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HSE and Unilever Continue to Educate Business Leaders of the Future

On a visit to HSE University on October 18, Unilever CEO Alan Jope met with university leadership and spoke to students in an open lecture about the social mission of business.

HSE University and Unilever have long been collaborating in education. The company has worked with HSE on various master’s programmes in management and marketing offered by the University over the years. In addition, HSE is one of the main ‘staff pools’ for Unilever. As HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov noted at a meeting with Alan Jope, hundreds of HSE students participate in the Unilever Case Study Championship annually, apply for the Unilever internship programme, and some graduates—not only from the Moscow campus—already hold senior positions in the company.

More than 700 HSE students applied to participate in the Unilever Case Championship (making HSE the highest represented among Russian universities). 

40% of participants in the Unilever Future Leaders Program are HSE graduates.

‘Our partnership with Unilever contributes to the fulfillment of our university’s mission,’ said Yaroslav Kuzminov. He noted that HSE has been focused on integrating Russian economists, sociologists, and managers into the international sphere since the University’s founding. A distinguishing feature of HSE graduates, the Rector added, is their competitiveness in the global market. In addition, about four thousand international students are currently enrolled at HSE. HSE Vice-Rector Ivan Prostakov noted the growing interest of European students in HSE’s master's programmes, more than 40 of which are taught in English. Alan Jope expressed that Unilever considers it important to partner with HSE to train future business leaders.

One of the aspects of my work that I am grateful for is meeting young, talented, and motivated people

Unilever is interested in ensuring that students have the opportunity to show their skills in various projects of the company, particularly by completing internships. According to Alan Jope, the company would also like to continue to contribute to the development of HSE’s academic programmes so that they meet modern business requirements. The world is changing more and more rapidly, so managers need to constantly update their knowledge and skills, as well as ensure access to modern information technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning.

In his lecture to HSE students, Alan Jope talked about Unilever’s social mission. He said that back in Victorian England during the 1860s, the founder of the production (which then grew into Unilever), declared that his goal is to make life easier for women. Since then, the company has been trying to conduct its business responsibly. (The company implements special educational and social programmes for women, and almost half of the company's managers around the world are women.)

Business has a role to play in resolving the challenges facing the modern world, Alan Jope believes. Changing consumer behavior and public pressure as a whole require new standards of business management quality, as well as social and environmental responsibility from business.

Compliance with these standards, according to the Unilever CEO, allows the company to attract the most talented employees and be profitable. ‘Sustainable, socially responsible development is not only the right, but also more profitable business development model that allows the company to earn more,’ he said.

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