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Regular version of the site

‘Strong Faculty with Excellent Research Ability’

International faculty member talks about joining HSE University and getting used to life in Moscow

© iStock

Despite the pandemic and the travel restrictions, HSE University continues to hire international faculty members. Runjie Geng, from China, joined HSE ICEF in 2020 as Assistant Professor. He spent the first semester working remotely and was only able to come to Moscow at the end of 2020.

Runjie Geng, Assistant Professor at HSE ICEF (PhD in Economics from University of Zurich, MA in Finance from Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

I was searching for an academic position globally. My primary criterion was to find a strong faculty with excellent research ability. HSE ICEF certainly fulfills my goal with a very strong faculty with great research output and professors who are globally diversified.

ICEF also has a wonderful staff of caring and responsible people.

I was fortunate enough to visit Moscow for my interview right before the breakout of COVID19. Having explored the great city a little bit, I got the impression that Moscow is a great city to live in and I was excited to come after I got the offer from ICEF. 

Despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic, I settled in quite well with the help of our International Coordinators’ team.

They provided all the help I needed and I am grateful for their excellent work. My adaptation process is smooth and successful both in Moscow and in ICEF.

It was hard and challenging mainly because of the pandemic—I could not enter Russia during the first semester and had to teach remotely from Zurich. However, with the help of the internet and our ICEF staff, everything was OK. 

My current plan is to finish up my ongoing projects and hopefully publish them in good economics or finance journals. I also started to talk with new colleagues and discussing new ideas and projects.

Getting to Know Moscow

Because of the travel restrictions due to COVID19, I came to Moscow late around the end of 2020. Since I have been in Moscow for only half a year, I have to say my Russian is far from good. It is a very difficult language for me to learn. But I am motivated by the great literature, poems that are written in Russian. Now I can read Cyrillic and say common daily phrases. 

Besides work, I have also managed to make new friends in Moscow who helped me with getting adapted to life in Moscow. I am looking forward to seeing the city in its normal state when the pandemic is over.

This is a tough question since Moscow has so many attractions to offer. For myself, since I like paintings, I would recommend a visit to the great museums and galleries in Moscow. But it also depends on my friends’ own taste. As a matter of fact, two of my friends recently visited Moscow. They went to watch a Euro-cup football match in Saint Petersburg and came to Moscow as well. Since they are interested in Soviet architecture, they also found many interesting places to be entertained.

Moscow is a great city with rich culture. I am sure anyone could find something they are interested in here. 

Message to ICEF Graduates

First of all, I would congratulate those who finished their studies at ICEF. I am pretty sure that you are well prepared for your professional life either in Russia or anywhere around the world. Second, at the new stage of your career, you are also faced with new challenges. Always remember how you took up challenges and excelled in your tasks at ICEF and be confident and positive. Last, I wish all of you the best in your future career and happy life in general.

July 12