International College of Economics and Finance

“I’d Like to Join the Faculty and Stay a Part of ICEF”

“I’d Like to Join the Faculty and Stay a Part of ICEF”

Yuliana Loginova is in her second year of ICEF MSc Financial Economics programme and is currently receiving training at LUISS University in Rome as a double-degree student. In 2023, Yuliana received the Vladimir Potanin scholarship. In this interview, Yuliana tells about her experience of choosing a master’s and what she thinks about 'Italian mindset'.

About choosing and preparing for master's

I earned my bachelor’s in Economics from Novosibirsk State University. In my 4th year there, I started a job, but even though I liked it, I decided I needed a little shift in focus and started a master’s. The majority of master’s programmes have a design allowing students to combine study with work. I don’t find this effective. I wanted a master’s that would lead to full-scale knowledge and require more than mere attendance. MSc Financial Economics turned out exactly what I needed. I first learned about it from my former fellow students who completed it.

Also, I welcomed the idea of using English as language of learning and the prospect of learning current financial technologies, a part of the programme’s contents. Fintech seemed essential to learn. I was curious to learn more about the world of finance and how professionals operate it, about international finance, M&As and quantitative analysis, and I knew the ICEF’s programme would give me all of that.

About admission and training

Admission to ICEF’s master’s programme involves submission of portfolio and interview by faculty members – be sure you’ll be asked field-specific questions. There’s internal English language test to sit, but I didn’t because I had high IELTS result. And yet, with my C1 level I had difficulty understanding English-taught material at first. My English skills have improved significantly since I started the programme and thanks to my current experience living abroad.

I’d say non-Economics majors may find it hard studying for ICEF’s master’s. The curriculum requires thorough knowledge of at least the basic economic aspects. Another essential is profound math skills. I had them, but like everyone else I found it hard in the beginning of my study here.

About goals and new perspectives

I have considered several career paths and I think I’m attracted mostly to data analysis. With solid knowledge of economics from NSU and ICEF, I have every chance to succeed in sophisticated model building.

But, for now, I’m thinking of starting a career at ICEF as a teacher and later doing a PhD. Academic career sounds a good choice. I’d like to join the faculty and stay a part of ICEF.

About studying at LUISS

I’ve always wanted to gain study-abroad experience, but it was never my initial plan. I view this opportunity, which is available to all ICEF master’s students, as what can complement my international experience. My decision to join the double degree programme came as a surprise even to myself. 

Going to LUISS was a carefully considered decision, but I must admit the sun and the sea had something to do with it as well

LUISS has many international students and supports them in all possible ways. There is a Language Cafe on campus with free tea and cookies and where it’s forbidden to speak Italian – just an ideal place for cultural exchange and making new acquaintances. And there are special staff at LUISS who help international students with administrative issues and adaptation.

I find the curricula quite similar, except for LUISS’s being much more flexible in terms of academic requirements and deadlines. This may be partly due to the Italian mindset – Italians don’t seem to bother much about trifles, they stick to a more harmonious lifestyle. At LUISS, you can choose to skip intermediate assessment and it won’t affect your final results. But it doesn’t mean your academic progress doesn’t matter. Quite the opposite, the approach here encourages you to make the most of your autonomy and achieve the best results instead of just relying on instruction.

At first it even felt annoying how slow things went here, requiring me to repeat my request wherever I needed a service or help. Now, I take a slower pace myself. At ICEF, I would constantly worry about exams and deadlines, like all my fellow students. At LUISS, I realized that the most important things in life have absolutely nothing to do with exams. I learned to listen to my inner voice and am more aware of my true desires. I’ve learned to prioritize and live in harmony with myself.

About graduation thesis

At LUISS, I continue with the research, which is also the topic of my graduation paper, that I started at ICEF. I currently have two research supervisors. But since requirements to thesis contents and design are stricter at HSE and ICEF, I chose to adhere more to them. And because ICEF has stricter deadlines, I’m in contact mostly with my professor at HSE. My supervisor at LUISS helps mostly with data.

My master’s thesis is entitled “The Impact of Corporate Governance on Banking Performance During COVID-19: Gender Diversity”. It’s interesting to explore this topic not only scientifically but also as a social phenomenon. I take personal interest in it.

About Potanin scholarship

The Vladimir Potanin Scholarship aims to support gifted graduates. It’s competitive and involves the organizers first to review your personal history and performance as a student, researcher, and civil society contributor. Then, there’s online interview in which you are requested to give detailed answers about your research and why you think it’s relevant, about your career plans and outlook on life.

The second stage takes place in person. It tests your soft skills such as leadership, communication and ability to take decisions in stress situations, and it involves a role game designed to test your logical thinking skills and out-of-the-box approach. To win, you need to believe in yourself and show engagement without any undue modesty. But it’s not the winning that counts most, it’s the experience and getting to meet amazing, talented people.