Kick-Start Your New Year

Several ways to tune in to a productive mood by Margarita Grakhovskaya.

Kick-Start Your New Year

Starting from hopefully a successful passing of the session week, students are immersed in the holidays, preferring to rest and recharge before the new semester comes. However, for those who already have nothing to do and are ready to kick-start the year, we offer a small selection of recommendations on how to spend this time productively with further benefits for career and self-development.

Undoubtedly, after an intensive study, you are willing to treat yourself to lazy rest and idleness. However, from the students’ experience, this often leads to you feeling depleted and behind on your goals. It is not necessary to postpone the existing workload for better times, because sooner or later they will catch up with you. Taking advantage of this free time will also helps to get ahead in your academic and professional goals, and start the semester recharged and motivated.

Get ready for the next semester: Time management and planning

First of all, the holidays are the best time to organize your schedule and make plans for the upcoming year. First, you should make a check-list, which will indicate everything that you have been putting off for so long. These can be the smallest tasks, like meeting up with friends, making the doctor appointment, or even sending an email to your research supervisor. However, performing such minor tasks will definitely save you some time in the future. Also, from the website of your educational programme or in RUZ, you can already find out the timetable for the next semester. We advise you to go through the syllabuses of the upcoming courses, get acquainted with all the topics and requirements. This will give you a significant advantage in the next semester, prepare and free you from unnecessary worries. As they say - Forewarned is forearmed.

Take a closer look at exchange and graduate studies programmes

Despite these pandemic conditions, you should not put your dreams of studying abroad on hold. Moreover, some of our students are even now enriching their experience in a foreign environment. This is a great opportunity to expand your horizons, get acquainted with a new culture, find friends and, quite importantly, add a line to your resume. But it is worth understanding that the process of preparing and submitting documents takes some time and the earlier you start, the higher your chances of making a good application. The Higher School of Economics offers many programmes from partner universities, so the research of all the proposals can be a long process itself. If you are ready to try yourself in the fall semester, we advise to take a closer look now. Even if you are not yet sure of your capabilities, the University's website offers various information where one can assess his chances and even pass a small quiz that will accurately determine his potential.

Learn more about the mobility program in Moscow and in St. Petersburg

If you are already at the final stage of education and still attracted by the prospects of foreign professional development, you should take a closer look at various graduate educational programmes. There is a wide variety of institutions offering master's degrees, PhDs, or even co-op courses with paid internships. However, the competition for such places is extremely large and some candidates have been preparing for years. It is worth bearing in mind that if you are interested in getting a scholarship to cover some of the expenses, you should work extra-time on your resume and motivation letters. It is also necessary to enlist the support of teachers who will provide you with recommendations and take care of the language exam passing. Since most certificates are valid for two years or more, you can even work on getting them now. Among other things, a significant part of the application will be a statement about yourself, your experience and professional skills. That is why we will continue by what means you can pump your personal brand.

Among the popular platforms for finding information on educational programs, scholarships and internships abroad, we suggest taking a look at:

  1. StudyQA:
  3. Studee:

Develop your personal brand

A «personal brand» is your business card, your connections and skills that open the doors to new opportunities. Do not neglect your time, and start investing in yourself now. But how can it be done? Of course, everyone is an individual in himself and must develop in his areas of interest. However, based on what attracts foreign universities in applicants, we offer you to try yourself in various projects and researches, find an interesting internship, participate in competitions and volunteer. Fortunately, in modern conditions, this can be done remotely. The presence of publications or completing external courses can be also highly beneficial.

For more information about interesting platforms for development, see the article by Valeriia Pivovarova.

All these achievements are quite important for university admission, as well as for job search. A personal brand is able to recommend you as a versatile specialist and show your successes in practice. Though, this is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, so the winter holidays are a great time to start.

Work on your career opportunities

Not all students know what they want to pursue in the future. But perhaps this is the beauty of the student years. You can try yourself in different directions and get useful skills before finding your true passion. Continuing the theme of personal brand, you should constantly develop and enrich your resume and CV. Having a ready-made file full of achievements is not only practical, but also motivating. An analysis of your professional characteristics will help to understand what area you should delve into or what experience is still missing. Abroad, it is popular to create your own pages in LinkedIn, where you can present yourself, as well as find good connections. Similar analogues exist in Russia. At the beginning of the year, it is also useful to study the proposed internships inside and outside the University.

A major useful source for the HSE students is the Career Center: HSE Career Center and HSE Career Center in Saint-Petersburg.

Of course, you should not devote all your time to work. Everyone knows that to be successful, you need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. During the holidays, you should spend time with your family and friends and get a good night's sleep. But nevertheless, the beginning of the year is a great way to increase your productivity and go towards achieving all your goals and desires. Starting with small tasks, you can get incredible results in just a matter of time. So, go for it.

Text by
Margarita Grakhovskaya