‘Our University Gives Its Students the Ability to Fight under Any Circumstances’
Students of the HSE Faculty of Management voted Ekaterina Ivanova, Associate Professor at the Department of Entrepreneurial Law, as one of the best lecturers and teachers conducting seminar classes in 2012. In an interview with Matvey Karmakov, HSE student, she told us about a ‘toolkit’ for every lawyer and other cases from her practice.
— You teach the following disciplines at the Faculty of Management: Jurisprudence and Legal Environment for Business, and Corporate Law. What are the difficulties in teaching for ‘managers’?
— Legal disciplines are difficult for ‘managers’. And we only have a very short amount of time to get a lot of information across. In fact, our students study a general course on the theory of state and law, civil law, and entrepreneurial law for just one semester, over two modules.
— What methods do you use to interest the students in your subject, how do you inspire them to study?
— In reality, it is very simple. How do we usually give examples? Someone went to a supermarket and bought potatoes – here, dear students, is an example of a retail purchase contract. But such an example is not particularly interesting. In our classes we consider not only the situation, but also the risks involved. I explain how we can ‘turn’ the situation with the use of legal tools, for the profit of one or another party of the deal. I always tell my students during case studies: ‘You should not only know the law, but also to be able to use it’. Economic relations are a car you are driving. And your driving skills not only determine its direction, but its speed and your safety. And here you need law. In our classes we always look for the solutions to specific situations and try to consider them in terms of protecting the interests of each side. It means, that, initially, we study a specific (usually, a complex, multifaceted) problem from the side of, for example, creditor, and then – from the part of the debtor. And in both cases we need to protect their interests as effectively as possible. Such work gives the students, among other things, the ability to calculate the possible moves of their opponent. Law is a set of tools, like a doctor: we open our case and, depending on the patient’s complaints, use the appropriate medicine or tool. Usually the students are very surprised that practically every situation has a number of totally different solutions. Accordingly, the larger and better equipped your toolbox is, the more options you will be able to suggest in terms of solutions.
— In addition to knowledge, what does the HSE give its students?
— I had an interesting example in PricewaterhouseCoopers. Once, I was waiting for one of my friends after work. She called me and said: ‘Come here, I can’t stand it anymore! We’ve got some of your HSE students here.’ It turned out that they were selecting students for internships. There were quite a lot of contestants. The commission included several Russian and foreign partners. The commission was pretty tired, since all the contestants had been given the same task, and it was already late in the evening.
So, one student from the HSE begins her presentation. It was obvious that the competition was in its final stage, with only the strongest students left. She began with the basics of the project. Then, a London partner interrupts her and tries to ask her a question on her project. The girl turns to him and says: ‘I’m really sorry, but if you let me finish my presentation, I’m sure you won’t have any questions at the end’. The commission took a deep breath, and the girl used the pause to continue.
After a few more minutes another partner, without any forewarning, started asking her a question. At this point she slammed her file down on the desk – almost certainly, it happened by accident, but the whole commission woke up. Then she gave her answer: ‘Dear Mr…, I apologize again, but three minutes ago I explained to your colleague that if you gave me the opportunity to finish my presentation, you wouldn’t have any more questions’. After some time she finished her presentation (within the limit given in the guidelines), and asked the commission ‘Does anybody have any questions for me?’ There were no questions. Then she turned to the second partner: ‘I told you that when I finished you wouldn’t have any questions’. As a result, she was selected for the internship, together with a couple of other contestants.
In my view, this situation is an excellent illustration that our university gives its students a sense of purpose, tenacity, and the ability to fight under any circumstances, even in the most stressful situations.
Mikhail Blinkin is one of Russia’s leading experts in urbanism, city planning, and urban transport. He has headed the HSE Institute for Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies since 2011 and has been HSE Tenured Professor since 2013. In 2017, Mikhail Blinkin was the recipient of an HSE Honour Award 1st Class, as well as the Golden HSE award for Best Expert.
On November 27, the HSE Academic Council held an awards ceremony dedicated to the university’s 25th anniversary. The meeting saw the participation of representatives of the Russian President, members of government, and members of the Russian Federal Assembly. Governmental awards were given to a number of HSE employees for their tremendous accomplishments.
The Best Teachers 2017 competition at HSE recently reached its completion. Although the overall procedure this year was the same as it was in 2016, the financial terms changed – the bonuses for the winners have been increased. Vadim Radaev, First Vice Rector of HSE, told us about the vote and some of the perks for all of the winners.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree for the commendation of prominent public and political figures. Andrey Zhulin, Vice Rector at HSE Perm, Galina Volodina, Director of HSE Perm, and Valeria Kasamara, HSE’s Senior Director for Government Relations, are among the figures mentioned in the decree.
From May 29 to June 18 students can vote for HSE’s best teachers of the academic year. This year there is no need to come to the university to vote. Students can submit their scores online via LMS.
Students and alumni of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and St. Petersburg have determined the Best Teachers of 2015. HSE First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev discusses the results of the voting.
A book entitled The Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project by Associate Professor at the HSE Faculty of Media Communications Olga Baysha has been published by Lexington Books (United States).