5 Things You Need to Know about the International College of Economics and Finance
How do ICEF graduates' careers work out? What do they learn at ICEF? What are the academic mobility opportunities? Oleg Zamkov, Deputy Director of the International College of Economics and Finance answers applicants' main questions.
What do ICEF BA graduates do?
Our graduates have a lot of options in terms of their future career on the global jobs market. Statistics show that about half of them go abroad for an MA or PhD in American or British universities, where they receive full grants. Those who do go abroad to study invariably enrol in the top universities – Harvard, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, MIT, California University, London Business School, Columbia University.
About 10% stay on in further education within Russia, for example they may enrol in the ICEF Financial Economics MA. This is a very strong programme, developed jointly with colleagues at LSE, and graduates receive a certificate from LSE along with their HSE diploma. Some select other MA programmes offered by HSE, NES, and other Russian universities.
Another 40% of BA graduates immediately find a good position in financial institutions, banks, consulting and audit companies such as VTB Group, Sberbank, McKinsey, E&Y, Gazprombank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citi, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and many others. Having worked for a while, many complete MBA programmes, for example at Harvard Business School, London Business School and elsewhere.
What ICEF diploma is more valuable, the one issued by Russia's HSE or the UK London University?
We don't look at the Russian and UK diplomas like that, they complement each other, make our graduates more competitive. The London University diploma helps them in enrolling in international universities and being hired by international companies, and the HSE's Russian diploma helps them build their careers in Russia, as it proves they are able to work in Russian conditions, they understand the local environment.
What courses can you choose while studying for this degree?
Our programme includes six different specialisms: economics, economics and management, economics and finance, banking and finance, accounting and finance, mathematics and economics. Each of them involves two-three professional subjects that are not taught at this level anywhere else within Russia.
All the courses are available to all students, but in one specialism some subjects are compulsory while others are voluntary or optional. Our students can take any other courses offered by HSE, from humanities to advanced math. And we organise our own ICEF faculty courses by asking students what they'd like to study e.g. trading and soft skills (negotiation, leadership, communication). You can choose MA faculty courses – on mergers and acquisitions, investment analysis, applied financial modelling. You can also learn a second foreign language – French, German, or Spanish.
What professional skills do you get during a BA?
We offer a wide range of professional skills, in line with UK programmes, which demand a profound study of a small number of subjects. But we also take the Russian educational approach into account, which involves a broader range of disciplines. So we try to keep a balance between these two approaches.
We have a career development centre, and from the first year we offer training sessions, familiarise the students with their future professions, with a whole range of career options, and tell them what they would be able to do in an investment bank, the real sector, consulting, and how to build an academic career if that's their choice. We prepare them for the interview process. We regularly hold round tables with HR from the major companies and discuss the extent to which they are satisfied with our graduates, and how we can improve their education.
What kind of exchange programmes are there?
Our students take part in HSE's general exchange programmes and also in our own. Summer schools are the most effective, especially the LSE summer school in London. ICEF sends six of its best students each year to these summer schools on full grants, and others attend with our organisational support. Many students take part in exchanges in the first semester of their third year of studies, experience shows this is the best time. In past years, students mainly chose European universities, LSE, Tilburg, Rotterdam. From next year we’ll launch an exchange programme with Bilgi University in Istanbul, which is also developing a successful double diploma programme with London University.
HSE has signed an agreement for a double degree programme with the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The agreement encompasses the Master's programme in Comparative Social Research and its German counterpart will be the ‘East European Studies’ programme.