'I Believe That Everything Will Work out for the Best'
International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) MA graduate Maria Titova will this year continue her studies at the University of California, San Diego (US), where she will study for a PhD in Economics. Maria has received an offer of studying, fully funded, on 8 different PhD programmes in the United States and Great Britain, including University of Wisconsin - Madison, University of Rochester, Boston University, Boston College, Pennsylvania State University, Washington University in Saint-Louis, University College London, and the Vienna Graduate School of Economics.
— Maria, why did you choose economics, after all, you started in another discipline?
— Yes, I graduated from my BA programme 'Applied Mathematics and Informatics' at the Computer Sciences Faculty at HSE. And when I was thinking about which university to enrol in then I automatically decided on math – because it opens so many different paths for future development. But at the same time, studying pure math was not something I ever wanted to do, so I was never going to enrol in MSU's Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics. HSE's programme combines economics and applied math, and that's why I enrolled in HSE – and I never looked back.
— And how did you come to choose the ICEF MA programme?
— Here there is a good balance between economic and financial disciplines, and there's a very high standard of teaching and of the programmes offered across the board. The first year at ICEF was very economics heavy, and then the second year I took part in an exchange with Tilburgun University (Netherlands).
— Was studying in the Netherlands very different from your MA?
— Yes, but the difference was not down to the countries. I basically found myself in the 2nd year of a PhD programme. There were no exams in a lot of subjects but you did have to do coursework. And lectures barely existed, one student presented an article, and the others listened and discussed it. My experience of studying in the Netherlands strengthened my desire to pursue a PhD after finishing my MA.
There is a good balance between economic and financial disciplines, and there's a very high standard of teaching at ICEF
— Аnd was it easy to fit in with the international group?
— Not particularly, although some of the problems were down to the fact that they'd been studying together for a year already, but I did meet quite a lot of HSE students there, which was a great help.
— How did you choose the University of California in San Diego?
— In fact the final choice was down to the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where people from HSE's Economic Sciences Faculty are gpoing this year, the University of Rochester, and the University of California in San Diego. It was really hard to choose, becuase they all offered the same grant support, they all had strong programmes and professors I wanted to work with. I ended up choosing the climate I preferred – it's warm in San Diego and after time in the Netherlands I really wanted some sun.
— How do you see your life five years after finishing your PhD?
— That's a difficult question. I don't plan much, and mainly take decisions spontaneously. I think that however much you think through something, it always works out differently. I think after my PhD I'll join the job market. There is a centralized event at which all graduates and all universities that need professors get together to find each other. ICEF takes part in it.
— Is your spontaneity about a hunger for adventure or just the trust you have in life?
— The second. I think everything will work out for the best.
— So, you've chosen the teaching profession?
— More research, but as a rule, people both carry out research and teach. I want to study microeconomic theory.
I love HSE, and I don’t think I'll find any university in Russia that is its equal in terms of its advanced teaching and research activities
— Did you have teaching experience?
— Yes I taught at ICEF while I was studying for my MA. I ran a seminar on game theory twice a week. This course was very difficult and I think it would have been harder for me to teach it had it been easier. Because the students start to relax and stop paying attention – while with this, nobody could relax.
— Was it hard to find the right approach to the students, especially since there was not a large age gap between you?
— Yes, the age issue was really stressful. But the complexity of the subject helped, the students respected me not only because I understood it, but because I could also explain it to them.
— Did you get some tricky questions?
— Yes, ICEF people are very canny. Sometimes I was scared that they might catch me off guard with their questions, and in the worst cases I took a pause and answered their questions later.
— Are you planning to live and work in Russia after completing your PhD?
— That's a very difficult question, I was asked that at the Embassy when I was getting my visa, and I said I wanted to come back to HSE. And that is true, I want to work at HSE, and after that – where I'll end up – who knows. I love HSE, and I don’t think I'll find any university in Russia that is its equal in terms of its advanced teaching and research activities.
Anastasia Chumak, for ICEF HSE
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is it difficult to enroll in a university abroad? Where do Russian students go wrong when they start an overseas training programme? Will artificial intelligence eventually replace humans in the domain of Finance? We talked to Dr. Georgy Chabakauri of The London School of Economics and ICEF International Academic Committee to get answers to these and many other questions.
An Endowment for the Development of the International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) has been created within the HSE Endowment Fund to provide financial support for the ICEF’s long-term projects. Thanks to the endowment, the ICEF will also be able to direct more funds to research and expand the range of opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its students.
Graduates of HSE University’s International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) traditionally receive their degrees against a backdrop of grand fireplaces, an oak staircase, and a balcony overlooking the Kremlin. This is because the ICEF holds its commencement ceremony at the British ambassador’s residence on the Sofiyskaya Embankment. And this is not by accident. Graduates of the ICEF’s bachelor’s programme receive two degrees from HSE and the University of London, respectively, while graduates of the ICEF’s Master’s Programme in ‘Financial Economics’ receive a degree from HSE and the London School of Economics. This year marked the ICEF’s 19th commencement ceremony.
The Second ICEF Conference in Applied Economics will be held at HSE University on September 14. The HSE News service spoke with organizers and participants about the upcoming full-day event, which features eight papers presented by renowned specialists from Russia and across Europe and concludes with an evening dinner.
Olesya Kondrakhina, ICEF Principles of Accounting lecturer, Assistant Lecturer for the Management Accounting programme at the University of London and three-time winner of the Best Teacher award at ICEF, spoke on how to keep a lecture hall full of students interested in accounting, the latest technical tools in her arsenal and a childhood dream.