How do you find your place in life? How do you find something to do that both comes naturally to you and makes you happy? The answer is that you have to apply the knowledge you’ve gained from university and from life itself correctly. The Success Builder Project features graduates from HSE University who have discovered themselves through an interesting business or an unexpected profession. The protagonists share their experiences, and talk about the big shots they’ve schmoozed and how they’ve made the most of the opportunities they were given.

What happens when a love for research knows no limit? It leads to a career in academia. How to start off on the right foot in science? What makes a young scientist successful in the eyes of the academic community and what do they do in postdoc programmes? Vladislav Khvostov, a graduate of the HSE University School of Psychology who is currently doing research in a postdoc programme at the University of Iceland, explained this and more to Success Builder.
January 16
Elena Ilyina successfully combined studies of management and law, which helps her in her current job at Rosatom. As the Director for State Support, she has gained interesting experience overseeing several different divisions. In this interview with Success Builder, Ms Ilyina explained what an innovative company and nuclear medicine are, how Rosatom works with scientists from universities, and why building a career at the company is not only easy, but also interesting.
December 29, 2022
HSE University ICEF graduate Yaroslav Kolodyazhnyy switched from the investment industry to IT and is now a project manager in the Yandex Corporate Development Department in Dubai. In this interview with Success Builder, he spoke about the benefits of student networking, the right way to approach a job search, and what project managers do at Yandex.
December 02, 2022
Ayagoz Musabaeva, who holds a master’s degree from the HSE Faculty of Computer Science, has successfully applied her research skills to business. After working in the laboratory of the specialised Institute for Information Transmission Problems (IITP) at the HSE Faculty of Mathematics, she went to work in the industry and is now conducting research in machine learning at Akvelon, an international company. In this interview with Success Builder, Ms Musabaeva explained how a data scientist can find herself in eSports and what to do if you lack soft skills in IT.
November 18, 2022
After graduating with honours from the HSE FES, Artyom Gudov decided to go into business. He successfully managed the investment departments of the major Russian companies OZON and M.Video – Eldorado and now works as CFO of the Eqvilent group of companies headquartered in Dubai. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr. Gudov shared why he switched from banking to industry, why marketplaces are the future, and how you can make money on high-frequency trading.
November 02, 2022
The Abrau-Durso group of companies is a leader in the Russian winemaking market. Tatiana Babina, a graduate of the continuing professional development (CPD) programme at HSE University, is working to maintain and strengthen that position. In this interview with Success Builder, she explains why she chose HSE University, why an accomplished specialist needs to continue her studies, and whose opinion in the company reigns on the subject of winetasting.
October 19, 2022
Having graduated from the bachelor’s and master’s programmes and enrolled in the HSE University PhD programme, Mikhail Zhemkov successfully combines practical tasks with research. As a department head in the Central Bank’s Monetary Department, he actively conducts research while making decisions that diretly affect the country’s economy. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr. Zhemkov explains how conversing with his fellow HSE University students helped his studies, what exactly macroeconomists study, and why the Central Bank has time for everything.
October 05, 2022
In IT, you can never stop, even to validate your new skills with new certificates and degrees. This is the path taken by Konstantin Zamkov, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the HSE Business Informatics programme and now works as director of project management at VTB. In this interview with SB, he explains how to manage IT projects, why IT specialists need knowledge of finance and what VTB is doing to develop unique software.
September 16, 2022
Ekaterina Mikhailova graduated from HSE University’s Political Science programme in 2019 and is convinced that the knowledge she gained is relevant to the challenges of modern business. She currently holds the position of Head of Strategic Development at Changellenge. In this interview, she spoke about what political scientists do at HSE University, how HR professionals respond when they have doubts about an applicant, and what soft skills are needed to successfully pass an interview.
September 01, 2022
For Okko platform users, the decision of what to watch is based on an ideal set of recommendations and an accurate search. The well-coordinated work of that search function is led by HSE graduate and Senior Data Scientist Shukhrat Khalilbekov. In this interview with Success Builder, he explains how he chose a master’s programme, studied and worked up to 16 hours a day, and what a senior data scientist in a major company actually does.
August 29, 2022
Russia’s largest bank is no longer a bank, but a whole ecosystem of products and services—all made possible thanks to the work of the Sber AI Transformation Centre. In this interview with Success Builder, Nikita Khudov— HSE University ICEF graduate and Sber AI Transformation Centre Executive Director—explains how artificial intelligence works for us, how sports help with work, and how earning two university degrees is useful in work.
August 02, 2022
As adept at mathematics as HSE MIEM graduate and Twin3D Chief Engineer Nikita Zimenko was, he turned out to be even more inquisitive, with the result that he fell out of love with math and set his sights on digital technologies instead. In this interview with Success Builder, he explained how to conduct research on astromechanics, what 3D animators do with the human body and whether metaverses have a future.
July 29, 2022
Katya Melnikhova, a graduate of the HSE master’s programme in Psychology, is convinced that it is necessary to create an educational environment for children in which everyone can succeed. She and her husband head the Kavardak art residence programme that is based on the principle of democratic education. What does this mean? How does a background in psychology translate to coaching? How to raise a person to be happy? In an interview with Success Builder, Ms Melnikhova spoke about this and more.
June 28, 2022
Georgy Pashchenko, a graduate of the HSE School of Finance, was not afraid to leave his career in a large company and move to the EdTech startup Kodland that HSE ICEF graduates had founded. In 2022, Kodland raised $9 million in investment from a group of funds, including Baring Vostok, as reported by Forbes. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr Pashchenko shared how his HSE studies helped him solve real-world challenges at work and why EdTech is an extremely promising field.
June 06, 2022
Moscow hosts 75% of the country’s exhibitions and ICEF graduate and Exponic company head Ivan Nikolsky is certain that if not for the pandemic, the profits from this sector would attract a growing number of entrepreneurs. In this interview with Success Builder, he explained what a family business is, the challenges that small businesses in Russia face and how to boldly leverage networking connections with government ministers for maximum benefit.
May 30, 2022
Alina Akinshina earned her fourth university degree when she completed the HSE Corporate Research, Development and Innovation Management programme. She is now the CEO of Online Patent, an intellectual property protection company, and teaches at the HSE Department of Innovation Management. In this interview with Success Builder, she explains how to study in a new programme, what intellectual rights are and why innovation doesn’t always pertain to technology.
May 13, 2022
ICEF graduate Nare Meloyan is now a researcher at the Sberbank Laboratory of Neurosciences and Human Behaviour. After ICEF, she enrolled in a master’s programme at the HSE Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience and successfully used her education in finance to work in cognition studies. In this interview with Success Builder, Ms Meloyan explained how programming skills help in research, how she used an original approach to get a job and the way Sber tries to understand how the human brain works.
April 29, 2022
HSE School of Finance graduate Nikita Zubkov is certain that there are limitless opportunities for increasing margins in the industry and that students should pay more attention to the real sector. In this interview with Success Builder, Zubkov explained the difference between an industrial trader and a bank trader, why you need research skills at work and how to work hand-in-hand with AI.
April 15, 2022
When the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ becomes the norm, it is no longer in the spirit of the times to just take it easy after receiving that coveted diploma. Leonid Ilyukhin earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences and now lectures in the fine arts at the Vivarium Novum Academy in Rome. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr. Ilyukhin explains how he converted mathematical thinking into artistic expression—and became an expert in the field to boot.
April 12, 2022
Maria Zolotkova, holder of a bachelor’s degree from ICEF, believes that an education in economics provides the foundation needed to manage brands on the market and be a truly effective marketing professional. She currently works as the Vice President for Brand Development at Azbuka Vkusa. In this interview with Success Builder, she explains why FMCG is the best marketing school, what a brand manager does and how to go from being a customer to one of the directors of your favourite store.
April 01, 2022
Andrey Kucherov became interested in the agro-industrial complex while still a bachelor’s student, choosing this industry as the focus of his final research paper. He is currently the head of the Department for Strategic Communications and Promotion of Agro-Industrial Products at the Agroexport Federal Centre under the Russian Foreign Ministry. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr Kucherov explained why the Social Sciences Faculty is the ideal foundation for a marketing expert, whether civil service work is easy and how Russia will feed Africa.
March 15, 2022

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