International College of Economics and Finance

ICEF Class of 2017 Met For Reunion

ICEF Class of 2017 Met For Reunion


The ICEF class of 2017 met for a reunion at HSE Cultural Centre five years after completing their studies. Excited to reconnect and share life events, the alumni relived the good old days with former classmates and alma mater. We asked the class of 2017 what they remembered most about ICEF, who of their teachers had had a lasting impact on their lives and what important skills they learned here.

Alina Saltykova, Researcher at Raiffeisen Bank

In year one, after passing our final end-of-year exam, we all went to Gorky Park. ICEF was then housed in a building in Shabolovka Street, so the place was close. The guys thought it would be a good idea to carry us girls in their arms to mark the occasion, but they failed to notice that the lawns were still wet from watering. They slipped and we all fell down to the ground. Our triumphant return home was like the return of pigs after a good play in a dirty pond.

My favourite teacher is Olga Kuzina. She was my teacher during my all years as bachelor’s, master’s and PhD student, and it was thanks to her that I was able to focus on sociological interpretations of economics. Under Olga Kuzina’s guidance, I started doing research and am still conducting business studies as part of my job. Professor Kuzina is the one who influenced my choice of a career.

One important thing I learned at ICEF is that one can go days without sleep and stay sane and healthy even when they think they start hearing voices.

Anna Koroleva, Project Manager at CASE-IN Simulator (Nadezhnaya Smena (Unfailing Crew) Foundation International Engineering Championship CASE-IN)

The most memorable memories of my days at ICEF are two. The first is joining a music band together with another student, Zhenya Zhiltsova, who is still my best friend. The band was known under the name No Silence and was part of a local association of music culture. I and Zhenya were the vocalists. We helped to set up gigs, developing our creative talents, expressing ourselves, getting people to our shows and delighting them with our music – all this in parallel to studies.

The second thing is our graduation day. I was among its three organizers – the other two were my friend and Oleg Sobchenko, who is now a teacher at ICEF. The day turned out to be an unforgettable event. We had around 100 guests and experienced many exciting moments together. It was very rewarding to get their feedback and to know they enjoyed it very much.

My favorite teacher at ICEF is Anatoly Patrick, who taught Calculus in my first year. Knowing I was studying for an international degree, an English-taught one, his last name looked very natural to me when I first saw it on our class schedule. But, the man who presented himself as our lecturer for linear algebra and started to explain logarithms – something I was completely in the dark about – turned out to be one hundred percent Russian. Anatoly Patrick had instilled in me a passion for learning calculus. He then was our teacher for Econometrics. I never missed a single lecture and I am very glad we managed to build a good rapport. I remember fondly our conversations and his contribution to my developing a passion for math. He gave me the motivation to work harder and to strive to be the best. I know he believed in me every time he said, “Ann, I know you’re going to make it.”

Well, as a matter of fact, some 80% of the theoretical knowledge we received at ICEF is not what we’re using at work in the first place, but the fact remains: ICEF taught us to think, which is very important, because there aren’t many professionals who can do it like us. We are grateful to ICEF for encouraging us to be better thinkers and stay strong in the pursuit of our goals and not stop there.

Victoria Alyoshkina (Silvestrova), construction project manager

What made my student life exciting was that every day was a new challenge. We were bonded together by challenges such as home assignments and exams, not parties. The four years at ICEF are the four years of struggle, that’s the fact. But every day of that struggle ended in victory for us, bringing memorable experiences.

My favorite teacher? It is really hard to name one. Every one of our teachers was curious, in their own way, and had interesting personality, but the teacher I love most is Alla Fridman, who is known for being also very demanding. Other teachers I have fond memory of are Dmitry Malakhov and Alexey Akhmetshin. Our teachers are a community of outstanding personalities.

ICEF taught me how to work and think strategically. As someone said at our first reunion, “ICEF turns silver spooners into hard workers.” We all benefitted from ICEF by becoming able to deal effectively with unconventional situations. I’ve met some really amazing people here.

Yegor Tolmachev, Senior Analyst at Credit Bank of Moscow

I’d say my greatest impression was the learning process itself, but apart from that I’ll never forget one crazy party with one of us dancing on the bar counter. The teacher I liked best is math analysis teacher, Alexey Akhmetshin – a cheerful person who has an interesting personality and who gives you inspiration by explaining complicated things in simple language. ICEF broadened my horizons. Thanks to it, I am able to communicate with people from all walks of life and am determined to achieved more.

Evgenia Zhiltsova, Financial Analyst at Tinkoff

My most memorable event was our graduation ceremony and how we were organizing it. For me and two of my classmates who were in charge, that was the first experience of planning and preparing a large event. I have strong memories also about how we got together to prepare for exams – and those were tough exams – and how hard it was sometimes to balance partying and studying and examinations.

There were new courses to be learned every year, delivered by talented teachers. One great teacher I remember best is Anatoly Patrick who was responsible for our Econometrics seminar course. I was particularly impressed by the lectures and seminars by Olga Kuzina, my research supervisor. And I think we all liked Daniil Yesaulov – for his unconventional teaching methods and excellence.

There aren’t many universities that can boast as individualized approach as ICEF’s. Our professors, lecturers and seminar course providers held office hours whenever we needed help or used social networks to stay in contact and keep us motivated despite their busy schedules.

ICEF made me a better time manager and it taught me how to find a work-rest balance. It also taught me to value good friendships amid cut-through competition for discounts and academic performance scores. Such human traits as friendship and benevolence dominate here no matter what. We had at all times considered one another first and foremost friends, qualifications were secondary.