ITMO: ITMO.LiVE 2021 Returns to Its Roots

ITMO’s team did everything in its power to revive the beloved graduation tradition for classes of 2020 and 2021 after a two-year break. In light of the current epidemiological situation, the entertainment part of the program was canceled. Yet all graduates still got the chance to receive their diplomas from the deans and hear the Rector’s speech in person.

The graduation event took place at three stages near the Peter and Paul Fortress. In order to avoid mass gatherings, graduates of different faculties received their diplomas at different times according to the schedule. As per tradition, Vladimir Vasilyev, the Rector of ITMO University, addressed both current and future members of ITMO.Family and spoke about the university’s values.

“Today, a certain chapter in your life ends. It’s just a chapter as you now have an excellent background to continue moving forward. And I’m sure that you will keep developing both personality- and career-wise. In recent years, ITMO has been evolving especially rapidly, and it’s recognized both in Russia and abroad. And you should achieve the same heights, too. Your dreams will come true.

“You’re already happy and you’ll become even happier. Don’t forget to spread goodwill and love to others. We’re truly a family, ITMO.Family as we say, which we created together over these years. We learned from you and you learned from us – and that’s what makes our university different. We’re not ashamed to say that we’re just learning. Our university is open to anyone. And today, we don’t say “goodbye”, we say “see you soon,” says Vladimir Vasilyev.

All graduates remain part of ITMO.Family. The university stands ready to help them on their journey, be it science or business, and the doors of ITMO’s , , and are always open to them, too. Learn more about these opportunities in your .

Unlike , the graduates of 2020 also had the opportunity to enjoy the offline celebration at the walls of Peter and Paul Fortress.

“When we asked our students about their graduation wishes, they simply asked for the ceremony to be held at the Peter and Paul Fortress. And we understand that over the years, it’s become a special place that’s so familiar and loved by our graduates. When our first-year students saw how we celebrated graduation, they dreamed theirs would be the same. That’s why we tried our best to preserve the site and throw a celebration for our graduates – of course, with certain restrictions,” comments Lyudmila Tsoi, a manager at ITMO’s Creative and Corporate Projects Planning Center.

During the celebration, graduates got to put on their gowns and take once-in-a-lifetime pictures against the backdrop of the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and other beautiful spots. The location offered several photo zones and a photobooth from GS Labs, one of the university’s partners.

Other partners, including Skillbox, SberBank, Bank Saint Petersburg, MIF publishing house, Selectel, AimFly, LASPB, and Optick academy of sports games, prepared special gifts for graduates who could participate in a no-lose raffle and win a training certificate, a career guidance consultation, or a book.

The Rector handed diplomas to the best Bachelor’s and Master’s students. 39 students became the winners of the contest, ten of whom will receive a 25,000 rubles scholarship from the and the contest’s partners.

ITMO.NEWS talked to the graduates to learn more about their experiences and future plans.

Daria Serova, a graduate of a Master’s program at the Faculty of Secure Information Technologies
It was an amazing experience to study at ITMO. I had a very active student life. I won’t forget our trips with ITMO.Students to Moscow, Vyborg, and Yagodnoye. Plus, ITMO looks cool on the inside and has a cool cafeteria.

Last year, the graduation ceremony was held in Zoom, and we were afraid that it would happen this year, too. We wanted to rock our gowns and take memorable photos. And we’re happy that we had the chance to attend the celebration in person.

Anton Baluk, a graduate of a Master’s program at the Faculty of Energy and Ecotechnology

I studied energy technology, namely, heat power engineering. What I remember most is my exchange semester in Lappeenranta, Finland. I learned about this opportunity just as I got into the university.

Now, I’m going to the army. But thanks to ITMO, I’ll be engaged in science there, too. After I come back, I will probably consider pursuing my PhD degree and an academic career.

Nikita Katrashov, a graduate of a Bachelor’s program at the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations

I’m eternally grateful to ITMO for all the opportunities that are now open to me. Here, I had the chance to unleash my full potential. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at entrepreneurship, collaborate with scientists, and be part of technological and innovative breakthroughs. ITMO is a huge hub for experts.

Here, you get the needed support and help, you can find hobbies for your liking, and you’re not limited to anything – all doors are open to you. This was an extremely productive time, and I contributed to the university, too, as a volunteer at various events. While studying, I tried myself in different spheres, achieved certain results, and expanded my portfolio – and now, I got a tuition-free position in a Master’s program.

Many universities didn’t have a celebration this year. So, I’m very happy that our university is committed to its students and does its best to ensure that we have vivid impressions about our graduation ceremony.

Galina Larionova, a graduate of a Bachelor’s program at the Faculty of Infocommunication Technologies and winner of the Top Graduate 2021 contest in the Well-Rounded Person category

I appreciate the opportunity to balance studies and other activities and graduate with honors from the university. I head the Digital Volunteers student club and also write articles for Megabyte Media.

I plan to pursue a Master’s degree: I already got into one program and I’m going to take exams for another. I haven’t yet decided which one I want more. They are both great and are connected with mobile app development.

Andrey Vibe, a graduate of the Specialist’s program at the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations and winner of the Top Graduate 2021 contest in the Social Activity category

During my studies, I helped to organize around 50 events. For three years, I was deputy chair at the Faculty of International Business and Law and then the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations. I also participated in the ITMO.Leaders competition to head ITMO.Students.

I had a great experience. The social activity helped me a lot during these years. I was motivated to study well and as a result, I graduated with honors. The celebration went great: we went on a boat together with the Rector, took a bunch of photos, talked a lot, and just had an awesome time.

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