Aisylu Garayeva - Winner of the Vladimir Potanin Scholarship Competition
Aisylu Garaeva, a student of the program “Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia”, became the winner of the Vladimir Potanin Fund Scholarship Competition.
On February 24, the results of the Vladimir Potanin Scholarship Competition 2021/2022 were summed up. The purpose of event is to support graduate students, their professional development and personal potential. About 6,000 applications were submitted for the competition and only one tenth of the candidates were able to be honored by being named winners.
This year, the Higher School of Economics took 1st place in terms of the number of winners, among them Aisylu Garaeva, a 2nd-year student of the master program “Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia” of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics of the Higher School of Economics.
We managed to interview the winner.
How did you know about the scholarship competition?
I found out about the scholarship quite accidentally, thanks to the website of our master's program. Last spring, looking through the news, I saw a publication dedicated to the winner of 2021, Yulia Nikolaevna Alekseeva. Interested in the contest, I decided to learn more about it. I specified some of the issues with the collection of documents from Yulia Nikolaevna herself [I was lucky to have such a mentor]. Despite some difficulties, I managed to successfully prepare all the documents for the application. And I'm already in the competition [laughs].
What motivated you to participate?
I was attracted by the concept of the contest itself. There are no tasks or tickets for which you could prepare in advance. You can't pre-learn [memorize] the answers. The competition is held among representatives of various scientific fields. Mostly, a set of personal qualities is evaluated, without a bias towards a certain specialty.
What difficulties did you encounter when passing the competition?
I think there were two of them on my way:
Firstly, it is writing an essay at the first stage. The main requirement was to analyze the leadership qualities of a representative of your own specialization. It took me quite a lot of time to, so to speak, choose an object [laughs]. In the course of my reflections, I came to a description of the leadership qualities of our program professor and, concurrently, my supervisor Sergey Vyacheslavovich Shaposhnikov. You know, students are sometimes distracted people, sometimes they lose motivation in their studies. However, Sergey Vyacheslavovich manages to motivate us to achieve high goals [in particular mine].
Secondly, a meeting with other participants of the scholarship competition at the second stage. As I said earlier, the scholarship competition brings together representatives of various fields: medicine, information technology, linguistics, Oriental studies and others. Therefore, I was worried that there might be misunderstandings or prejudices about my field of activity. However, everything went surprisingly well. It turned out to be quite easy and even useful to find a common language with representatives of other fields of science.
What are the features of passing the last stage in the conditions of covid reality?
As last year, the implementation of the final stage took place on the Zoom platform. All tasks and competitions were held in the digital space. It took about 8 hours to brainstorm at the final stage. Thanks to the professionalism of the experts, this time flew by imperceptibly.
Do you feel like a future leader?
In a certain sense - Yes [laughs]. I like to bring people together, create an atmosphere for their interaction.
However, I would not like to be a leader just for the sake of the idea of leadership. I am not supposed to give commands like a strict boss. Rather, I am an ideological motivator, ready to imperceptibly adjust the movement of people to achieve a better result.
What knowledge would you share with the students of our program?
A couple of years ago, I heard that a true leader learns the peculiarities of his team and strives to distribute responsibilities with knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each member. This is not the person who knows everything best and can solve everything himself.
This idea was confirmed by me during the competition.
There are many different people, so I would like the students of our program [and each of us] to learn to listen and hear each other. Sometimes we think that this person, book, theory does not deserve our attention. Because we already know everything. However, it is this delusion that leads us to even greater deception.
We thank Aisylu for her time!
Congratulations on your victory and wish you success in the future!