‘People Here Have Special Energy’: HSE University Faculty of Economic Sciences Celebrates Its 31st Birthday
The traditional EconomFest gathered students, staff, applicants, and friends of the Faculty of Economic Sciences in the HSE University building on Pokrovsky Bulvar. The event programme featured tours, contests, and treats alongside anti-lectures, networking, and congratulations from the faculty’s administration. The students shared extracurricular life tips with school children, and alumni looked for new colleagues among senior students.
‘You Only Learn with Those Who Are Talented’
Students sometimes call the university building on Pokrovka ‘Hogwarts’—and although the stairs do not move around and the portraits do not talk, the complex structure with its atrium, numerous buildings, and passages certainly has some magic in it. And it was with an introduction to this campus that the faculty’s students proposed beginning the EconomFest programme for applicants. A walk around the building led smoothly into the introduction to the faculty’s educational programmes and a meeting with students.
The HSE University community was active everywhere on the day. In the third-floor foyer, a tabletop career guidance game was held. In the Small Hall of the Cultural Centre, a financial game called Prisoner’s Dilemma tested participants’ reasoning and negotiating skills. Participants could also receive souvenir merchandise for participating in EconomFest 2023. The atrium was filled with candyfloss and popcorn, quizzes, team competitions, and master classes. For networking enthusiasts, there was a RandomDating dating club, where you could chat about a given topic and expand your horizons, make new acquaintances, and even meet a future business partner.
‘Everyone Gets Tired, but Only the Resilient Reach the Top’
One of the most popular formats at EconomFest is anti-lectures, in which the faculty’s teachers or guest speakers engage students in informal and frank dialogues on important topics related to work and career prospects.
Alexander Chelekhovsky, director of the Faculty’s Secondary Schools and Learners Centre, shared with applicants how he got into economics and why he became a teacher.
Vladimir Grigorashenko, 2005 master’s graduate of the faculty, talked about his approach to career building. He has been working for the Guard Capital investment fund for more than 10 years; he became a partner of the company and now personally takes part in selecting candidates for jobs. He admits that he is a supporter of strategic planning in making career decisions and believes that within the first two or three years after graduation, one should get real business experience at a major company with a good brand. ‘Your first job has a special place in your CV and career history,’ he stressed.
As an employer who regularly reviews CVs, Vladimir Grigorashenko is wary of candidates who change jobs frequently. A company, he explained, invests in a new employee and adapts them professionally over the course of six months. Changing jobs every 6–9 months shows that the employer has wasted its own resources on the candidate. A ‘normal’ period of employment in one company, he says, is two to three years, but if there is an opportunity to develop further and work longer, it is better to take advantage of it. When a large number of employees leave a company, it makes sense to stay, because when the question of promotion comes up, you will be seen as a strong and reliable team member, he believes.
Ten years is a good time to build a career in a large company with good development opportunities, explained Vladimir Grigorashenko. ‘Everyone gets tired and wants to change jobs, but only the persistent ones reach the top,’ he emphasised.
‘We Aren’t Saying Goodbye, but Changing the Way We Communicate’
Later in the day, the EconomFest programme included more and more of the faculty’s graduates. Today, they work in a wide variety of organisations, stressed faculty Dean Sergey Pekarski.
In HSE University’s Cultural Centre, the alumni shared their memories of their studies and left wishes for their favourite department.
‘Let’s agree that we are not saying goodbye to you, but changing the way we communicate,’ Vladimir Karacharovskiy, Deputy Dean for Work with Applicants, Alumni and Employers, suggested to the graduates.
On the sidelines, there was talk about the work of the stock exchange, promising investments and projects. A team business game from Alfa-Bank was held in the lobby. A time capsule was used to leave wishes and advice for the faculty's future and current students.
‘In a few years, the HSE University Faculty of Economic Sciences has become my second home—and sometimes even tries to be my first. I love it for the large community of people who will always help where you don’t expect it,’ said third-year Economics student Semyon.
‘It is interesting that HSE University, apart from maximising application skills, manages to instil in students a love of the subject they are studying. With its broad curriculum and space for choice, Economics has helped me realise what I want to do next in life! Everyone, whether they’re a student or a lecturer, teaches me something and I’m grateful for that,’ concluded Kamila, a third-year Economics student.