Bengüsu Abacıoğlu, 28, is studying "International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory (MA)" at the University of Bremen. For about a year she is also working for projekt A04 "Global Developments in Health Care Systems and Long-term Care as a New Social Risk" as a student assistant.
Dear Bengüsu, how did you get the idea to work as a student assistant in our CRC and especially in project A04?
I wanted to gain further work and research experience when I started doing my master's. While I was looking for a job, I came across the project on the website. As I read about CRC and the description of the project itself, I found it very interesting because the research on the health and long-term care systems is very relevant both academically and practically since it has been and will be gaining importance globally. Also, the project is closely related to my field, International Relations, but at the same time, different from my previous work experiences. Thus, it was a great opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of my field while gaining experience in a different area and broadening my horizon eventually.
How are you involved in the project work?
I have been working in the project for over a year, and I am currently maintaining 33 hours per month. I used to go to the office, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, I have been working from home. I have been involved in a diverse range of tasks. For a while, I was helping with the extraction process of the treaties for the project's database. Thus, I was responsible for finding the bilateral social security agreements (BSSAs), extracting the necessary parts, and eventually uploading them to the system. Then, I was involved in the more technical side of the same process, such as text cleaning and PDF conversion by using R Studio. Recently, I have started working on a technical paper that will be published. For that, I have been conducting a literature review by reading, and summarizing the articles that would be useful for the base of the paper.
What are you learning through your work at the CRC?
Most importantly, I am learning the content of the BSSAs primarily through conducting a literature review. In that sense, I am getting familiar with qualitative analyses on the topic and their importance, as well as how quantitative analyses could contribute to the literature. On the technical side, working at the CRC enables me to be more familiar with tools for the database, such as Zotero and Seafile. Besides, I obtained knowledge on R Studio during the Advanced Quantitative Methods class I took in my master's. Through working in the project, I get the chance to practice and advance my knowledge in R Studio by engaging with the text mining process.
Are you already working on your thesis or do you already have ideas for it?
I have recently started working on my thesis. My topic is active female participation in armed conflicts and whether their participation leads to their empowerment and emancipation.
What plans do you have for your further studies and the time after?
I intend to enhance my academic career by pursuing a Ph.D. degree. Then, I would like to work in an NGO.