Eight HSE University Students Win Leaders of Russia Competition
The Leaders of Russia competition is the flagship project of the Russia — Land of Opportunity presidential platform. This year, 15,420 people signed up for the Student category of the competition, 127 of whom made it to the final and 54 were named winners.
Among them were eight HSE University students: Alexander Aksyutin, Nikita Zaripov, Maria Korolkova, Nina Kulyulina, Kirill Medvedev, Alan Nartikoev, Mikhail Olyanchuk, and Kirill Fedorov.
Alexey Komissarov, Director of the Russia — Land of Opportunity non-profit organization
‘The competition got a fresh coat of paint when students joined it. We saw your analytical, leadership and organizational abilities, even in those of you with no management experience. Some of your parents, relatives and mentors also took part in Leaders of Russia—you could say that this project brings generations together.'
The finalists of the competition worked in teams to present their solutions to cases and real-world issues. Their management, analytical and creative skills were assessed by experts.
‘There are two components to ensuring objective assessment. The first is to properly prepare the judges using standardized technologies. The experts undergo training and have a clear understanding of the principles and rules of assessment. The second component is the methodology itself. In the final stages, the experts observe all participants and analyze how they interact with their teammates,’ explained Elena Kadyrova, member of the competition’s expert panel.
The Leaders of Russia management competition is one of 26 projects of the Russia — Land of Opportunity platform established at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The platform’s goals are to create the conditions to improve social mobility, facilitate personal and professional fulfilment, and create effective social elevators in Russia.
Maria Korolkova, third-year Political Science student
‘I applied to the Leaders of Russia competition because my mentor won in the Adult category and it inspired me. Plus, events like this always bring together talented people who not only interest and inspire you, but who you can start new projects with.
I really enjoyed solving cases in the competition. They were genuinely interesting and relevant, and solving them required not just management skills, but a structured problem-solving approach, general knowledge and an understanding of modern trends.
Our team members had the perfect mix of competencies and areas of interest. We not only solved tasks quickly, but we agreed to keep working together on a new project that combines IT and political science.
A key ingredient to winning the competition is the ability to factor in the interests of the people around you and to base your findings on data when solving cases. The leaders of tomorrow aren’t people who quickly and effectively solve cases by overcoming obstacles while believing that the ends justify the means—they are people who genuinely care about others.’
Nikita Zaripov, fourth-year Political Science student
‘Leaders of Russia is a management competition, so I treated it as a challenge that would let me test my limits, as well as identify my management strengths and areas to work on.
The competition attracts the best of the best—for each finalist, there were 121 candidates. It was a real challenge to get my opinion across to people with different, sometimes contradictory, viewpoints and defend it (that’s where my political science skills came in handy). There was an atmosphere of cooperation on the team, which turned the competition into a platform for dialogue and meeting new people.
For me, winning was the result of three years of working on myself. I’ve taken part in lots of team events and competitions that influenced my future growth and development. And perhaps being able to commit to the team, rather than show off as an individual, was the key factor in winning.’
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