HSE Alumni Ambassadors Unite the World
HSE graduates work in dozens of countries, and to this end, the university has founded the HSE Alumni Ambassador project to unite them in a single network. HSE Ambassadors bring together local communities, organize business and informal events with HSE graduates, and provide advice to prospective students.
The alumni community covers literally the whole world. Our alumni work in New Zealand, Latin America, Indonesia, on Kamchatka and in the Arab Emirates, as well as some slightly less exotic places, such as Great Britain, with, for example, 141 HSE graduates working in London.
The idea of the HSE Alumni Ambassadors project came from the HSE Alumni Association, which decided to create a kind of university representative offices abroad, where graduates can come for support, communication, ideas, and to meet likeminded people.
‘When we launched HSE Family, our graduates got an opportunity to interact with each other’, said Dmitry Balkunets, Director of the HSECentre for Alumni Affairs, ‘And now we have gone further and created the ambassadors project with some of the most active graduates living abroad. Last year we managed to organize a big meeting of graduates living in Germany with HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov. From now on, similar meetings will be organized by our ambassadors in London, New York, San Francisco, Paris and other cities. HSE embassies will strengthen graduates’ links with their alma mater in various forms, and spread the culture of HSE to the world’.
The main purpose of the programme is to help develop both business and informal contacts between graduates of different years who live in other countries. The ambassadors are, in a sense, curators, the most active community members in a certain place on the planet; they undertake a uniting role. They are people who can share their experience and help younger graduates in employment and adaptation, ensure we have a database of HSE graduate’s achievements abroad, organize reunions, assist with the visits of HSE professors, conduct business events, and provide consultations for international HSE applicants. If an ambassador is willing to organize a presentation of HSE, the Centre for Alumni Affairs will work with them and help with information materials.
All our ambassadors are not appointed; they come as volunteers. You can join the project by sending an application to the HSE Alumni Centre.
Dmitry Sivaev, HSE Ambassador in the United States
I live and work in Washington, D.C., and, like many other HSE graduates who live abroad, I want to keep our informal network alive. Six months ago, I created a group on Facebook for HSE graduates working in the U.S., and it attracted over one hundred members without any advertising. This means that graduates are ready to stay touch with each other and the university. Thanks to this group, we held a meeting in New York, which brought us closer together. This was how I, unexpectedly, founded an informal HSE alumni association in the U.S. And we turned out to be not just a group of friends, but a support system; people contact us, we solve some issues together, help them with work and with contacts. Many of the graduates study at PhD programmes here, work at IMF, develop start-ups, and work as lawyers. Their stories are very different; everyone has their own way to success, but, as HSE graduates, we have a lot in common.
Before the HSE Alumni Ambassadors project, our activities were spontaneous, although we could see the benefits of making them somehow systematic. We were also thinking about how to develop our community and strengthen the links within it, and now this project has taken shape.