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Per Åhblom

Meet Per - Assistant Professor of Accounting at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and PhD in Business Administration alum.

1. What is the attraction of doing research? 

The attraction of research for me is the possibility to have enough time to really explore a particular topic, up until the point that there are no more answers to be found on that topic by previous thinkers, but rather it is you who has to formulate those answers through observing the reality of practice and analytically making sense of what you see. I am attracted by the freedom and independence to do things my own way, but also coming back to a community of fellow researchers interested in the same topic and sharing what I find to further our joint knowledge of the area.

2. Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher?

The PhD program in business administration at SSE is structured with the goal to turn you into an independent researcher. There are no ready-make and pre-designed PhD research projects to simply execute at SSE, rather the program gives you time and freedom to pursue the ideas that you bring into it. This is also what makes the program hard and challenging at times, but it allows you to develop the skills necessary for a future career in international research, where you are expected to be able to design and carry out large research projects independently.

The program also enables you to establish an international network of fellow researchers. Partly through generous funding for exchanges with other elite institutions in the world and international PhD courses and conferences, but also through visiting scholars and invited seminar speakers on a regular basis. 

3. What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student? 

The best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student is how close you are to the faculty and professors supervising you and other staff you work with. In its everyday life, the school and departments internally are very non-hierarchical and as a PhD student you are seen as part of the faculty, rather than as merely a student. For me, this meant that I had a steep learning curve regarding both research and teaching practice as I could both observe and discuss these things informally as a colleague on a daily basis, rather than only through PhD courses and other formal interactions.

4. What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?

An ambition (and track-record) to produce independent researchers of a high quality. Highly internationally connected in terms of research and education, and with excellent connections to Swedish institutions and companies for empirical access and funding. An active and friendly research community.