‘After Graduating from HSE, I Did Not Have Any Difficulties Finding a Job’
Why get a second Master’s degree? How difficult is it to switch from public administration to studying business and finance? Is it possible to combine work and study? We talked with Vincent Kersuzan, a French graduate of HSE’s Master of International Business, about these and other questions.
Vincent earned a master’s in public administration in France in 2015. After completing an internship that was part of his degree, he decided to change his career path completely and do a new master’s degree abroad. HSE University Moscow came to him as a logical choice—thanks to its high reputation and a wide range of English-taught programmes. So, Vincent enrolled in HSE’s Master of International Business. He graduated in 2017.
The studies were intense and covered a broad range of topics and subjects. Maybe the most challenging course for me—coming from a public administration and political sciences background—was finance, at the time. Interestingly, Russian language and adapting to living in a new city and a new country was not a challenge, even though my level of Russian was bad and is currently still not as good as I wish.
The classes in Master of International Business are in the evenings and on Saturdays, making it possible to have a job while you are a student. I had internships and worked as a freelancer for startups, so coping with all my work and study responsibilities was a challenge—especially since I was a student with a student’s life! One of the internships I did was at the French-Russian Chamber of Commerce where I was intern in the marketing team.
All the teachers from HSE in general, and MIB in particular, are highly inspiring and know how to share their knowledge. The quality of their research is very high. The MIB teachers and professors were always available to discuss our term papers, to give us advice about doing research and building our knowledge. Irina Kratko, Ekaterina Entina, and Vladimir Lysniak were the professors who inspired me the most.
For my thesis, I chose the following topic ‘Business interest groups lobbying on behalf of multinational companies: the CETA case’—something that touches policy making and busines, and which is always useful to keep in mind in any field you work in.
I am still in touch with my former professors and fellow students. I even have the chance to sometimes work on blockchain-related projects with two of them.
Being able to build professional connections out of our friendship shows the strength of HSE network.
Fantastic Moscow Atmosphere and Exploring the Country
I used to rent an apartment in Moscow. I lived first closed to Pushkinskaya, then moved to Preabrazhenskaya Plochad, and later to Prospekt Vernadskogo. The life in Moscow is culturally rich, and frankly amazing: from concerts, to sport events, to open air activities, and many unexpected events in parks, you have always something to do and wide variety of choice.
The 9th of May, the Defender of the Fatherland Day, the Women’s Day were also among moments when you could feel the life and culture of the country as a fully local resident. I had also the chance to be there during the 2018 Football World Cup: the atmosphere was outstanding—and I had the chance to see my birth country win the cup in the country I was living in.
I traveled across Russia, using mainly the excellent train network. The trains are always on time —even after thousands of kilometers, at the exact minute. I did something which is very common among foreigners, but, however, always a curiosity for Russians: the Trans-Siberian trip, from Moscow to Ulan-Ude, stopping by several cities on the way at the Baikal Lake. The long distance, so many different places, people, religions, mysticism and local culture you meet gives visitors truly beautiful feelings and life-long memories.
I also had the chance to travel several times to the great city of Saint Petersburg – a state-of-art architectural jewel. But Moscow will always remain my favorite city to live in.
Life in Russia was full of surprises. One of the adventures was losing my migration card twice [this tiny piece of paper you receive at the airport when you enter the country as a foreigner, that you should always have on you and that you need to leave the country]. The second time was 24h after just receiving a replacement for the first one. It is still considered a fun fact among my friends I met during my time in Moscow. However, for the peace of mind of foreigners who will be reading this interview, I must say that the process of getting it again for the third time went well, and it was my only administrative adventure and challenge.
Starting a Career
After graduating from HSE, I did not have any difficulties finding a job. My HSE studies in Moscow were always well considered. When my interlocutors did not have an opinion about the university, it was always a starting point for a discussion about it, giving me a chance to explain what was the my thesis about, what HSE University Moscow is like, and why I decided to study there.
I am now Communication & Marketing Manager in a Fintech startup which is part of the Societe Generale group (same group than Rosbank). We develop a solution available in the EU area, which is a Banking-as-a-Service platform—n short, a solution that allows fintechs and corporations to develop their own neobank, marketplace, and other payment services using our license and technology (100% API-based).
As my title says, I am in charge of communications, which includes developing our presence, our partnerships and awareness about our company. Although we have an independent strategy, we work closely with Société Générale group on some topics, as well as with our partners such as Mastercard.
I am proud of the high level of recognition for my work I feel in my current company, and I am proud to be part of this team and to work every day along those amazing professionals. What’s more, I am excited to be working in an incredibly interesting, challenging and deeply innovative field of Fintech.
The many courses I had the chance to follow during the MIB curriculum, related to Marketing, Finance, and business-related topics & cases we covered gave me a good background and inspiration to develop my skills.
Though I am a newcomer in the work field, I have already worked in four different countries—France, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Belgium. It might not be much of an achievement for many people, but it has always been very important for me to be able to be employed anywhere in the world. The knowledge and skills I gained at HSE, as well as the experience of living abroad, have made it easier for me to quickly adapt to new fields and work environments.
HSE University welcomes applicants from all over the world and offers not only different levels of study, but also different formats in English and Russian, online and offline. International applicants can apply for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in a separate admissions process for foreign applicants and receive scholarships with full or partial tuition fee coverage.
When applying to a Bachelor’s programme, including five English-taught programmes in Moscow, it is possible to submit international certificates you have received in English and mathematics, such as IELTS, TOEFL, A-Level and other international exams and they will be recognized by HSE University, so taking entrance exams in relevant subjects will not be required.
Undergraduate applicants can test their chances of admission now by taking mock tests. Master’s applicants also have the opportunity to get a preliminary assessment of their portfolio and communicate with their programme of choice online.