Great Knowledge and Great Memories
The graduation ceremony of the Master’s Programme Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation was held on June 30. 42 students graduated this year, including 12 from Europe, Africa and Asia.
As Dirk Meissner, Academic Supervisor of the Programme, noted, ‘This is the first year that we have awarded double degrees to our graduates. Six students have received their degrees from HSE and TU Berlin. The partner programme in Berlin is called Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (IME). We plan to further expand our international ties and build more partnerships with foreign universities. We are also constantly developing our programme, adding new topical courses – for example, in risk assessment or financial technologies – and strengthening teaching quality management. Our alumni are employed in various fields, including research, government, and start-up businesses. They are all highly successful since they have acquired competences that are frequently in short supply at companies and public institutions; a primarily global perspective on science, technology and innovation; and the ability to make evidence-based assessments in the field of science, technology and innovation policy and management’.
I am 23 years old and came to Moscow from Strasbourg, France. I had already studied one year at Moscow State University for my Bachelor’s degree in Linguistic and Cultural Studies.
I learned about the HSE Master’s Programme in Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation accidentally when I accompanied one of my friends to a presentation. When the double degree between HSE and TU Berlin was introduced, my interest in the programme immediately increased. It was quite an adventure for me to decide to enrol in this programme, but it fits perfectly into my plan to pursue education and travel, as well as to acquire new skills and knowledge in a field that should offer many opportunities. Most of my friends and family supported me in this decision and knew about the high level of education at HSE.
So, I enrolled in the double-degree programme between TU Berlin and HSE. Since I didn’t have a business background, I learned a lot from lectures and seminars. Almost everything was new. My internship at Moscow Agency of Innovations helped me to gain some practical experience. By spending a year in Berlin, I was also able to discover the German start-up scene (which is very dynamic and interesting) and make new connections.
I speak fluent Russian and strongly encourage future students to study Russian. This will help save time and energy by enabling independence. However, do not worry if you are not willing to study the language, you will always find a charitable soul to help you. Although you are here to study, don’t forget to take time for yourself, go out, discover the city, travel in Russia, etc. Russian culture and people are worth discovering.
Derrick Ababio Anim
I am Ghanaian by birth and got my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana. My educational background prior to HSE was in Information Studies and Linguistics.
I chose the Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation programme because of its multidisciplinary nature. At the time of my application, I had little knowledge of technology and innovation but was very aware of the dynamic nature of the world and the increasingly important role technology plays in it. A look at the African continent shows lots of innovative organizations applying cutting-edge technologies in their activities. I decided to challenge myself to study something that would remain relevant for both myself and my country in the future.
As I had been reading up on Russian history, I decided to take the opportunity to discover this beautiful country and I must say I do not regret my decision and thank those who made it possible. My stay in Moscow has really enriched my knowledge of Russian history.
The Master’s programme has served as an eye opener and the perfect ground for my personal development. The numerous class presentations have improved my communication skills considerably. My interpersonal skills have also been enhanced as I constantly need to interact with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures.
I had an opportunity to work as an intern at the Research Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies under Professor Ozcan Saritas, who helped polish my then virtually non-existent research skills. Research seminars were almost always filled with thought-provoking questions from colleagues from different backgrounds and our experienced professors. That atmosphere always challenged me to think outside the box and be as unique as possible.
I can confidently say that Moscow and the Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation programme have helped me grow in almost all aspects of my life. My major achievement is that I have been able to move out of my comfort zone through personal development. Additionally, along with some of my professors, I have been able to come up with a publication and am currently working on a few more. For me, that is a big win as I had little idea about research prior to HSE.
Studying in Moscow has never been easy. The agony of walking to lectures and navigating the GPS of your phone for directions to a lecture hall you are not familiar with during the cold and unforgiving winter will always be remembered. Getting lost and asking for directions with limited Russian vocabulary was always dreadful. I have found that the ideal way to overcome the stress of a new environment is to make as many foreign friends as possible who face similar challenges, and to learn from their experiences. Getting close to my Russian classmates was also very helpful.
After almost four years of work in the field of foreign trade, I decided that I needed to make a change and continue my education. I started to do some serious research on the available programmes in management, and in the end, I decided to choose this one given the teachers and their experience, as well as the fact that it is in Moscow (I started learning Russian some years before coming to Russia). It was an interesting mix of reasons that brought me here.
It was a very good time investment. I’m a little sad because I have to leave now. I’ll go back to Bucharest, at least for a while. I hope that I’ll be able to use this experience in the Romanian Ministry of Economy and Development, or in an international organization such as the OECD or WTO.
I initially planned on coming to Russia for an exchange programme. I emailed a few universities, including HSE, MSU, and MGIMO. HSE was the only place that offered an English-speaking Master’s programme. I wanted to do an exchange, but they asked whether I had considered HSE’s Master’s programme. I ended up deciding that instead of coming for just one semester, I should come to Russia for a couple of years, so I applied to the programme and was accepted.
In terms of the experience here, it was really great. My first job that I got in Russia was at a fin-tech start-up. One of our professors invited a guest lecturer to the class, and she was talking about her start-up. I was curious, so I sent her my resume. She interviewed me, and I got the job. I did marketing there for some time. I think that my experience of working there and doing marketing is what helped me to get a job at Google later on. I definitely appreciate the connection that I have with HSE and how it initially propelled me to this career start. I’m also very impressed with my classmates, many of whom work at really great companies. They work at Microsoft, the Central Bank of Russia, the Big Four, and even Big Three consulting firms. There are some successful classmates who have launched their own start-ups, companies that are already worth probably a million dollars. I’m very thankful for that experience.
I’m from South Korea. Before I enrolled in the Master’s programme, I was an exchange student at HSE for one year. I really liked the education at HSE, which is why I enrolled in the Master’s programme.
I was really surprised by the difference between the Russian and Korean educational systems. Based on my experience studying at a South Korean university, usually nobody participates in class activities. But here I’m empowered and I really participate in the class. It was a little hard for me to discuss a new topic every time, but as a result of doing so, I gained much greater knowledge.
I have made a network, and now I have a lot of Russian and international friends. Staying in Moscow was very different from my former experience in Korea. Living in Moscow wasn’t easy for me, because everything is different, and the studying and lecturing style is different. The communication between professors and students is also different. First, it was a cultural shock, but I have become used to it.
I will look for a job in Russia with my background. I would like to stay in Moscow and work at a Korean company. It’s quite hard to find a job, even if it is a Korean company, because they need Russian speakers. But I think I can manage it.
Alam Syed Ali Nawaid
Before this Master’s programme, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in electronics. In Pakistan, it’s really worth getting a technical degree, and then a management degree. So, before getting a job, I decided to go for a management degree. I decided to find a university, and one of the best universities I found was HSE.
There are all sorts of opportunities for international students. I applied for a Russian government scholarship and it was a life-changing event when I received a letter saying I had been selected. I could study here for free, and it was really a big thing for me. I’m happy and thankful to all the people who selected me for this wonderful opportunity.
When I arrived, I didn’t know whether HSE would be a good university, but then I saw all the people here in Russia, and I saw that HSE was one of the best universities. I have really learned a lot in this Master’s programme. Some people enrol in a Master’s programme just to get a degree. My focus was not just on getting a degree, but acquiring knowledge, and I learned a lot.
This is not the end of my chapter, but is just a start since I’m also planning on a PhD. Just yesterday I heard that I had been selected as an HSE PhD student. It’s not been officially announced, but people in my department told me that. It’s one of the best opportunities for me. I hope that in the future I will also be part of HSE.
Master’s programme in Governance of Science, Technology, and Innovation has been offered by HSE ISSEK since 2014. It helps students acquire knowledge about science, technology and innovation management and policy. Below, Dirk Meissner, Academic Supervisor of the programme, talks about its key features and development. Besides, first and second-year international students describe their reasons for enrolling in the programme and share their experience of studying at HSE.