Tallinn University of Technology

We have interviewed our alumni to get insight into how they have applied the acquired skills and what type of work they do now. Zinabu Samaro Rekiso from Ethiopia holds a PhD in Public Administration from the School of Business and Governance Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance.


What do you do today and what/which event attracted you to your current job?

I am currently working as an economist/economic adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Ethiopia. I took this job in order to use and share my knowledge, expertise and experience accumulated over years of work experience and academic training in the area of economic development to provide technical assistance and advice to the UN in Ethiopia in its work aimed at supporting the country to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

Why did you decide in favour of studying in Estonia?

It took me many years to find and decide on the PhD program that suits my academic interests and outlook. This is because I disagreed with the ideological, philosophical and methodological frameworks of mainstream/standard economics which dominates most economics departments in the world. I discovered that the Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance hosted several non-mainstream economists and scholars whose ideas and approaches I liked with respect to economics in general and my sub-field in particular. Therefore, I applied and joined the PhD program that the school offers in order to study under the guidance of and work with these world-renowned heterodox scholars.

Which study programme did you study, and why did you pick this one?

I studied PhD in Public Administration (Technology Governance). As I mentioned above, I chose to study in TUT Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance in order to study under the guidance of specific professors and scholars who were teaching and doing research at the department at that time. These include professors Erik Reinert, Carlota Perez, Rainer Kattel and Wolfgang Drechsler.

What do you think is the strength of this field in today's labour market?

Unlike most other similar departments and programmes, the programme at Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance are reality-based and focused on imparting skills and knowledge that are practical, applicable in real-world situations. Specifically, the focus of the programmes is on what works and how real-world pubic policies are made and shape human societies rather than focusing on abstract theories.

Could you recall any sweet memories or funny situations from your university time?

In general, I have found the Estonian university system very friendly to students and very generous to people coming from outside of the EU such as myself. I found the academic and administrative staff of the university very helpful and supportive during the period in which I was a research student at the university. Therefore, my experience was very pleasant throughout.

Looking back at your studies, what would you ask the university to do differently to become even better?

In my opinion, the University needs to promote itself better across the world. In my opinion, the department in which I studied is one of the world’s leading and at the cutting edge of academic research in its area of focus. However, it has not made itself visible across the globe among relevant audiences and potential customers (students, researchers, etc.).