I feel really lucky to be here
Ms. Zainab Ilyassa, 1st year MIB student from Morocco on her first impressions from MIB.
Prior education: Business management diploma, major in international trade
Professional areas of interest: International business, global economy
Languages proficient in: French, English, Classic Arabic
Hobbies: Reading books, music, networking
Dear Zainab, could you please share with us, what was your motivation to pursue a master’s degree in Russia? And how do you find your experience of studying and living in Moscow so far?
I was thinking about getting back to school for a second master degree abroad and as a typical Moroccan youth, my first thoughts went to France and Canada as potential host countries for my new adventure. However, it happened that I missed submission deadline for French universities, so a family friend came over and brought up Russia as an option to be considered. I went to the Russian Cultural Center for information, I looked for master programs in Moscow and here I am! Whereas I have never had Russia on my study destinations list, I would say that I feel really lucky to be here, surrounded by talented people, learning new things on a daily basis and enjoying my journey more that I would if I had been dragged to other destinations.
Why, out of all the master’s programs offered by the leading Russian universities, you decided to pursue Master of International Business at the HSE?
When I started looking for master programs in Russia, I had already made my mind that I want it to be in “International Business”. I have found some interesting programs in Saint Petersburg; however, the moment the MIB website page came across on my laptop screen, I checked the curriculum, the courses and boom! That is exactly what I was looking for. The program covers practically all what could be related to international business including legal and political aspects. It also internalizes courses that I am personally very interested in such as global economy and world’s business cultures. Such inclusiveness and at the same time diversity in approaching international business is seldom to find in master programs.
Almost 3 months of studies at HSE MIB are over. How were your expectations met?
My expectations have been exceeded! Every day, I feel blessed to study along with people from different parts of the globe. Each class discussion is a rich exchange of ideas and a valuable opportunity to learn. On the other hand, the lecturers who taught me so far are wonderfully dedicated teachers and mentors who don’t spare much to guide us through several challenges that this program embodies.
Can you share with us some of the most exciting or challenging moments?
For me, the most challenging moments and the best ones too, were when I was lost in the city looking for a particular address or just looking for a way out of the metro station and people helped me out. It was unbelievable when people, even though they did not speak English, noticed how frustrated I was and stopped to offer help. Some of them even insisted to accompany me to make sure I was at the right place. I won't lie, the language barrier is a great challenge; learning Russian will be a long and difficult process, but I am not worried about it. Actually I'm more excited than scared, like I said before, people here are very generous and helpful and they always try to help, I've already made some great friends, so I am sure that this journey I'm taking will only get better with time.
Courses and lecturers you find the most exciting, and why?
At this stage of the program, I find all lecturers very exciting and have a lot to offer in term of knowledge. However, it is always more interesting to listen to lecturers who combine academic knowledge with insights from their real professional experience. And I believe we are lucky to have many of them in the MIB program.
Do you consider any mobility program offered by MIB?
One of the reasons why I applied for this program was the possibility of having an exchange semester abroad. I am considering the mobility program and I believe it’s a great opportunity for MIB students to challenge the knowledge they acquired in HSE in a different learning environment and this would definitely expand it more.
In your opinion, what are the most important and useful skills you acquire while being an MIB student?
I would say that being an MIB student helped me sharpen my presentation skills and critical thinking. We tend to do so many projects that require presenting teamwork results which enhances our ability to speak in public but also open discussions that stimulate asking questions and calling-out critical thinking to build-up the answers.
What are your career plans? Which country and business areas would you choose for your future life?
I am still weighing my options concerning my career choice. This program opened my eyes on so many levels and I am certain that after two years I will be equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in any career path in the field of international business.
What would you recommend to our prospective international students?
I would like to invite international students to come to Moscow and study in HSE. The university is a favorable environment for learning, exchange and fulfillment. They will have the opportunity to discover the city, the culture and the language in a very unique way but also showcase their countries’ cultures in special features.