Bedirhan MUTLU, Class of 2021

Bedirhan MUTLU, Class of 2021

Research assistant for the Think tank "Arab Reform Initiative" | Graduated from the Master in Policital Science
  • Bedirhan MUTLU | Graduated from the Master in Policital Science (Class of 2021)Bedirhan MUTLU | Graduated from the Master in Policital Science (Class of 2021)

Can you tell us about your academic background?

I joined Sciences Po as an undergraduate on the Menton campus (Middle East and Mediterranean regional specialisation). I did my third-year exchange at the University of Toronto, and then took a break to do an internship in Cairo and another in Paris. I started my Master's degree in Political Science (Comparative Politics major) at the School of Research in 2019 and graduated in 2021 after writing my Master's thesis on the Ennahda Movement and the religious landscape in post-revolutionary Tunisia.

How did your interest in political science begin?

I have been interested in political science since high school, which is the reason I enrolled in Sciences Po as an undergraduate. The question for me was which major or specialisation to choose. For this, I looked at the academic content of different Master's programmes and I saw that it was the courses offered by the Comparative Politics major that corresponded most to my interests.

What did your years of study at the Sciences Po School of Research bring you?

I think most obviously the School of Research taught me how to do research. I benefited greatly from the subject courses and methodological teachings at the School of Research, but I learned most when writing my research dissertation, in both the field research and the writing phases. In addition to all this, I was able to meet new friends with whom I share many professional and personal interests.

Which teacher or teaching has had the greatest impact on you?

It is difficult to choose only one person or one course, but I would like to mention the name of my thesis supervisor, Stéphane Lacroix, with whom I was in direct contact and who taught me a lot.

What memories do you have of your school, your class, your teachers?

Before answering this question, it is important to remember that the pandemic radically transformed how we were taught and how we interacted with our peers and teachers. Perhaps this is why my greatest memories are of the informal discussions I had with my classmates, whether in the research library or elsewhere. I am also very happy with the work we did to establish the School of Research Association (SORA), which enabled us to create a sphere of dialogue and exchange despite the situation.

What is your current role?

I am currently interning at a regional think tank called the Arab Reform Initiative. I support their various research projects in Tunisia and in the Maghreb region.

What were the main stages in forming your career plans?

I was interested in research from the start of my university career, which made the choice of a Master's degree at the School of Research a natural one for me. My initial plan at the end of the Master's degree was to enter a PhD programme but I was unable, unfortunately, to find a contract/PhD funding. That's why I joined the Arab Reform Initiative team where I continue to do research in a different setting.

What have been the contributions of your training and education to the position you hold today?

My training at the School of Research was essential for the work I am doing now, as I am still working in research. Most of the tasks I carry out in my current position (focus groups, interviews, data analysis, etc.) are very similar to what I learned to do at the School of Research. I think it is also worth mentioning that one of my colleagues is another alumnus of the Sciences Po School of Research.

Would you have any advice to give to a student who wants to go into the field in which you work today?

I would recommend studying different research methodologies, and being prepared to use these same methods for different types of writing and formats (e.g. policy papers etc.) that are less academic than those we are accustomed to at the School of Research.

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=> See all the Graduates' Portraits

[ February 2022 ]


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