International College of Economics and Finance

“Just Being Surrounded by ICEF Students – It Makes You Bound to Grow”

“Just Being Surrounded by ICEF Students – It Makes You Bound to Grow”

ICEF karting team leader Anton Shirokov is in his first year of bachelor's study at ICEF and has applied to become a student tutor to help the new cohorts to ease into the student life. Here’s what Anton thinks makes ICEF grads capable of starting a career in practically any field, how sports can improve academic performance, and how freshmen can avoid self-esteem drop.

About choosing ICEF

As a school student, I developed a passion for math. Economics seemed interesting to explore because it uses math, so I was able to decide on my future quite early on. My parents advised me to go to ICEF. My brother tried to enroll in ICEF in his time, but failed, so I made every effort to make my family happy by becoming its student.

Although I wasn’t an applicant with stellar achievements in academic contests, my score on the Unified State Exam were high enough to get me a spot – I scored 74 in Math and 94 in English. 

During my first months at ICEF, I had difficulty adjusting to my new learning format. What you make of your study is completely up to you. As you get this new experience, you realize you are the only one responsible for your progress. To many Economics students, the idea of having to speak English in class sounds horrifying. I think they should avoid this thinking. English has been a great part of economic development, so it’s only natural that you get this intuitive understanding of the concepts when you use their original language. 

Some students experience a drop in self-esteem in their first months here. Things are so much different from school. It seems you are the only one who isn’t smart. But don’t let this daunt you. Having intelligent, motivated people around is a great benefit. I’ve been lucky to have their support. Just being surrounded by ICEF students – it makes you bound to grow. 

At ICEF, they help each other like a big family

I have recently applied to become a student tutor. I love helping people and hope I’ll be of help to the next year’s cohort. Being tutored is like having an older brother or sister to guide you through your university life. My tutors have supported me in many different ways, I want to do the same and be like them. 

About career expectations

ICEF prepares for careers in absolutely any field of economics or finance. ICEF grads can be sure to feel welcome everywhere. I’d like to work in consulting and have joined a case championship earlier this year to find out where I am knowledge-wise. And, judging by my performance, I’ve made some good progress. The academic load is rigorous at ICEF – you can see it from the contents of the courses – but it can’t be otherwise because it’s meant to give solid specialist training in banking, data analysis and so much more.

I am eager to start my consulting internship and maybe do several. Many students and graduates see consulting as a perfect field for getting the skills needed for a successful career start and rapid advancement. I am realistic about my skills and capabilities. If consulting should turn out to be a disappointment, I’ll take it easy because I’ll know it’s not right for me. Fortunately, I’ll still have time to switch to something else.

Career Services are simply outstanding at ICEF. Its team are going a great job providing group training on things like resume writing, interviewing for a job, self-presentation skills and job market. We try to make the most of our classes. If you want to meet the industries and find out what employers really look for in candidates, the Career Services activities are exactly what you need, so be sure not to miss them. 

About making progress

I think I’m coping quite successfully. I am proud of myself for never having to retake exams. It is very important to apply yourself, especially in the beginning. It wasn’t easy for me at all.

One thing I learned early on as a student is the importance of avoiding procrastination

I had problems learning programming, but after I started to invest more time, keeping up with the rigor became easy. All courses have a carefully thought-out design that leads to quality assimilation of even the most challenging of units. 

About karting

Although there is a karting championship at HSE, ICEF didn’t have its karting team before. It all started after we decided to try karting after classes just for fun. I tried go- karting before as a child. We liked it and decided to start a team, and here I am its captain and first pilot. 

I really enjoy doing extreme sports. They are a good distraction from numbers and make my student life more enjoyable. Prospective students tend to think their years at ICEF will be nothing but studying, but that’s not true. If you’re a good time manager and wish to practice sports or learn languages to engage socially, the opportunities are plenty. Like any sport, karting helps to stay physically fit, it makes you a faster decision-maker. For me, karting is a mind-body exercise.