HSE St Petersburg Hosts Investment Session
Students of the Performance Management course at the Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg had the opportunity to take part in two English-language investment sessions in March 2017. Under the supervision of Elizaveta Markovskaya, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Department of Finance, HSE students as well as exchange students from Holland and Portugal presented their creative investment ideas in front of representatives of investment funds and businesses. Students themselves and external experts from L'oreal, Agat Investment Fund, and Factosphere consulting company played the role of potential investors.
Student teams faced a challenging task - to present their projects in the format of five-minute presentations which received feedback from potential investors. Despite the strict time frame, the students successfully presented their ideas, talked about their goals, main focus and financial aspects of their projects including funding strategies and key financial indicators.
This investment session was extremely helpful to all students! The event gave us the opportunity to apply the skills of financial and investment analysis to compile project calculations, have a go at making managerial decisions and building a marketing strategy. Also, students got the chance to demonstrate their presentation skills (in a foreign language), communicate with real investors and even get feedback from them".
Investment sessions are events in which entrepreneurs can present their ideas to potential investors. In the international business field nowadays, these take the shape of fast presentations. So, for instance, in Finland such events include two-minute long presentations.
Using her experience of participating in investment sessions in Russian as well as foreign business environment, associate professor Elizaveta Markovskaya has been conducting the final lesson of her Performance Management course in this format for a second year in a row.
The business game led by Professor Markovskaya made the students not only learn about analysis of projects and performance management but also provided an opportunity to develop other soft skills such as their presentation skills. The students were stimulated to really participate and share their ideias and insights. The outcome was an interesting yet fun business game and a genuine proof of the Professor's dedication. An example to follow".
Gil Quadros Flores
Exchange student from Portugal
"It wasn't ordinary project session. This time we took the project presentation as a real life simulator instead of a learning model. We knew that our work would be assessed by experts who have the prime knowledge in this sphere and good eye for project appraisal. In addition, there were international students so our English should be clear, which is not an ease while being under the assessment pressure. After the first presentation experts started asking dozens of question so we realized it wouldn't be a piece of cake.
Our presentation session can be described as a challenge, which I personally like to be engaged in.
After this experience I'm entirely sure that such form of assessing students is something that really contributes to developing professional skills of future financiers. All experts' questions and feedbacks were clear and up to the point, which is vital for personal development. Despite that the session got much longer than we had anticipated, the fact that every project was commented on outweighs this problem.
All in all, I truly think that such practice was a kind of breakthrough for our campus as it put us out of the comfort zone and gave us the portion of real business notion. I believe, the development of such sessions would raise HSE status of international university".
Student from HSE St Petersburg
From our team with project “Rontor”, we would like to thank the hosts of the business game for such an amazing opportunity. For us, this event was an interesting and beneficial experience. We will undoubtedly take into account all comments from the business representatives and try to improve our presentation skills in the future".
Student HSE St Petersburg
The external experts who took part in the event were also happy to share their impressions of the investment session.
Well done to all students who worked hard to prepare their investor presentations! Due to the five-minute time limit, presentations had to be shorter, especially informative and if possible without any tables or figures. It was also important for us to see the team effort in the projects so the speakers had to keep this in mind. Since this was an investment session, I wanted to see a clear appeal directly to the potential investor as well as a good level of analysis of financial indicators".
Director of the Fond Agat in St Petersburg
Excellent idea, creative execution and four teams of inspired students who mastered the Monte Carlo imitation models. Perhaps for many, this was the first time they had to engage in analysis of financial models and delivering presentations in English".
This class format is an excellent opportunity for students to prepare for the realities of business life and understand many aspects that are impossible not to take into account. The students can not only develop presentation skills which is of course very important, but also gain a practical understanding of the so-called “business sense” through the feedback received, at least within the framework of the presented projects. It is important to continue this training so that companies can get theoretically as well as practically savvy professionals".
Digital Marketing Executive, L'Oreal
When I attend such events, I usually wonder how over time, the quality of education and students changes. I also question how prepared graduates are for the ever- increasing demands of the modern labour market and how ready they are to realize their full potential. With regard to the Higher School of Economics and its students, it is once again a pleasure to notice progress in all of these directions. I was happy to see students delivering meaningful and vivid presentation in excellent English and confidently arguing their positions, backed up by relevant knowledge gained in class. Keep it up!”
CEO of consulting company Factosphere Ltd.
Student from HSE St Petersburg