A Mathematical Social Scientist

In the second of our series of Scholar profiles Eszter Kabos, an Oxford-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann-Sackler Scholar, describes her route to Oxford and what she gets from her studies and the WHT Leadership Programme. Eszter is currently studying for an MPhil in Economics.

Economics gives me puzzles, and I try to solve them like a mathematician but also as an economist. At Oxford I am currently focusing on microeconomic theory while trying to find ways to apply it to real world problems within and outside of social sciences.

Eszter Kabos

Eszter Kabos

My childhood education has taught me to always challenge myself intellectually but I also love giving back to my community and helping people. I was born and raised in Hungary until the age of 18 and my family still lives here. It is a beautiful country that became a democracy only in 1990. Thus I believe it is important that young people help shape it and that we implement best practices from all over the world.

I came to Oxford to find a thorough and far-reaching education. Oxford offers one of the few two-year Masters courses in Economics in the UK, which is more comprehensive than a one-year course and the WHT Scholarship Programme also made me decide on Oxford. Being part of the WHT Scholarship served as a guarantee to me that besides academic knowledge, I will be able to advance my leadership and community organising skills. At Oxford I am a student at Nuffield College where everyone is a social scientist, so you can find people at any time over lunch or during afternoon tea to debate politics, sociology or economics.

During the first year of my MPhil I juggled studying with volunteering for a Hungarian NGO as a Data Analyst and Director of Data Analysis where I learned a lot about team work as I was responsible for 50 people. It was also a valuable experience to figure out how to present quantitative findings to a broader audience. I attempt to be as connected with the Hungarian professional community as I can despite being far away geographically.

Eszter on the far right with her Gold Medal at the Cambridge European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

I had the privilege of coming to Oxford from Cambridge University. Thanks to my teachers in high school, I got a gold medal at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), and after that I became the Deputy Leader of the Hungarian team for two years, helping them with maths training and organisation which I still do. This was a rewarding way to stay engaged with the Hungarian community and my academic interests. For the same reasons, I worked at the Cambridge University Hungarian Society during my undergrad where as well as access programmes we introduced a conference aimed at Hungarian students in the UK who want to go back to Hungary to work. We hosted more, than 100 participants and I believe this helps young people like me to return home to pursue valuable career paths.

Currently, I have started writing as a contributing writer to a national blog about Economics, my time at Oxford and other interesting topics.

I found mentoring to be a very rewarding way to contribute to the community I am coming from and I hope to continue to do that at Oxford and at home.