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Heyksy: YouTube Success Story

Ksenia Tulupova, a promising and creative student and youtuber, shares her story of success.

Heyksy: YouTube Success Story

Everyone knows that a lot of interesting and talented students study at the HSE. Many of them are social media influencers or bloggers. We decided to interview students who have been successful in blogging and find out how they manage to balance in different areas of their lives. Today is the story of Ksenia Tulupova.

Ksenia Tulupova
Ksenia Tulupova

Ksenia Tulupova is an HSE student of Media Communications Program and runs the «Heyksy» YouTube channel, which has 121,000 subscribers. Congratulations on a big and significant YouTube achievement, as well as a cool trophy. You have a wonderful channel.

What year did you come up with the idea of starting a YouTube channel and how old were you?

The date of my channel registration is January 15, 2015. I celebrate the fifth this year. In fact, it all started very simply – after one of the conversations with my dad. It was he who pushed me to try to do this and I am extremely grateful to him. So, it was 2015. I was 15 years old and I just moved with my whole family from Riga to Moscow. It was a rather difficult period for me because absolutely everything in life had changed – a new country, a new city, a new home. I did not have any close friends at that time. It seemed that the only thing I amused myself with was YouTube. And then one day, my dad told me an enthusiastic story about video bloggers (who they were, what they did, what videos they shoot, what I liked to watch, and what I would change), and my dad asked me directly, why did not I try it myself. To be honest, I thought about it before, but it was my father's such clear simple and direct question that finally sobered me up and I thought, why not?

I remember coming after school, forgetting to have lunch, taking my sister's tripod and camera, and just experimenting. I liked the process itself: preparing for shooting, searching for ideas, editing, designing. Therefore, I continued to do these things. Of course, the videos for the most part did not carry any semantic load, but I enjoyed the process itself.

Do you plan to develop the channel after graduation? The channel was primarily an occupation for the soul but now it has begun to generate income. Are you planning to work in your specialty and at the same time shoot videos?

In the last year, I consider my blog not only as something that I do for the sake of my soul: the income has increased significantly and large brands began to come to me with requests for advertising. Therefore, at the moment I think that after graduating from the university my blog on YouTube will be my main priority and occupation for a long time. Here I should make a mark and say that I would like to try myself in some other areas in which I would like to work so it is difficult to answer.

Why did you choose HSE? Why exactly «Media Communications» program and what options did you consider?

Initially, I did not understand at all what I wanted to do. However, during my last year of studying at school made it became clear to me that I should begin to be determined somehow. And so, my family and I spent six months discussing all kinds of training options gathering on so-called «Family Councils». I prepared presentations with information about different universities and educational programs. We swept aside inappropriate directions and universities and slowly groped for what might be interesting. As a result, there were «Foreign languages» ​​and intercultural communication», «Management», «Journalism», «Sociology» and «Media communications» on the list. And so, having studied all the selected programs up and down, having gone to almost all open days, only "Journalism" at the Higher School of Economics and Moscow State University, as well as «Media Communications» remained on the list of tempting offers. During the entrance exams, I finally became convinced that journalism is not for me, but the direction of media production is my option.

We can call you a headliner of the «Media Communications» Program and partly its promoter. Some other girls in your Program do blogging too, but you are the most successful. How do you feel about this role? Do you feel a lot of responsibility receiving questions from applicants and schoolchildren who choose the university and direction? What emotions do you have about it?

I do not even know if I can call myself the headliner of the media com, but, anyway, it's nice to hear that. Thanks! In fact, at first, I felt very excited about this because I felt like a kind of guide between those who enter HSE but do not know how. I was always incredibly happy to share advice, my experience of admission, and studying, because I felt that I really help people. Moreover, it seemed to me that I convey everything very clearly, structured, and understandable, and I wanted it to be that way. When I was preparing myself there was no detailed information. And if there was, it would be very helpful in determining the direction – that is, to find out what is hidden by this name «Media Communications» and what students do there in general. Realizing this, I, of course, wanted to ease the torment of choice for applicants.

However, «consulting» topics of the videos began to narrow from simple tutorials to what a minor in HSE is and how to choose it. And here it is important to understand that my target audience is not only applicants who want to go to HSE, but also senior students and students of many other universities. For the second group, this information is not very necessary, so after my third year at university, I started moving away from the topic of HSE specifics of the education and combine it with more general topics in the field of beauty and lifestyle.

You are honest in your videos about studying at HSE. Isn't it scary to tell the truth about the shortcomings of the system / your program, when the audience is already large enough and the video attracts everyone's attention?

On the contrary, it is not scary, but very pleasant, because I understand that I am honestly telling how our studies are organized and what level of knowledge we get. I would feel much worse morally if I said that everything is perfect: Enroll in HSE on media and pay half a million a year for tuition. I understand very well that we also have our disadvantages and it is easier for me to tell about it than to feel some kind of huge responsibility for the choice of another person, raising his expectations from this university and this program. Well, plus to everything, it seems to me that I have never used any harsh words about my educational program and the university, because I love this place with all my heart, and the dissatisfaction that I can express is associated only with specific cases and particular situations.

Is it hard to balance YouTube content creation and studying? After all, filming and editing take a lot of time. How do you manage it? Do you have any life hacks?

During the 3 and 4 years that I have been blogging, I have already got used to this routine and I do not have any difficulties in this. I just know that every week I have to shoot one video, edit it, make a cover for it and display it – in theory, nothing complicated at all. And if you also combine this with adequate time management, then it is very realistic to do all this even on the busiest week. Of course, that the sleep rate can suffer, but that is another question ... I generally like to edit at night, so any night on any day is free time for me.

It is your last year in this Program. How do you feel about that? Did the Program meet expectations? Do you like the studying process? Did it give you something useful for your future development? If so, what exactly?

This is a rather painful question for me, because every time I think about the fact that it is my last year at the university, I become very anxious. And not even from the fact that there is some possible uncertainty of the future, but from the fact that I understand that I will lose this wonderful atmosphere of student everyday life.

I really enjoy studying. I can't even imagine where else I would like to study so much as here. Yes, there are controversial points, but in general, I enjoy it. It seems to me that there were only a few times when I was very depressed by the work that I do (for example, semantic analysis), but for the most part, the difficulties that arise in projects are very interesting for me to solve. Firstly, this is often connected with the media sphere, and I would very much like to understand it deeply (therefore, I do not mind sitting for a couple of hours suffering, but then understanding how it all works there), and, secondly, it helps you develop your skills in organizing group work, assigning tasks and meeting deadlines. In general, I believe that any experience should be regarded as useful for our future, regardless of whether we liked it or not. For example, self-presentation skills, teamwork skills, working with information, and tight deadlines skills will all come in handy outside of the university. And also, what I would like to note is the connections and contacts that I had during my studies at the university – this is definitely priceless!

We know that you have a lot of advice videos for students and freshmen. Can you share a couple of insights during your studies at the Higher School of Economics? What would you wish yourself at the very beginning of your HSE journey?

I am madly in love with planning, structuring, organizing, and trying to make sure that everything is as clear and understandable in my studies, so I think that things such as are important for all students:

  1. Structure all deadlines in one table

We almost always have a bunch of subjects in our schedule, a bunch of projects in the curriculum, and also a bunch of homework on top. It is very easy to get confused as to where is the evaluation formula and where is the deadline. Therefore, my group and I decided to keep a separate plate in Google documents, where every quarter we write down all future projects, their deadlines, and also leave links to the curriculum of the academic discipline and the assessment formula. Having everything in one place makes it easier to keep track of the educational process, not miss deadlines, distribute your study and work time following them, and do everything on time.

  1. Clear organization of teamwork

Again, Google Sheets can help us here. When starting a new group project, we first create a table called «Tasks + Subject Name» and divide the entire project into stages and specific tasks. In the process of discussion, we decide who is responsible for a particular item in the project and set an internal deadline for each task - this is an incredible way to organize work in a group because everyone has a job and everyone knows what needs to be done and by what date.