‘Thanks to HSE University, I Trained Myself to Be Diligent and Grasp the Necessary Information Quickly’
Evgenia Grets is a 2020 graduate of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics'. Having received a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for working with information at HSE University-St Petersburg, Evgenia found her vocation in marketing. She is currently working as a product marketing manager at the company 'Dostaevskiy'. Read on to find out more about studies on the programme and her career path.
— What did your educational path after school start with? What university and specialisation did you choose?
— I remember preparing for the university admissions from the ninth grade and thinking I would apply for philology or journalism. For two years, I was preparing for the state exams in literature, English and Russian, but decided to cover all the bases and also take exams in history and social studies. By May 2016, I had been attending private lessons in history and social studies for a long time, and had a warm relationship with my tutor. She said that I would get bored in a philology programme. Then, she suggested that I consider political science as one option. The same day, I came home and said: 'Mum, I'm going to apply for political science.' No one had even time to understand anything. After coming to St Petersburg, I had to choose a programme (I applied for Philology and Political Science)—and I opted for the second. Now, I do not regret a thing.
Why HSE University-St Petersburg? I was born in a small town, so enrolment in a university was a chance for me to move to Moscow or St Petersburg. The search for a university was a source of panic for me. I asked my mum for help, and she drew up a list of universities, taking into account the specialisations and prices. Being an old-fashioned woman, my mum didn't consider HSE University at all. She thought that HSE University only offered master's degrees. But I said: 'Let's try.' Having visited HSE University, I fell in love with it: a beautiful building, interesting materials about educational programmes and extracurricular activities, and amazing people. I realised that I was going to study here.
— What fond memories do you still have of your student times? Do you remember any professors who influenced you in terms of your profession?
— Of course! Yury Kabanov is someone with a gift for teaching—everyone loved him. He adores his subject and students. I even managed to get him to be my thesis supervisor, and I really enjoyed working with him. I will also always remember my professor of quantitative methods—Mikhail Turchenko, a wonderful person whose knowledge and experience in his subject still come in handy in my work. Right from the first meeting, I was enchanted by Anna Dekalchuk, and I will always remember how I was tearfully asking her to transfer me to another German study group. András Gál and Iain Ferguson are also outstanding international lecturers with whom some of my groupmates still keep in touch. Alexander Balayan, Alexander Sungurov—I can list a lot of professors, but the main thing to know is that all of them are remarkable, interesting and very smart people who taught us a lot and remained in my heart.
— When did you start your career path, and in what position and company?
— At the end of my fourth year, my boyfriend offered me the chance to run the social networks of a legal cadastre centre he was working at. I tried it and liked it a lot. The same people gave me other projects to run, and for several months, I was doing SMM. I didn't have any experience, but I wanted to learn new things in this sphere. Thanks to HSE University, I trained myself to be diligent and grasp the necessary information quickly. I learnt everything myself: started to create targeted advertising and work in Photoshop, and mastered the basics of marketing.
After that, I started looking for another job. I was looking for a long time: I started working and then quit. Finally, I got into a great manufacturing company where I worked as a marketing manager for eight months. I invested a lot and hired SMM and influence managers myself. We sold children's goods and cosmetics for adults, which I could talk about for hours. After some time, I wanted more development, salary and responsibility, so I quit. In two weeks, at the end of February, I got into Dostaevskiy.
— What is product marketing to you? Why do we need it and how does it help an organisation?
— I should say right away that a product marketing specialist performs different tasks depending on what their company does. For instance, Dostaevskiy is foodtech, so our main product is our meals. At our company, marketing specialists engage in cross-team interaction with the departments of procurement, finance, operations and others. We have a huge amount of meetings and calls. This is because before we introduce a product, we have to negotiate a lot of details. On the other hand, there is marketing itself: the team gathers a lot of wonderful specialists with whom we promote the brand and new products. In general, a product marketing specialist answers the questions of 'Who is the client? What does the client want? How do we introduce it? How do we promote it so that the target client finds out about it?'
— What is your next career goal?
— For a long time, I'd been working as an SMM specialist, targetologist and marketing specialist. Often, I was the only one in the office. I did not see any opportunities for growth in such companies. Dostaevskiy is a large company, and I was surprised when they offered me the position of product marketing specialist, as I had an interview for an analyst position. After being a product marketing specialist, you become either a lead product marketing specialist or, skipping that step, an SMO specialist—this is my next goal. I have enough work experience, and my interest in the profession is only growing. In five years, perhaps, I would like to be a development director, as it is extremely interesting. Besides, I am thrilled and fascinated with my boss now.