From HSE Student to Stanford Professor
At the HSE campus in Nizhny Novgorod, Svetlana Bryzgalova recently gave a public lecture on ‘Pricing Theories in Various Classes of Financial Assets’ as part of the Second International Conference on Econometrics.
In 2007, Svetlana graduated from the undergraduate programme in Economics at HSE Nizhny Novgorod with a major in Mathematical Methods in Economics. In 2009, she completed the Master’s programme in Financial Economics at the International College of Economics and Finance and was recommended for further study in the postgraduate programme at the London School of Economics. Since receiving her PhD at LSE, she has been an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Her lecture was devoted to pricing models for financial assets – stocks, bonds, and currency exchange rates. Svetlana captivated her audience – mostly fourth-year undergraduate students from the Faculty of Economics – with an interesting story about financial research. She touched on questions of how different factors influence returns on financial assets, gave examples of market manoeuvres, and discussed contemporary methods and theories on pricing financial assets. At the end of her lecture, Svetlana took numerous questions from students and recommended books and journals to expand their knowledge in finance and economics.
— Svetlana, how would you assess the international conference that took place at HSE in Nizhny Novgorod?
— Academic conferences are naturally very important – not only do they allow you to share knowledge with people working in the same field, but they are also an invaluable source of knowledge for students. This is where young people can see relevant research and ask questions of experts. A lot of conferences like this are held in the West. For example, in a week I’m flying to Brazil for a conference on financial econometrics.
— You are an HSE graduate. Can you attribute your position as a Stanford professor to the fact that you graduated from HSE? What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of our university?
— Above all, HSE reminds me of the people who surrounded me at the university – both professors and students. I believe the most important thing that they taught me is that it’s possible to achieve any goal if you take an intelligent approach to solving a problem, put in a lot of effort and don’t give up. Many of my classmates have developed successful careers in a wide range of professions and live not only across Russia, but in other countries. I am certain that they would also have warm memories of these university walls.
— You studied in Russia but now work in the U.S. In your view, what are Russian universities missing that would help them enter the top 100 international universities? How does HSE compare with foreign universities?
— This is a difficult question. Probably the main thing that’s missing is time. HSE is a very young university that only comparatively quite recently began to actively focus on research. Forming a highly professional academic environment is not a simple task, but we have wonderful people working on it, so I am certain that it will happen.
— What advice would you give to beginning academics, to our students?
— I am only a beginning academic myself, having been a student just two months ago. It goes without saying that successful research requires a huge amount of effort and a good understanding of the contemporary literature because economics is a young discipline, and many of its fields have changed dramatically over the last 10-15 years. At the same time, I believe that it’s no less important to interact with people, go to conferences, not be afraid to ask questions both of professors and visiting experts, and ask their opinion and advice about their projects. Anyone who has chosen an academic path in life will tell you that the process of learning never ends with postgraduate school and receiving a degree. It’s a constant process that will have the same intensity your whole life, so don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be afraid to learn new things. After all, every great discovery began with the question ‘Why?’.
On October 10, the HSE School of Public Administration hosted its monthly discussion series. This month’s event is entitled ‘Stress Test for Public Finances – Policy-Responses to the Financial and Economic Crisis in the OECD’ and was led by Prof. Dr. Uwe Wagschal of the University of Freiburg (Germany). Professor Wagschal's talk focused on the consequences of massive monetary and fiscal stimulus for the public purse and will compare the fiscal packages in 28 OECD-countries aimed at combating an economic downturn following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
The HSE’s business incubator was recognized by the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) as Incubator of the Year in the first youth internet entrepreneurship forum.
The Russian Tap-Dance Championships are part of the XIII World Dance Olympiad. HSE tap dancers are always among the winners, but this year’s haul was particularly rich.
Graduates of the joint FIFA/CIES – HSE programme in Sports Management have won the FIFA/CIES Network Prize for 2016 for their 360º Academy project. The winners were awarded their prize by Gianni Infantino.
Three HSE students of the educational programme in Asian and African Studies became winners of the 10th Interuniversity Olympiad in Arabic language.
A team from HSE has made it to the Regional Finals of the CFA Institute Research Challenge 2015/2016, recently held in Chicago. The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis.
The HSE’s Sona Hovsepyan Dance Company has won the grand prize at the Klyuchi (Keys) experimental dance festival, also taking home a cash prize and the right to perform and premier an original show at the 2017 festival.
Second year Software Engineering students Anton Kondrashov and Alexander Lazarenko have taken first place in the Robot Battle hackathon organized by Yandex. Participants had to write a bot for any popular messaging service, that could quickly and easily solve users’ payment problems.