We are Distinguished by our Ability to Think Outside the Box
A team of students on the Financial Economics MA course has won the Russian finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. The winners talk about how their studies at the International College of Economics and Finance help them achieve their professional goals.
The HSE news site has already reported that a team of students from the International College of Economics and Finance for the first time won the Russian finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. Four teams, from Moscow's leading universities, competed in the finals. Each had just 10 minutes to present their view on the development prospects for a real company – in this case, Tinkoff Credit Systems bank.
In their presentation and answering questions from the jury, ICEF students talked about the bank's business, gave a financial analysis of it, an approach to evaluating the company, and also argued for their key recommendations to potential investors – to buy shares in the bank.
Learning how to work in a team
For three of the team – Anna Tikhonova, Anastasia Tikhonova and Suren Avanyan – this was not their first time working together. 'We have already worked on joint projects and delivered great results together on the case-study championships, so we were really glad that each of us made it through and were selected for the HSE team,' said Anna Tikhonova. 'Working together was excellent: we helped and supported each other, worked together remotely to carry out high-quality research, reports, and compile the video and presentation.'
'Together, we thought through the structure of our approach to difficult questions, we listened to each other and offered each other advice,' Anastasia Tikhonova said. 'I think this was one of the most important factors in ensuring the quality of our final work. With this volume of work, carried out over such a lengthy period of time, the competition lasted almost six months, it is really important that everything is agreed, thought through, and that all team members are confident in the analysis completed.'
Another teammate, Ksenia Kushner, said the experience gained at ICEF also helped boost the student's success. 'MA courses at ICEF involve courses such as corporate finance and direct investment, in which we did Harvard Business School case studies in groups of three to five people,' Ksenia said. 'And in classes on company evaluation in M&A deals most of the examples set were case studies on financial modelling in various different industries, and we also worked in teams on that – holding 'negotiations' with other teams on the potential sale or purchase of a company.'
'The MA course involves projects on which you can and must learn to work as a team, such as the Private Equity case study,' Suren Avanyan said.
Why enrol in an MA course at ICEF?
The opportunity to learn how to work in a team in conditions very close to those found in the real world is not the only reason that students choose to study at ICEF. ‘I enrolled in an MA at ICEF for one reason, I thought it was the strongest MA course offered in Finance, that it gives the most current approach to theory and practice in the financial world,’ said Suren Avanyan. ‘Teaching is in English and professors are invited in from respected educational institutions such as the LSE and Said Business School. Studying at ICEF gives me the opportunity to develop myself in those very areas that I chose back during my third year in undergraduate studies.’
Anastasia Tikhonova and Ksenia Kushner also named the high number of applied courses on finance, and faculties that are designed to be of use in real life. ‘Another ‘plus’ for me is the focused nature of the ICEF MA,’ Anastasia adds. ‘Every student gets individual attention and a significant amount of one-on-one time, and students’ views on improving the course are taken into account.’
‘I chose this MA because it enables me to deepen my knowledge of finance, attend courses by practicing tutors, and also to practice my English language, as it is the main teaching language,’ Anna Tikhonova says. ‘I enjoy studying and I have never been scared of hard work, quite the reverse, it motivates me. The ability to think outside the box is what distinguishes HSE students from those at other universities.’
Having triumphed at the Russian stage of the contest, ICEF students are heading to the European finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. Succeeding there is a short-term goal. The main question is what to do after graduating from ICEF.
‘All professional paths are open to us, and the choice depends on every student’s personal goals,’ says Ksenia Kushner. ‘Some continue with studies up to PhD level, most start building their career in investment banking or consulting firms, and some join top western companies in the real sector. As for me personally, I plan to build my career in the investment banking sector.’
'Conferences Publicly Push Important Research to New Levels'
During his visit to ICEF, Sergey Tsyplakov, a professor in finance at Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina, delivered a lecture to students and contributed to ICEF-CInSt 11th International Moscow Finance Conference as a keynote speaker. In this interview, Sergey shares what surprised him about ICEF students, why scientific paper reviewing may not always be objective, and why people on Wall Street read academic research.
ICEF Graduates Celebrated at HSE Cultural Centre
The class of 2022 faced the difficulties of the pandemic, moving to the new campus in Pokrovka, and completing their studies in a difficult geopolitical climate. This year's graduation ceremony was held at HSE University itself, allowing the graduates to celebrate their achievements together with their families, whose support was praised by HSE Rector, Nikita Anisimov, as well as hear praise from other members of the HSE management team.
‘The Opportunity to Study at an International Level Has Played a Major Role in My Career’
Anatoly Braverman graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the ICEF programme in 2006, received invaluable experience conducting deals at a major Russian oil company and personally witnessed the history of investments in the Russian economy by becoming one of the first employees of the RDIF in 2011. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr Braverman explains why international education is especially useful when working for the betterment of the Russian economy, the nature of ‘anti-virus’ investments and how the RDIF directed them towards the development of the Sputnik V vaccine, and much more.
ICEF Graduation Ceremony Hosted by HSE Cultures Centre
ICEF hosted its first in-person graduation ceremony since the pandemic led to the restrictions. Diplomas were awarded to two classes. Hosted by HSE Cultures Centre, the day-long ceremony unfolded in sessions, one for bachelor’s students and one for master’s. Congratulating graduands were the faculty of ICEF HSE and professors of the University of London (LU) and the London School of Economics (LSE).
‘I Studied as an International Student at ICEF, but Never Felt Like One’
Tonka Lange graduated from the HSE International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) in 2008 and then entered the LSE Master’s programme. After five years of working at Goldman Sachs, she got her MBA at INSEAD and in 2021, started working as Senior Treasury Analyst at Amazon (Singapore). In this interview, Tonka talks about how a finance graduate can survive a crisis, what to do to get the most out of the LSE master’s programme, and the main advantages of an MBA degree.
'It's Exciting to Study in a Rapidly Changing World'
Recognized card game masters claim that victory is possible only after making a thorough analysis of the likely combinations contained in your opponent’s cards, making it a literal application of data analytics to game theory. Anastasia Erastova, now a data scientist at the New York office of BNP Paribas, graduated from ICEF with honours. At the time, she was also the Russian vice-champion at bridge. In an interview with Success Builder, she explained why mathematics and gambling often go hand in hand, the advantages of studying next door to Wall Street and how math students can get a work visa in the United States.
HSE University Graduates Share Their Thoughts on Working Abroad
At a recent webinar of the Master’s programme ‘Financial Economics’, held at ICEF (International College of Economics and Finance), presenters explained why the programme is unique and what sort of career prospects are open to alumni. Graduates of the programme, working at major global companies, shared their personal experiences, spoke about the key benefits of training and gave valuable advice to those preparing to work in international companies.
'After ICEF, It’s Easy to Enter a Western University because You’ve Already Studied in an International Environment'
Dmitry Storcheus set out to become an economist, but then shifted gears abruptly and went into mathematics. With a Master’s degree from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University, he now works as a software engineer for Google and continues to conduct research with his academic supervisor and work on his PhD thesis. Here, he tells Success Builder why ICEF Mathematics graduates are head and shoulders above their U.S. competitors, why Facebook and Google are opening departments at universities, what ‘self-learning neural networks’ are and whether they threaten to unleash a real-life ‘Terminator’ against humanity.
When the Borders Are Closed, Study ‘Abroad’ in a Double Degree Programme
This year, alternatives to studying abroad are as relevant as never before. HSE University annually launches new joint programmes with world’s biggest universities. One of HSE’s oldest and most recognized double degree programmes is the ICEF bachelor’s programme, in which students can earn a degree not only from HSE University, but from the University of London as well. Below, we talk about the advantages of such a degree, career opportunities after graduation, and the programme prerequisites.
HSE ICEF Receives High Praise from University of London
The University of London (UoL) has completed the monitoring of the performance of Teaching Centres that operate under the Teaching Centres Recognition Framework. Upon consideration of the information gathered, the performance achieved by International College of Economics and Finance has been rated as excellent.