Initiation, Lectures and a Lot of Music: What We Will Remember About HSE SPB DAY 2023
HSE SPB Day has been held at Sevkabel Port in the open air. HSE students were congratulated on the beginning of the academic year by the trustees, faculty deans, and the rousing HSE Dance Club. The first-years had an initiation ceremony, participated in activities from student clubs, and danced to popular songs on the Gulf of Finland. They received well wishes from the professors, representatives of large companies and, of course, student organisations. Find out how the first-years spent the day and what they remember most about the event.
The initiation ceremony for students started with a welcoming speech by Pavel Kuzmin, Deputy Director for Study Processes and Digital Transformation. He congratulated the first-years and wished them luck in finding their path at HSE University. Warm greetings were also delivered by representatives of Rostelecom, VTB Bank, Tele2 and First Furniture Factory, which are members of the HSE University-St Petersburg Board of Trustees.
The highlight of the programme was a DJ set by Pasha Bronx, a star DJ from St Petersburg. To a soundtrack of popular songs, visitors got into the festive atmosphere and learned more about student clubs, attended workshops and quizzes, and, of course, took unusual photos to remember the day. The 35mm film club prepared a special surprise for the first-years: a quiz on iconic films and cardboard cutouts of Ryan Gosling and Quentin Tarantino. Even the HSE crow danced with students until the very end and wanted a photo with the Hollywood stars.
Mikhail Egorov, 1st-year student of the International Bachelor’s in Business and Economics
I think the most important thing I realised about HSE University-St Petersburg today was that it is multifaceted. There are a lot of student clubs devoted to sports, film, theatre, music... It is great that they are created by students on their own initiative—it means that I can have a hand in it as well. I was impressed the most by the film club; it was interesting to guess films with other students. I have an amateur interest in films: I like studying independent films as a separate cultural form. I also loved the debate club—I want to join it as well.
The Association of International Students asked students to mark their native cities on a world map. By the end of the day, there were points near Moscow, Pskov, Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, as well as further afield in Kazakhstan, China and Italy.
Alena Kirilicheva, 1st-year student of the Bachelor's in Political Science and World Politics
Today, I realised that HSE University-St Petersburg is one big family which manages to pull together a huge amount of people with different interests. It is amazing—here, you can find like-minded people and work towards common goals together.
I participated in the activities of the Student Council, danced with the cheerleading team, and listened to members of HSE Music sing. Each station had something special, and I couldn't pick just one as the highlight.
I am probably most keen on scientific activities, but I still leave room for extracurricular life. I already attend some events—for instance, I recently became a member of 'Green HSE'. After today's festival, the list of the events I want to attend has become much longer!
The first-years also had a chance to collect mementos of the occasion. At each station, they received stickers which they could exchange for HSE University-St Petersburg merchandise. The most active participants received branded hoodies, T-shirts and bomber jackets.
The participants had a chance to explore HSE University-St Petersburg not only in the pavilions but also in virtual reality. The HSE Otters Esports club prepared a VR quest where players had to get out of an HSE University-St Petersburg classroom with some helpful tips. The game was created and developed by Dmitrii Yun, a 2nd-year master's student.
Dmitrii Yun, 2nd-year student of the Master's in Management and Analytics for Business
We showed this quest for the first time at VK Fest, but the guests of today's festival liked it as well. We even had to reduce the quest time so that everyone who wanted had a chance to try it. It was exciting for students to put on a headset, touch things and throw books. And why not? It's virtual reality.
As for HSE SPB Day in general, it is one of our favourite festivals. I like that in many regards, it is made by students: they create activities for the stations and speak about themselves to first-years. You can feel the atmosphere of warmth and succession.
Studying at HSE University is a big and exciting journey. The first-years experienced this first-hand in the open lecture hall in the Volt space, where HSE professors and speakers from partner companies took to the stage. Natalia Chernysheva from the Centre for Youth Studies explained why Sevkabel Port is popular among young people, and Nikita Levtsov, graphic designer and a curator at Art and Design School, explained what it means to be a modern designer.
Evgeniya Sologubova, project manager at VK, spoke about stickers created by the Midjourney AI. Ekaterina Lubnina, marketing director of the Sloy cafe, noted that HSE University-St Petersburg and the Sloy cafe had a lot in common: impeccable quality, a yearning for possibilities, and a love of students.
Ekaterina Lubnina, Marketing Director of the Sloy cafe
I truly liked giving the talk today! It is always unnerving to deliver a lecture to a big audience; doubts can creep in a little. But here, the audience was responsive and warm. I saw the interest with which they listened to me and supported me. At some point, all my worries disappeared, and I felt calm thanks to the people in the audience.
I graduated from the university several years ago, but I still keep coming to HSE SPB Day. I feel immensely happy when I see my old friends, coursemates, and colleagues who I had a wonderful time with at the university. I was there for the origins of the HSE Music student club. In 2016, together with our clubmates, we took part in HSE SPB Day for the first time. We did karaoke, and it was a success: there were a lot of people, everyone sang together. I was so happy for the organisation which we created back then. And now, I am happy because the club keeps on working and doing well. I feel a lot of love thinking about it.
HSE University deans and academic supervisors also congratulated the first-years on the beginning of this new stage of their journey.
Mikhail Mukhin, Dean of the St Petersburg School of Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science
May our students be themselves, enjoy what happens to them at the university and their studies, and make new friends at their faculty and HSE University in general!
Dean is a very difficult position because it involves a lot of bureaucratic work, documents and financial reports. It takes a lot of effort. But what gives me energy is communication with students. So I am happy to be here and see the passionate look in their eyes. I know for sure that students of HSE University-St Petersburg become friends, communicate and help each other—and generally, they are a big and amazing community!
Mikhail Tyurkin, Academic Supervisor of the Bachelor's in Media Communications
There are as many different desires as there are students. So my wish is that everyone understands what they really want. Then, all your desires and dreams will come true at the right moment and bring you joy and inspiration. It is always important to find the way for your own heart—it is easy and pleasant to follow it despite any temporary hardships or challenges.
Of course, HSE SPB Day is about communication, and we know that communication is a luxury. It has made me a little richer today: I saw my and other students and talked to my colleagues. There is a team-building aspect to this event. We realise that all of us are members of the HSE community and are connected by visible and invisible bonds.
Later in the day, a video from the previous academic year's mentors was shown on the big screen. Sevkabel Port was instantly filled with applause and happy cheers from students who saw familiar and dear faces.
On this positive note, Yury Kabanov, Academic Supervisor of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics', read the professors' oaths in Russian and English. The new students of HSE University also swore to study honestly, treat all tasks responsibly, and never oversleep the first classes of the day.
Graduates of the university also came to congratulate the new arrivals. The Alumni Community of HSE University-St Petersburg organised a picnic in a birch forest, where guests could network over tea and pizza. 'Graduates from different years came to our meeting. Some of them graduated recently, while others finished five years ago. Nevertheless, we are connected by the same thing—HSE University-St Petersburg—and we don't want to lose this bond. We want the participants to exchange contact information and work on joint projects together in the future,' says Marianna Matiushkina, graduate of the Master's in Business and Politics in Modern Asia.
HSE SPB Day finished with dancing until the sunset to songs performed by the NEMODNIYE cover duo from St Petersburg. All the singing and dancing gave everyone a boost of positive energy for the year ahead!