Active School: Learn How to Create Events

Active School: Learn How to Create Events

An amazing project “Active School” took place again on November 16-18. This is a perfect opportunity for students to learn new skills in event sphere, share experience and become a part of a Student Council team – “Students for students” or SDS (“students for students” in Russian is “studenty dlya studentov”).

"Students for students" is the largest student organization of the HSE — St. Petersburg, which organizes almost all major events: Active School, HSE Party, Miss and Mister, Ice HSE, HSE Music Festival and much more.

If you want to learn all the details of the organization of mass events, get and develop the skills of event management - then you should join SDS! Any HSE student can become a member of the SDS organization. The most important thing is the desire!

"Students for students" brings up a sense of responsibility, teaches to work in a team and expands the creative abilities of every individual. This organization gathers the most creative, ambitious and sociable people. Its door is always open for those who really want to do something important!

The first step to become part of a cohesive team is joining the "Active School". Above all, it is a training project for a new generation of students. However, there is a three-stage selection of the best of the best, consisting of a showreel, a questionnaire and an interview. The "Active School" is a project that gives birth to ideas of new SDS events and prepares the best event organizers for the HSE.

So what about activities? What was happening at the Active School?

As the main mission of the school is to plunge guys into the atmosphere of the event industry at the HSE. Interesting and extremely useful lectures by the heads of different SDS branches were a necessary part (even though it was lack of sleep, students listened carefully every minute and never closed their eyes!). In addition, invited guests from event sphere gave their personal tips in order to better understand how to make an event and product unique. Of course, another part – teambuilding – encouraged and inspired the participants. It consisted of a rope course on cohesion, psychological game to address and accept the shortcomings, night quest and the team homework.

I still cannot imagine how it works. Can you explain?

Let’s ask those who were there. We interviewed participants – Alexandra Aksenova and Gleb Loshakov and one of the organizers – Angelina Silaeva.

HSE Illuminated: As we know, it is hard to become a participant of the "Active School". What about you? Did you feel stressed during competition? If you did, how you dealt with it?

Alexandra: If we talk about the selection of the "Active School", it was stressful to wait for the results of each stage and to have a personal interview. And if we talk about the "Active School" itself, there were no stressful situations at all, only positive emotions that I received thanks to my team. We solved all difficult tasks together, and this helped us to avoid troubles.

Gleb: Our selection process is unique and, as far as I know, more demanding and complex than that of our Moscow colleagues. During the month that the selection lasted, I did not experience any difficulties, although I had to break my head and strain the hemisphere responsible for creativity at some stages. But, fortunately, there were people, who were ready to help me at the first stage and to support. It is to be noted about the interview, which was final and decisive. I had a bad experience before, but I learned from the mistakes of the past and was completely confident and calm.

HI: What is the main goal of the “Active School”? What skills did guys get?

Angelina: The main goal of the school is to identify active and charged guys who will make HSE's extracurricular life bright and unforgettable. Our everything is aimed at helping that children to open, energize, learn something useful about an event industry and how to work in team, and to feel a part of SDS team. It is difficult to evaluate the skills. We will check them while working. What I hope the most is that they are charged.

HI: Can you highlight the most impressive moment?

Gleb: The best and useful moment for me was lectures about the activities of the SDS. The guys introduced their organization, shared experiences, sometimes funny or scandalous moments. This is, in fact, one of the main things that we had to learn during the “Active School”.

Alexandra:  Unfortunately, I can't single out one moment. The most memorable and incredible moments for me were the meeting with Pasha Kalinsky, the first head of the SDS and the creator of the "Granola" cafe, and the night quest.

HI: What are the most “wanted” qualities of applicants? What was the competition?

Angelina: It is difficult to define these qualities because our participants are very different: from the most active to silent and shy. Your character is not important — it is important for us to see the light in the eyes and the desire to work.

Entry was highly competitive. We had to watch about 200 video applications, read about 150 resumes and interview 100 applicants. And it was very difficult to select, because each organizer has its own vision of the participants, some of which they know in advance. We argued and discussed a lot, but in the end, we gathered very cool guys.

HI: A lot of people find new friends there. Did you?

Alexandra: Of course. I met about 30 new people but only participants of my team became real friends of mine. I hope we will keep up the communication. Gleb: Of course, new friends and acquaintances appeared. During the team work I merged with the guys and we could to understand each other at a glance. A “real Dream team” is the most appropriate definition.

HI: What was the "Active School" for you?

Angelina: For me, the "Active School" was a moment that is even difficult to describe. During a preparation, we spent a lot of time together and became a real team. And at the end I felt a family that is ready to support and help. I brought a lot of emotions from the participants and a great love for my team — this is probably the most important thing for me.

Alexandra: Sleepless nights, wonderful people, emotions.

Gleb: Team, drive, creativity.

HI: What is your impression?

Angelina: I'm happy! I am happy that I was lucky enough to become a part of such an event, to invest a part of myself in the future of the SDS. It's incredibly difficult event from the point of view of the regime and the health, because the amount of energy drinks consumed in these 3 days is more than my annual norm;) but these emotions are worth every sleepless night!

HI: Do you want to organize the "Active School" for new generation in future? What would you advise those who is going to apply next year?

Alexandra: I would like to become an organizer of the "Active School" next year. I would advise not to be afraid, to believe in yourself, to pass the selection for the "Active School", even if you are not sure, and have a good sleep before the "Active School".

Gleb: I would be happy to become an organizer of the “Active School-19”. During the past few years I’m used to be an organizer of such events, participated in them once previously. My advice to future participants of the “Active School”: “Do not be nervous and get ready for each stage! If you pursue your goal and believe in success, you’ll definitely achieve the desired result”.

The "Active School" is an amazing platform for students to show their creative and organizational skills, as well as a place to meet a lot of interesting people. Its main objective is to transfer student, university traditions to the first-year students of the HSE, to create a single student spirit and a friendly team of charged freshmen who will become a stronghold of extracurricular life of the HSE.

Text by
Anastasiia Vanchurina
Oksana Semenikhina