"MIB was the right choice for me and my personal and professional development"
Vincent Kersuzan (MIB alumnus 2017) and Nadezhda Malkina (MIB alumna 2018) on their personal and professional development at MIB.
Let’s start with the studies first. You both are MIB alumni. How did you end up in the MIB program? Why did you choose Russia?
V/ I had just finished a Master's Degree in France and was already working, but after few months I decided to broaden my knowledge in an international environment outside my comfort zone. Moreover, I had already been in Russia before and wanted to have a chance to spend more time there. MIB was the perfect combination for me to reach all my goals from professional perspective and personal curiosity.
N/ I was working as an Economist in a big company in Moscow. However, I felt my current degree didn't allow me to find and obtain higher positions in an international environment. After meeting Vincent and when he told me about the MIB program and everything related to it, I felt it was the right choice for me and my personal and professional development.
Think back on your first day of classes. How was it? And how was your last class?
V/ It took me some time to remember my first day in class, because so much has happened during those two years... But now that I do, I should say that the prevalent memory of mine was the excitement and happiness to discover the program and to be introduced more in-depth to the future year. The last day was actually even more sad than just the end of the two years of development and great joy with my classmates: it was also the time to leave Moscow.
N/ The first day was the introduction class, the moment when we started to be fully involved in the MIB program and meet our classmates and partners for business projects for the next two years. Since I obtained my Specialist's Degree five years earlier, I was a bit anxious to come back on the university benches and to take up the habit of studying. However, all went very well, it was the perfect kick-off for an amazing experience.
What were the most exciting or challenging moments at the MIB program for you?
V/ The most challenging moment was definitely to work full-time while pursuing such an intense and demanding program. But it is a part of the excitement too: to achieve great results with challenging conditions makes it even more rewarding. We also had plenty of exciting moments: our first week, our master classes, thesis defense, graduation... All of them will be remembered forever.
N/ The most challenging task for me was some of the group projects that we finished with my classmates after several long sleepless nights, while some of us had to go to work only a couple of hours later. It was tough but worth it and I proved I could do these challenging tasks. The most exciting was definitely my exchange term in Luxembourg, a great opportunity to enhance my international profile and discover a new business and studying environment.
Dear Nadezhda, please tell us a bit about your experience abroad. Why did you choose Luxembourg as your mobility destination? How was it and in what way was it useful?
N/ I chose Luxembourg because of the wide range of courses, and the famous incubators present there. I wanted to be placed at the heart of Europe, learn more about the start-up environment and also the European way of doing business and their way of life. It was very useful for me since it showed me that I am flexible, adaptable and open-minded to any kind of new working place.
Dear Vincent, please share your personal and working experience abroad. What was it like and how did it benefit you?
V/ Working abroad is always a tough decision to make. Especially in a country where you don't speak the main language fluently. However, this challenge shows your resilience and adaptability to a challenging and stressful environment. I think, after being able to work in so many different countries, I am unfortunately not too surprised by the cultural differences in the workplace and when dealing with partners from all over the world, which makes me in return a highly adaptable individual, I would say.
How and when did you meet? Was the MIB involved? Was it more exciting or harder to study in the program as a couple?
We met in 2016, just before Nadezhda's birthday. It was at Lubyanka metro station... MIB was not involved directly, though it was while coming back from my classes (V) that I got the chance to cross her road. (N) While myself, I was going back home from work...
N + V/ While we studied with a one year difference, we would say that it was more exciting for us: indeed we could understand each other, see what the other was going through during exams or thesis, and also support each other.
We would like to congratulate you on your marriage. What are your best wedding memories?
V+N/ Our best wedding memory is, of course, when we said yes to each other. But there are so many of them... When we left the ZAGSsurrounded by our friends and families. When Nadezhda arrived to the Church (V). When we joined our guests for the Wedding Banquet. When we had our first dance (N). And when we had to fight for the biggest slice of karavay!
What are your future plans?
N + V / We are moving in together, and will now take time for us as a couple to enjoy as much as possible. First things first: honeymoon in Cambodia.
What would you recommend to our new students in terms of studying and living in Moscow?
V/ Well, the buddy program of HSE for foreign student is extremely efficient and well organized. And while it could always be frightening to move to a new country, Moscow is a very safe and beautiful city, and Russians - though not often smiling a lot at the first encounter - are particularly friendly, nice and welcoming.
For foreigners I would say it is always good to know at least the alphabet as a first step before all others when you move in a country with a different one - even when you don't speak the language, it will be useful for choosing what you want to eat and find the street that you look for. And for all students in general, to remind themselves that the schedule of the MIB program is a superb opportunity for them to work or do an internship at the same moment, and they should definitely not miss it. The MIB office is always here to give advices to them on this matter.
Which romantic places would you recommend for dating in Moscow, and abroad?
Istanbul is definitely one of the romantic cities. Prague also. But we have so many places to go now... so we will be able to tell you more later. In Moscow there are several romantic and sweet places. Parks such as Tsaritsyno, restaurants such as the White Rabbit, and for a romantic drink with a view there are nice places, among them the City Space at Paveletskaya.