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Erastus – My Experience at the University of St. Gallen Global School of Empirical Research Methods

Erastus Mbithi at the University of St. Gallen

I am honored to be one of the recipients of Global Business School Network (GBSN) Scholarship available to 10 students from developing countries to the University of St. Gallen’s Global School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) in Switzerland. Thanks to GBSN/GSERM for the life changing opportunity and support from my School, School of Management and Commerce at Strathmore University. I am Doctoral Fellow currently working on my PhD research proposal in the area of financial reporting quality.

I attended the following courses; Qualitative Comparative Analysis and Analyzing Unstructured Data. The courses were attended by PhD students and Post-Doctoral Fellow students from diverse background which offered opportunity to learn and network across the globe. Both courses were intense and taught by experienced professors who enriched our learning experience. The learning materials were send on time by the GSERM team for the students to prepare which enabled the class to be highly interactive.

The Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) course introduced me into a new world of research methodology. The course combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies in studying configuration of cases in social science. The course was taught by Prof Charles Ragin who invested the methodology. It was amazing and fulfilling learning from the source. The second course on Analyzing unstructured data equipped me with the necessary skills and techniques of analyzing data, using Gephi for data visualization in text analytics and python for advanced analysis to yield deeper insights. The course was taught by Prof Kunpeng Zhang who presented the content passionately and made complex concepts palatable. Both courses are useful in my research journey.

In addition, like the proverbial Jack “all work and no play makes GERM students dull”. GSERM team thought ahead of time to balance between academics and life. Starting from the opening dinner, city tour and the sporting activities which made it possible for GERM students to network and experience the Swiss culture apart from the chocolates and cheese.

“GSERM 2018 was a life transforming experience and I highly recommend to any PhD student and Post-Doctoral Fellow across the globe.” – Erastus Mbithi, Strathmore Business School, Kenya

Erastus Mbithi is a Doctoral Fellow at Stratmore University School of Management and Commerce.