Rita Molnar is a talent management expert and HR consultant from Hungary. When she was 14 years old, she won an English competition and got to spend three weeks in the UK. Since then she’s had a connection to the UK and a dream of studying at a top UK university. In December 2017 she graduated from the University of Liverpool Online with an MSc in Organisational and Business Psychology, and she was awarded Student of the Year for her outstanding work.
One dream achieved, Rita's now hoping her latest qualification could be the start of an international academic career.
Motivated to find the right path and knowledge
In September 2014, when Rita started her master’s degree, her goal was simple; she wanted to deepen her knowledge and become a true expert in her professional field.
She oversees HR and talent management practices, and delivers executive coaching and leadership training for a UK management consultancy company in Hungary. “I travel extensively around Central and Eastern Europe with my work, and I’ve been in lots of organisational situations that I could manage in an effective way,” she said. “But I wanted to understand why certain approaches worked and why others didn’t. I realised I wanted to be really confident, especially when speaking with managers, about why I was using a specific approach.”
Three years later Rita has achieved this and a lot more. In addition to her Student of the Year Award, she has also contributed a chapter about talent management practices in Central and Eastern European countries to a management book. She’s now also mentoring young undergraduate students at the University of Liverpool, and has been invited to give lectures at universities around Hungary and Romania. Rita now sees new paths opening up for her.
She says: “I’d like to keep working in the same field, but I also want to go into academia. I’d also like to work internationally: wherever the opportunities take me.”
Making the most of a flexible, online learning environment
Though Rita had the dream of studying at a UK university long before she started her first three degrees in Hungary, she knew leaving her homeland to do it was not possible. In addition to her high-paced job, she helps care for her young niece and uses her free time to run workshops for young adults at secondary schools and universities. Studying online was her solution.
“The University of Liverpool impressed me with its academic background and flexible learning opportunities,” she said.
Since undertaking her online degree, Rita says her professional performance has increased, thanks to a range of new skills.
“The biggest change is that it’s increased my critical thinking,” she said. “I used to just accept that senior people were correct in what they recommended. Now I’m happy to ask if the evidence backs it up. I’m asking more questions and that makes me better at my job.”
Using psychology to address turnover
It is this questioning that helped Rita decide on her dissertation topic. She examined how accounting firms in Poland, Hungary and Romania react to talent turnover. “I read an article which initiated this idea, it was from America and based on companies back in 2008. It made some firm statements about how organisations react, but it didn’t research why they react this way.”
Rita’s research focussed on these three particular countries due to the high rates of graduate or entry-level talent turnover. Rita says she often found a relationship in the reaction of the company and its size. “If it’s a small and middle-sized enterprise and the owner is the general manager, then their personality and emotions influence the reaction. The strongest factor is the owner’s presence in the company.”
Support to reach your goals
Rita graduated with a surplus of new knowledge and more confidence in herself as a result of her study. The three highlights of her programme and studying with the University of Liverpool Online were: the high-value content, the inspiring learning environment, and excellent professional support.
“I’d recommend the University of Liverpool because they help you achieve your professional development goal, and because they provide such an intellectually and culturally stimulating learning environment to do it.”
Could you follow in Rita’s footsteps and achieve academic success alongside professional development? Find out more about the MSc in Organisational and Business Psychology