Five minutes with Michal Wojtaszek




Editor’s note: The “Five minutes with” series focuses on a different person each time. The interviewer spends five minutes speaking with a person each week to learn about them, their specialty or something they are passionate about.


Michal Wojtaszek is a second-year Ph.D. student of Economic Sciences from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW. Wojtaszek is a visiting scholar at SDSU preparing his dissertation about American investments in Poland. 

Q:  What is your research about?

A: At my university, I received a WULS-SGGW’s Own Scholarship Fund, so my university gives an opportunity when you are a scientist, to choose a university to do research. I prepared a plan of what I would like to do at SDSU. My dissertation is connected to American investments in connection to the rest of the world.  I use the library and so many interesting sources. I heard some rankings about Brookings, that it is a very nice place, and my first step was to find it on the map and I imagined that I would come here.

Q:  What do you do at SDSU?

A: My first impression was that I would come here to prepare my dissertation and spend time in the library. Now, I spend time at conferences and presentations and the meetings of our department. When I’m active here, people just engage me in so many different projects. It’s been a unique opportunity to gain experience in international relations and build relationships between our countries. 

Q: What’s different between SDSU and Poland?

A: SDSU campus is like mine in Warsaw. It has given me an opportunity to increase my academic knowledge and my knowledge of American society and culture. My plan is to consult with some professors at the university as my next step in my dissertation. Collecting knowledge from your professors and mine will complete my dissertation. There is difference in experience in professors from here and Poland, but it’s good new knowledge for me.

Q: What is it like to do research in South Dakota?

A: The main advantage about South Dakota is the inhabitants. This is my first step in the USA and I didn’t think it would be so nice. It’s important what kind of people you will meet and my first impression with Americans is a good impression. It gives me an idea to work more and continue our scientific cooperation. I think that, also, it is good that SDSU and WULS-SGGW can reinforce the scientific bridge between two continents. For me coming to the USA, I recommend every SDSU student visit other countries. Don’t stay so long in a comfort zone, but make the first step. I made the first step to come to SDSU and now I have plans to visit even more countries.