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Regular version of the site

'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

See also:

'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.