‘Nothing Inspires and Moves Like HSE’
A Harry Potter-themed university graduation party has been held at HSE. This year, the party was completely organized by HSE students, they selected everything – from the location to the entertainment, and not only graduates, but also their friends and family were invited.
The first HSE university-wide graduation party took place in 2013. Since then, graduates have traveled through time with Marty and Doc and been Jedi Masters in a galaxy far, far away. This year they were students at Hogwarts, as Jagger Hall Club was transformed into the famous school for wizards for one night only. The choice of the theme makes sense, since HSE is often compared with Hogwarts, and the first book about the adventures of the boy wizard was published exactly 20 years ago.
This year’s graduation was a big event for HSE as a whole, attracting teachers, staff, graduates, their friends and family. For the first time, the party was organized by the Alumni Association and the HSE Producer Centre – a project that was recently created at the university. HSE students volunteered as managers and entertainers dressed as the book characters. The Anacondaz band provided the music.
HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov got into the spirit of the theme and delivered his opening speech dressed in a gown and a hat, holding a magic wand. ‘You know, in the life of every individual, there are several milestones, and after they achieve each of them, for example, when they are admitted to a school or a university, they think that now they will finally be free. But it doesn’t happen. Since, here, I am a good magician (I’ve even chosen a white wand), but an honest one, I have to say that it’s even worse there, through that door. But you’ll always have your memories about how free and happy you were as students’, Yaroslav Kuzminov said. ‘I still remember my MSU, and wish that you all remember yourselves as students, as young people. The most important thing is that you’ll always be able to come back to this freedom for an hour or two, or ten, since each of you will have an eternal pass to your alma mater.’
We talked to some of the graduates and asked them to recall their most magical moments at HSE (spoiler: almost all of them said that the most magical thing is the university’s atmosphere).
Ekaterina Larionova, graduate in Fundamental and Computational Linguistics and MA graduate in Communication Design
I believe something huge is going to happen here today. I was at the same party two years ago, when I finished my undergraduate programme, but there were fewer people, and there was nothing like the atmosphere created by the organizers here today.
When I think about HSE, I really recall how hard we studied, which seemed like a tragedy back then, but today I understand that it was a huge experience, a very useful and essential one.
I can’t point to just one most magical thing at HSE, since it’s impossible to pack six years into one memory. It was great to go backpacking. We went out into the wild, into nature, sang songs by the bonfire, looked up into the starry skies, I can’t think of a better place to make friends with the professors. We really became friends, and now visit them at the university sometimes. All my positive emotions are mostly related not to certain events, but to the atmosphere and the relationships.
This is my second graduation party and it feels like the first one was only yesterday. I think everything is going great today. I’ll probably need more time to draw my conclusions, but as of now, I love it, especially the gorgeous HSE Orchestra, which is a real delight and entertains us at HSE events.
These two years of studies have been magical for me, since my choice of master’s programme was more conscious than that of the undergraduate one, and I wanted to get not only a degree, but knowledge and pleasure as well. As a result, I got knowledge and pleasure, and in fact I’m ready to continue.
Working at HSE shows how much I like it here. I’ve made attempts to leave, but nothing inspires and moves like HSE.
Maria Kudryavtseva, graduate in Sociology, and Alyona Kurlyanova, 2016 graduate and first-year student of Strategic Corporate Finance
Maria: The most magical things were the people and the atmosphere, professors giving us not only knowledge, but their outlook and views of the world. I believe the most important thing I got from HSE is a way of thinking, an alternative attitude to the world, the ability to look at things from different perspectives. The perspective I had before HSE changed drastically, and now I think: ‘HSE, thank you so much!’
Alyona: I agree, HSE teaches us to look at the world as a whole. We not only learn subjects, but think more broadly, and strategically.
Maria: Of course, I have some favorite professors at HSE. There are a few of them, but I was most impressed with Kirill Gavrilov, Elena Berdysheva, who was my academic supervisor, and Vadim Radaev. They are so amazing that you look at them and think: ‘I want to be like them, to think and develop like they do’.