The Club That Can Determine Your Career

Interview with Viktor Chemykhin, one of organizers of "HSE Case Club".

HSE Illuminated: Good afternoon, Victor, how long have you been part of the case club team? And how did you stumble upon this club?

VC: I have been part of the HSCC organizing team since June 2018. This community was one of the most famous at HSE and it would be strange not to run into it, aiming for a career in big business.

HI: Was the team up to you? Or did you start from scratch?

VC: The current team of organizers is not the first. As far as I know, the HSCC was formed in 2014 and since then there have been at least two organizational structures, although perhaps more, I can be mistaken. The only thing that was started from scratch, no matter how hard it is to guess, is honing the mechanisms of interaction between the new team, building its image to create a certain picture of the club case. It is worth noting that this process was carefully thought out with the active participation of the previous composition of the org-s for the good part of the summer of 2018.

HI: How did you become part of the team?

VC: At the beginning of summer, the question of transferring the case of the club to new organizers arose and old ones were looking for the guys who could solve the cases and planned to continue doing it. One of the organizers was a leader of my teammates at the trip of the 1st course, and that's how it all happened.

HI: Is it difficult to conduct lectures and do you get pleasure from it?

VC: It is difficult not to give a lecture - the difficulty is to prepare it. Good preparation in the conditions of normal workload takes from 3 to 5 days. Although, the main difficulty during the oral part of the speech is when you can’t clearly understand whether the audience understands what you mean, whether it is necessary to somehow clarify something, what to pay attention to. The main pleasure from the lecture is the contact with the audience since the lectures are mostly interactive, it’s pretty cool to look at how people think, how they evaluate certain things, how they react to this or that phrase. You yourself feel that you are sharing something completely public, but on the other hand, it has a great impact on the children themselves continuing to read and develop in this direction, but independently. And it was interesting during the year to keep track of how new visitors form new case teams, what they do.

HI: What activities does the club do besides lectures?

VC: We devote quite a lot of time to organizing events for companies that interact with us (e.g. BCG, McKinsey, A.T. Kearney). These events are interesting to very many people, including ourselves. All the same, professionals in their field, tell better about it than anyone else. Our group in VK also plays an important role; weekly digests on events and case-championships are traditionally published there. Recently launched a new heading, which tells about the various areas of business, is very short and accessible.

HI: Do you have your own special things?

VC: The difficult question is actually:

  • the main difference of our composition is its number; we are at least twice as large as we were last year. And we are young; all the guys who lectured themselves are from the 2nd year;
  • there are more company events (maybe);
  • Instagram appeared to promptly inform people about the activities;

At this stage, we often think about what else we can offer the guys, think about new formats.

HI: Do you think the activity in the case club will help to choose a future career?

VC: In my opinion, definitely yes, we inform the guys about a fairly prestigious and promising industry, about companies that are global leaders in this industry. Many guys in the 1st year know very little about it and I think it can lure some of them. Our focus is historically on consulting, which is comprehensive, allows us to try ourselves in several industries, sometimes unexpected, which gives an understanding of various businesses and allows us to choose what we like. Cases themselves help to acquire the skills of making presentations, working with Excel, structuring large amounts of information - these skills are needed almost everywhere in the modern world.

HI: And finally, will you advise students to become part of your team or at least regularly attend case study events?

VC: As far as I know, in the near future the team of organizers will not expand. And events are definitely worth attending, especially meetings with large companies, they are preparing very cool performances, they are really interesting to listen to - this is the format that is interesting for students of any age. For junior students who are not familiar with cases, I would advise attending lectures by the organizers of the case club, this will help to start not to be afraid to solve cases, to understand what it is and to disassemble what is impossible.

Text by
Nikita Matvienko