that becomes more and more intriguing the more you learn about it can be deeply satisfying and fulfilling, something any Ph.D. can confirm.

Twee studenten met laptop overleggen en wijst naar scherm

Students as Researchers

At the International School of Business, bachelor student research has the potential to measure up to that of Ph.D.s and other academics. As students become more invested and knowledgeable on the topic, motivation increases, often reflected in the quality of the research output. Dr Amir Moradi from the Center of International Business Research can attest to this. 

Dr Moradi has observed that some students don’t want to let go of their topic, or their research. They don’t want it to only be seen by their supervisors and examiners, they want to share it with others. The best way to do so is to turn it into an Academic Paper and share it at a conference. 

Presenting at an International Conference

Just a few weeks ago, Dr Moradi and two hardworking students, Lina Weng and Zeren Lelaona, visited Vienna, Austria on an all-expenses-paid-by-HAN trip to present at the 6th International Conference on Applied Research in Management, Business, and Economics.  

The conference housed approximately 30 people and accommodated another 30-40 people online, all from different parts of the world and Europe. The 4th year IB-students presented quantitative research from their 4th year GPR projects. Zeren analyzed the capital structure of firms operating in the food industry of Indonesia, and Lina examined the working capital of Euronext-listed retail firms. The conference was a fabulous networking experience, with everyone gaining new LinkedIn connections and getting to know other attendees between presentations. Not only that, the two students left the conference as published co-authors, alongside Dr Moradi. 

Zeren Lelaona presenting at a conference in Vienna.

Hard Work Pays off

Co-authorship, even when you’re a full-time researcher, is time-consuming and challenging. When you are also in a brand-new company doing your graduation internship, that challenge is multiplied. Not to mention, attending a conference isn’t in the assessment criteria, so motivation needs to come from the students. Lina and Zeren sacrificed their own free time to refine their content to fit the theme of the conference. And the hard work paid off; their papers were well-received by those in attendance. Not only that, these IB Bachelor students were mistaken as Ph.D. students! 

For a GPR report to become ready for a conference, it requires an extra time investment from the supervisor too. Many GPR supervisors guide 4- 10 reports in a single semester, providing feedback along the way and a final grade once the whole process is over. During brief weekly meetings Dr Moradi helped them through the process and gave feedback on their drafts, contributing efforts that were invaluable to Lina and Zeren.

Zeren Lelaona, Lina Weng, and Dr. Amir Moradi smile and show off their co-authorship certificates

The impact of a GPR supervisor

According to the students, the experience helped them to feel more confident in their abilities, the confidence a student gets after presenting months of work to a room full of academics. Zeren has been inspired to go further with her studies and move further with a master's degree after graduation. Lina would also be interested in a chance to strengthen her work to make it even more powerful. And neither one has ruled out the idea of being a Ph.D. student someday. 

Dr Moradi doesn’t feel the need to convince every GPR lecturer to take the extra time to make this happen for each of their students and is even willing to help others with GPR students that are interested in facilitating this type of opportunity for their students. The experience of presenting at a conference creates a lifelong memory to be proud of, for himself and the students. In the end that’s what makes it all worth it, at least for Dr Moradi.  

Lina Weng presents at a conference in Vienna.