Alumni Interview Series with Boglárka Bozsogi, 2018 HIF Graduate Scholarship Recipient.
When we initially met Boglárka Bozsogi, back in 2018, she was pursuing a Masters of Science program from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Boglárka has received a HIF scholarship to assist her in completing the program. She graduated from Corvinus University Budapest in 2016, where she studied International Relations. She mainly focused on international politics and security, international relations theory, and diplomatic history. She also completed a one-year graduate program in Security Studies and received a Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham, UK in December 2017. Her dissertation research focused on the role of interpersonal trust in negotiations and conflict resolution, under the guidance of Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler.In Budapest, Boglárka worked at the U.S. Embassy as an intern at the Political and Economic Section, where she corresponded with diplomatic corporations, composed policy briefs, and organized roundtable conferences for members of the government, NGO representatives, civil society, and business leaders.
Boglárka has since graduated from Georgetown University and started her career in DC at the US Institute of Peace, now working remotely full time from Budapest, Hungary. Besides her professional journey, she is currently active as an alumni liaison, to help with the integration of the increasing number of other HIF alumni into our Budapest Fellowship Program events. We love how alumni are signing up to give back and volunteer for our programs!
We caught up with her recently, to see where her journey has taken her since the HIF scholarship.
Where are you currently on your career path?
I have just passed my second anniversary working at the U.S. Institute of Peace with the RESOLVE Network. I started as a research assistant during my studies at Georgetown and I am grateful to work with such a wonderful and inspiring team ever since. In my job, I support research projects related to conflict and violent extremism and coordinate our communications, publications, and engagement with members of the RESOLVE Network.
Which achievement/s are you most proud of since we met?
This professional continuity and stellar work environment are two things, I am most proud of together with my graduation from Georgetown. Graduation day was one of the happiest moments of my journey, as we were celebrating together with my friends that our dreams, plans, and goals turned into reality.
How did your experience with HIF in the US help you reach your goals?
I would not have been able to realize my dream without HIF, Fulbright Hungary, the Rosztoczy Foundation, and Georgetown’s M.S. in Foreign Service Program.
“HIF specifically provided me with unforgettable experiences, encounters, connections, and learning opportunities in the D.C. professional scene. It was of great financial help during my first summer in D.C., an uncertain period of internship hunting and moving out.” – Boglárka Bozsogi
The Young Hungarian Leaders Program was a fantastic week of learning about U.S. political foundations from renowned experts and leaders and touring the D.C. landmarks. I particularly enjoyed visits to the State Department, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol and had a great time connecting with HIF and my peer fellows as we shared our experiences! And the Triumph of Liberty Gala Dinner was a unique event where I could meet more members of the Hungarian community in D.C. celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
What struggles/challenges did you have to overcome to reach/move closer to your goals?
D.C. is the center of the world for politics, foreign policy, and international development—all of which gave us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from world leaders, accomplished practitioners, inspiring stories. Motivation comes from every direction. It is easy to be overwhelmed with events, meetings, conferences, school work, professional opportunities, career discussions, especially as an international student with personal, cultural, bureaucratic, and financial challenges on top. At times it was hard to stay oriented and committed in order to find my real goals and objectives between the noise.
What impact did your US experience have on your overall journey?
“Two and a half years in the US fundamentally changed my perspectives and ambitions. I am more open-minded, optimistic, and determined, I know where I come from, where I am going, and ready to build the paths to get there. I am forever grateful for this journey, for all I learned, the friends I made, the challenges I overcame, and the strength I gained.” – Boglárka Bozsogi
What are your plans for the future?
I am happy to be able to advance the mission of RESOLVE to provide insights into violent extremism around the world, elevate local, rigorous research, and network the research, policy, and practice communities. I look forward to aiming higher and further contributing to strategic conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and development in the future.
What words of advice do you have for future recruits?
Never fear to dream big! You can achieve anything you set your mind on! Stay focused, stay persistent, and you will get there.
What books are currently on your reading list?
I am currently reading The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker.