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Regular version of the site

All About Studlife

Serafima Gerasimchuk will tell you everything you want to know about HSE Studlife organization.

All About Studlife

Who are these people who write about students’ life?  We conducted an interview with a member of “Studlife” organization – Serafima Gerasimchuk – to find out what it is like to be a journalist in a popular HSE media. She told us if it is possible to write articles if you have never done it before and what you should do in case you want to try.

About STUDLIFE

Studlife HSE is the organization that covers life of a student in all the ways. It’s not only about news from the university or events that are happening in HSE. Studlife is the community of creative people that help students develop themselves, foster their skills and broaden the horizons.

We are happy to talk to Serafima Gerasimchuk, one of the journalists of “Sudlife”, who will tell us more about the project and the teamwork environment.

Author’s note:

Serafima Gerasimchuk  is a third year student of Political Science Program, a member of “Studlife” for over 6 month.

 

How did you come up with an idea to join Studlife organization?

Actually there are several key factors that influenced my decision to join Studlife organization.

First of all, it was the necessity in credits for the project activity. I found this project at the end of the second year of studying at so called “Project Fair” just to fulfil the demand in credits. But later, after finally getting them I decided to stay in the organization.

The second factor was my personal goals as in the future I would like to get into the sphere of journalism rather than political science. Consequently, it is important for me to have portfolio with several articles by the end of the bachelor’s program that I will be able to show to my potential employer. And now I am building up my experience writing articles for our magazine.

Was it difficult for you to start? What were your first steps?

Well, yes, as in all thing, there were some challenges in the beginning. Namely, with the search of trending topics. It’s always a problem but now it comes to me easier than before. Concerning first steps, when I joined the project, I should have proposed couple of subjects for an article I would like to work on to the chief editor. After that, chief editor chose one the most relevant that would be written and told me: “Okay, let’s do it”. Thus, I started working on my first article.

Okay, let’s do it.

Working as a journalist seems to be a perfect job. Is everything so great as it looks? What gives you motivation in your work?

I suppose that my main motivation is that I enjoy doing it. My work brings me pleasure, especially if I have a chance to write an article on the subject of psychology that is related to our mental health. For example, recently, I have had an article regarding panic attacks. Also, there was an article about students from different cities that came to Moscow to get an education and we asked them, how they were adjusting to a new way of life, how they were coping with stress and so on. These themes appeal to me and I am ready to spend a lot of time working on them. I am fond of it.

What is the perfect job atmosphere in your opinion? Will you, please, describe it.

Frankly, for me it’s quite a sensitive issue. In the past I used to have my private space at home, so I could focus on the work and start doing something. Now, I have a little brother and it’s almost impossible for me to concentrate. I can’t say that I am hardworking, to some extent I have a lack of patience, that’s why it’s necessary for me to have a private zone where I can work. After lockdown I realized that it’s absolutely impossible to work at home and I prefer to go somewhere, for instance, to the café or to the library and study there.

How much time do you devote to your work in Studlife organization?

It’s hard to say precisely how much time I spend on it. Anyway, I won’t say that it takes me long. Roughly speaking, once in two weeks I am asked to write an article. To illustrate, in October I published two big articles in terms of volume. Working on one article can last from two-three hours up to five-six but I don’t know for sure. I can only say with a good reason, that if it were time-consuming, I wouldn’t do that because it may be difficult to hold multiple tasks at the same time. I believe that my participation in Studlife is more about labor of love rather than extensive work. Something that you are eager to do but only in case you have free time

What are pros and cons of being a journalist in HSE organization, to your mind?

Pros:

1. Professional experience

First of all, Studlife is quite powerful mass media in HSE where I gain some useful experience that I hope will help me in the future to find a payable job as a journalist. As you probably know, you should have required qualifications and a number of articles published if you want to enter media organizations. Particularly, when you are changing the sphere of professional interests from political science to journalism. So, I’m doing first steps now to achieve results in the nearest time.

2. Personal growth 

Secondly, Studlife is a chance for me to try something new. It’s an extra activity aside from the studying process at the university that provides me with a feeling that I’m doing something important and developing my hard and soft skills contrary to the emotions I have while studying politics. Unfortunately, I realize that on my bachelor’s program I don’t receive useful knowledge that I could use in the future”.

Cons: None

Actually I don’t think there are any disadvantages of being a part of Studlife as I really enjoy it. A special thanks to our chief editor, she is very kind, understanding, it’s a pleasure for me to work with her. To tell the truth, she was one of the main reasons why I finally decided to stay in the project and continue writing articles. As I told you, my initial motivation was to get credits and in may my participation in the organization should have come to an end but I was so amazed at the friendly atmosphere in the team, such a wonderful chief editor, so I made a decision to stay. As you can see, I can’t find any cons. 

What are your greatest achievements and total failures?

My big achievement is my article about panic attacks. It is written in accordance with professional psychologists from the center of psychological consultations in HSE. Despite the fact that it reached not a great number of likes and profile visits. Not as many as I wanted. Anyway, in my opinion, this article is written as it should be. I’m very proud of the job done.”

I can’t say there were any major failures, though, because everything I write is carefully checked by the chief editor. As a little failure I would name the latest article that covered four big interviews with the most popular student organizations in HSE: “The Vyshka”, “Green Vyshka”, “CTC Ingroup” and “Scientific battles”. It took me a good deal of time and effort to gather the information and structure it into one text, but, unfortunately, it’s not popular at all. I found out lots of interesting facts about these organizations from interviews. At the same time, audience showed no appreciation of it, the article reached less amount of likes and profile visits than in average. However, I don’t consider it as a failure cause I am pleased with the final version of the article.

If you are impressed by the opportunity to become a part of “Studlife” organization and you are eager to try yourself in media sphere, we have some tips for you. Serafima told us what one can do to join the project and gave useful advice to all potential newcomers.

Who can take part in the project?

You can submit an application through “Project fair”. As for restrictions, as far as I know, there are none. It is preferable if your program is somehow connected to the sphere of journalism or media but, in fact, there are people from different programs. The only limitation I can name is that you should study in HSE and write about HSE students’ life.

What does the selection process look like?

There is a qualification phase to enter the organization. It consists of the google form one needs to fill in and creative task. The candidate is asked to choose the topic of the day and write a piece of article on this theme. After that the task is being checked by the editor. And in case your theme is relevant, you performed the job well, it’s quite likely that you will become a part of the team.

What advice can you give to newcomers?

It’s a good question. I would recommend not to be afraid of extraordinary ideas. You may think your topic is strange but in fact it will come to fame, you never know. Sometimes I look through the published articles and think of how people had come up with such an idea. It would never enter my mind. So, my advice is Just be creative.

Interview by
Yulia Lavrenkina