It’s Only the Beginning for the ICEF Graduates of 2018
On September 13, 230 graduates of ICEF-UoL Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes received their diplomas. The history of HSE's collaboration with the London School of Economics of the University of London spans more than 20 years and demonstrates the integral role that international cooperation between universities plays in academic, research, and cultural development. The graduates of 2018 are sure to continue this tradition.
The International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) was established within the Higher School of Economics in 1997, with the participation of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of London (UoL), as well as the support of the Russian business community. Since then, ICEF has risen in the international research and education community. It engages professors and assistant professors from leading universities around the world and its graduates have gone on to become professors at the universities of London, Stanford, Georgetown, Paris, Vienna, Florida, Lausanne, HSE and NES. Graduates are also employed at leading banks and companies, such as McKinsey, VTB, Sberbank, Alfa Bank, KPMG, PWC, IBM, J.P. Morgan, BCG, Morgan Stanley, Citi and BNP Paribas.
The 2018 cohort continued this impressive tradition and ICEF Director, Dr Sergey Yakovlev, recognised their successes in his official opening speech at the graduation ceremony. ‘I warmly congratulate all our students,’ said Dr Yakovlev. ‘The Bachelor and Master’s programmes at ICEF are renowned for being challenging and this year’s graduates have demonstrated their determination and intellect in successfully completing them.’
Dr Yakovlev was joined in congratulating the cohort by the Deputy Head of the UK Mission to Russia, Ms Lindsay Skoll. She warmly welcomed the students to the residence on behalf of the British Ambassador. ‘We want to make this a memorable occasion for you and your families and friends,’ she said. ‘We are here to celebrate your success and hard work, and also to celebrate the collaboration of leading educational institutions in the UK and Russia. I cannot speak more highly of the HSE-LSE partnerships and their success is due to the perfect pairing of the institutions. The bilateral UK-Russia relations are, let’s say, in a challenging place. And that’s why it’s all the more important to see such strong institutional links.’ Ms Skoll went on to address the graduates: ‘You, your teachers and your families embody these positive links and we hope that they continue to flourish. You are now part of a very special tradition.’
Vadim Radaev, the First Vice Rector of HSE, also congratulated the graduates and noted that ICEF maintains consistently high level of education and research and also continually improves its programmes. He added that ICEF sets a benchmark for other HSE faculties in terms of international cooperation.
Professor Peter Kopelman, Vice Chancellor of the University of London, in his congratulatory speech stressed the importance of the global education that ICEF provides. ‘Our partnership with ICEF contributes to a pool of global talent’, he said. ‘Graduates from the joint programme are providing intellectual input to the fields of economics, science, and education, making a positive contribution all around the world.’
University of London Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mary Stiasny praised high results of ICEF graduates: this year’s cohort comprised 196 graduates from the Bachelor double-degree programme (offered by HSE and UoL), 66 of whom were awarded UoL First Class Honours. Thirty four students graduated from the International Master’s programme in Financial Economics (offered in collaboration with LSE). Several have been accepted into PhD and MBA programmes at western universities and others have already found employment at leading international companies.
Mikhail Zadornov, member of HSE's Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the board of FC Otrkytie bank, noted that all major employers of the Russian financial sector recognize the high quality of ICEF education. He expressed his hope that ICEF graduates will choose the right career path.
Aydar Iskhakov, a graduate of the Bachelor's programme, and Ekaterina Batyuk, a graduate from the Master's programme expressed their gratitude to the staff of ICEF and London School of Economics, and University of London, as well as the ICEF Board of Trustees (including VTB bank that provides scholarships for students). Aydar praised the team spirit of the students and graduates and a unique atmosphere of ICEF. Moreover, Aydar thanked the British embassy for organising numerous engaging events for ICEF students.
Timofey Bazhenov, a graduate from the Master’s programme has already begun work at McKinsey in Moscow as a financial consultant and he is very enthusiastic about what lies ahead. ‘I started at McKinsey back in July,’ he said. ‘I love it. It’s an international community. Every week, company leaders from Switzerland, the UK and US visit the Moscow offices to discuss client cases. This job is the perfect opportunity for me to build my contact base and, most importantly, to apply the knowledge that I gained on the Master’s programme. I came into Financial Economics from a very different area – my Bachelor’s degree is in Engineering. But one of the many advantages of the ICEF programme is that it caters to graduates from different spheres. The strong foundations I gained on the programme have certainly contributed to my success on the job market.’
Also graduating with Timofey from the ICEF Master’s programme was Alexandra Lebedeva. ‘One of the things I loved about the programme was how international it was,’ said Alexandra. ‘We were taught in English and the majority of our professors were from universities abroad,’ she said. ‘In addition, we had the opportunity to study at a foreign university. I chose to go to France for three months and complete a course at the ESSEC in Paris- one of Europe’s most prestigious business schools.’
Certainly, access to international expertise is one of the main strengths of the ICEF Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, and not only in the form of student exchanges. On the ICEF teaching team are more than 70 professors and assistant professors, 30 of whom have successfully completed PhDs at leading international universities in the UK, US, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.
This includes internationally renown Professors Dimitrios Tsomocos, from Oxford University, and Alex Boulatov, from ICEF, both of whom were present at the graduation ceremony to congratulate their students. Professors Tsomocos and Boulatov have been teaching together on the ICEF programmes for 10 years. ‘The standard of the students at ICEF is extremely high’, said Professor Tsomoscos, who travels from Oxford to do research and teach a second-year course on the Master’s programme every year. ‘ICEF graduates are successful in academia, as well as in economic and financial sphere. Many go on to complete PhD programmes abroad and then get some of the most impressive jobs in the private sector in the Russian Federation.’
Professor Boulatov holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California and formerly taught at the University of Houston. He now teaches on both the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and agreed with his colleague in his assessment of the students. ‘ICEF graduates are traditionally very strong. Some of my Bachelor’s students are embarking directly on PhD programmes,’ said Professor Boulatov. ‘One Bachelor student, who graduated from ICEF at the top of her class several years ago, entered the University of Houston and finished her PhD in less than four years. Others went on to complete their PhDs at universities such as Harvard, MIT, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Stanford.’
The international, highly-qualified and close-knit teaching team is a major contributor to the students’ success, and, according to Professor Tsomoscos, ‘the partnership between ICEF and the University of London and the London School of Economics is one of the most successful examples of cultural and scientific interaction between Russia and the West.’
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.