A Journey of a Thousand Miles
Begins Dini Sejko’s road of research
Born in Albania, Dini Sejko is a PhD candidate of the CUHK Faculty of Law. He is writing a thesis on the transnational economic law of sovereign wealth funds and is expected to graduate by 2018.
- PhD in Laws, CUHK (2014-2018)
- LLM in International Economic Law, CUHK (2013-2014)
- BSc and MSc in Law, Bocconi University (2007-2013)
Prior to joining the PhD programme, Dini completed an LLM in International Economic Law at CUHK and a law degree at Bocconi University in Italy. His journey to study abroad, however, could be traced back to fourteen when he received a scholarship to study high school in Italy. During the LLM, Dini worked as a Research Assistant that sparked his interest in researching. In 2014, he joined the PhD programme to continue researching on his topic of interest.
Having gone through a long journey, Dini did not only step on the road towards the most advanced research degree in law, but is also embarking on a new chapter of his career pursuit.
You already got a law degree in Italy. What prompts you to study LLM in Hong Kong and at CUHK?
During my university study in Italy, I had an opportunity to do an internship in China, where I found the advantages to specialize in legal issues related to Asia. After consulting with some senior academics and considering the reputation of CUHK, I decided to pursue an LLM in International Economic Law here.
How did you find your interest in legal research?
I started the LLM programme with the intention to become a legal practitioner. During the LLM, I had an opportunity to work as a Research Assistant for the Faculty that developed my interest in what became my research topic for my PhD. It was then when I realized that I wanted to pursue a career as a legal researcher. In order to further research on the topic I am interested in, I joined the CUHK PhD in Laws Programme in 2014.
What do you think about the CUHK PhD in Laws Programme?
I have benefited from the many opportunities offered by the Faculty and the University over the past three years of PhD study. I have taken part in various local and international academic activities, such as the Faculty’s regular symposia for research students, the Hong Kong Law Research Postgraduate Symposium and the CUHK-Kyoto University Joint Research Postgraduate Workshop. They offered opportunities for me and my peer researchers to present and discuss our research projects from in-house, cross-institutional, as well as cross-cultural perspectives. All this has improved my skills and knowledge for research and thesis drafting.
Besides, I reckon one of the greatest advantages of the CUHK PhD in Laws programme is the well-established research network that the Faculty and the University have built with the other leading institutions. In my case, for example, I visited the University of Leeds Business School last year and this summer I will be doing an exchange at Melbourne Law School as a visiting researcher.
What considerations do you think a prospective PhD student should make before submitting an application? Any tips for them?
The first thing that came to one’s mind when considering a place to study is probably the institution’s rankings. With no doubt, rankings is important but having been a PhD student for three years, I think it is equally, if not more, important to consider whether the institution offers sufficient resources and support for its students. This includes the availability of suitable supervisors, resources such as libraries and funding for attending conferences and other academic activities, exchange opportunities, avenues for presentation and publication of work, etc.
If you are unsure which institution best suits your needs, the best way to assess is by first-hand experience. Since 2015, the CUHK Faculty of Law conducts a PhD Candidate Summer Workshop annually to fly successful applicants to Hong Kong, giving them the privilege to get to know our academic staff and research students, our campus, Hong Kong itself, and learn how to draft a good research proposal. I am glad that two of our inaugural workshop participants joined us for this PhD programme last September.
If CUHK is one of your choices, I suggest you apply under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme. It provides a more attractive package for successful candidates but of course competition is more intense when compared with the CUHK PhD Studentship scheme.
What is your career aspiration and do you think you can realize it?
I aspire to become a legal researcher first after graduation. My ultimate goal, however, is to pursue an academic position. CUHK Law has a vibrant research environment that is conducive to legal research. With its excellent resources and support, I believe I will be able to achieve my goals.
What makes Hong Kong appealing to you?
Hong Kong is a dynamic place where you can experience different facets of life. If you want to have a drink or experience the urban life, you can go to Lan Kwai Fong or Tsim Sha Tsui – there are lots of nice pubs and restaurants! If you want to slow down and relax yourself, you can go to Lamma Island or the other islands. Many people think that the skyline of Hong Kong is fascinating. I agree with that but I think the best part of Hong Kong is its beautiful natural sceneries and its countryside. ■