'A Mindset of a Researcher Helps Both in Work and Life'
Vladislav Kostin is a 2018 graduate of a programme in political science. After the graduation, he studied on a master's programme at Corvinus University of Budapest. Now, he works as a business analyst for MTS. Vladislav told us what was memorable about studying at HSE and which skills of a political scientist are required in professional life.
ON HSE UNIVERSITY-ST PETERSBURG
At school, I was interested only in two subjects: History and Social Science. My teacher influenced me a lot: she instilled the interest in law, economics and social science. I understood that I should apply to a programme related to this sphere. The most general-purpose subject is Political Science. I also applied to the programme ‘International relations’, but I do not regret having been enrolled on the programme ‘Political Science’.
I enjoyed studying at the university. Some moments were bright, some were busy and routine. However, in overall, the dynamics was still positive. I had great course mates, we still keep in touch. In Moscow there is a whole community of political science graduates. We had very interesting and useful courses on, for example, Political Analysis.
One of the highlights was the course on Sociology delivered by Vladimir Kostyushev during our first year. Within this course, we conducted field work, analysed data and published some articles. There was another project which was called ‘Political Map of Saint-Petersburg’ with Alexander Sungurov. During the project, we analysed the course of the electoral campaigns in 2016. There were many highlights like that within these four years. I also attended a minor course in Data Analysis. During this discipline, we conducted useful projects as well. It was a great supplement to political science.
We also had many extracurricular activities: we participated in Club of the Funny and Inventive, were HSE curators. I was a Chair of the Student Council of the programme. Also, we performed at the competition 'Miss and Mister'. It was an amazing team-building event in which all the course mates were involved.
After graduating from HSE I was enrolled on the master's programme in Public Policy at Corvinus University of Budapest. Coincidentally, while studying in Budapest, I undertook an internship in a telecommunication company where I performed the tasks related to data analysis.
Nowadays, I work as a business analyst for MTS. It is far from politics, but the skills I gained on the programme and the minor course are enough to successfully analyse data, set tasks for software engineers and work with various information systems. Currently, data analysis is highly demanded in the labour market. These skills can be implemented in different companies all around the world.
In my profession, there is a lot of communicative work. The background in political science helps a lot. First of all, it helps to understand the organisational processes in the company. Second, I work with the clients a lot. In this case, you should know how to build communication in terms of a certain problem which we are working on and correctly set the tasks. Again, I use the approaches I learnt on the programme: statement of hypotheses and research questions. A mindset of a researcher helps both in work and life. Of course, the research seminar and quantitative methods came in useful.
Moreover, skills of working well both in a team and individually were of use. There were lots of self-study and group projects at HSE. At work it is important to achieve a balance between the responsibility for your own tasks and effective work in a team.
ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
I recommend trying as much as possible: not just study well, but take part in extracurricular activities and learn languages. You should actively interact with your course mates and students of other programmes and come up with various ideas together. You should not waste time, but do not overstress yourself. You should study at your own pace to make it comfortable and interesting. You need a university to communicate with people. That is how a university is different from courses on the Internet.