ITMO: ITMO Students Receive 2.5 Million Rubles Grant for University Development

Tvoy Hod is a whole ecosystem and an eponymous competition that brings together students from all over Russia. The contest aims to help aspiring specialists discover their strengths and professional interests, as well as create their career paths. During the first two rounds, students had to develop a project, individually or as part of a team, in one of the offered tracks – be it ecology, entrepreneurship, or urban architecture. As a result, 10,000 participants with the most gripping ideas advanced into the next round.

The semi-finals included business games, during which teams had to allocate their tasks to solve certain problems. An expert board that consisted of psychologists, instructors, and coaches evaluated the performance of each participant by taking into account how they contributed to the team and perceived new information.

In the finals, students from various universities were divided into teams and each team chose one of the eight faculties: Career, Science, Sustainability, Special Opportunities, Relationships and Mental Health, Safety, Travel, and Future Education. The task was to develop a university of the future that would be able to meet the needs of today’s youth and universities in Russia and abroad. The suggested projects were evaluated against six criteria: impact, focus on results, teamwork, initiative, systematic solution, and customer focus.

The contest welcomed 45 students from ITMO University, 18 of whom went to the Kaliningrad Oblast for the semi-finals of the Northwestern Federal District and 7 represented the university in the finals. As a result, the university received 2.5 million rubles for active participation and was named as one of 50 universities with the most participants.

Among the finalists were Konstantin Gorbunov, a fourth-year student at the , Vyacheslav Strashilin, a third-year student at the , Alexandr Charaev, a third-year student at the , Valery Karagaev and Sergey Molchanov, second- and third-year students at the , as well as Anastasia Zakharenkova and Vadim Borovitsky, second-year students at the .

According to Konstantin Gorbunov, this contest is a great way for students to improve their skills in problem-solving, teamwork, and public speaking. On top of that, the finalists had the chance to meet leaders from various fields – for instance, Sergey Kirienko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office – to discuss project ideas and learn from their experiences. Vyacheslav Strashilin, in turn, was most interested in internship opportunities and personal growth.

Though both were part of the Career faculty, the two students worked on different projects.

“My team tackled the topics of career guidance and self-determination. It often so happens that students either realize that they have made a mistake or lose their will to finish their university program. To avoid that, we proposed a tutor system to help them get back on the right track,” explains Vyacheslav Strashilin.

Konstantin Gorbunov and his team presented a prototype of a platform that allows employers to share their business cases. It is an excellent opportunity for students to try their hand at real-world tasks and for employers – to find the most prospective candidates for collaboration. The project turned out to be quite a challenge, says the finalist.

“We struggled with deadlines the most as our product had to be ready in just two days. At the very beginning, we were not really aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. However, students from our university were all determined if not to be the first, then at least to be among the runners-up. That’s what helped us through all the ups and downs,” comments Konstantin Gorbunov.

The winners of the competition already have some ideas about how the grant money could benefit their university. While Vyacheslav Strashilin suggests promoting the concept of individual learning tracks together with the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education and establishing a career guidance system, Konstantin Gorbunov is of the opinion that the university lacks a system for digital flow of legally recognizable documents. Such a system would greatly reduce the time needed to organize business trips, as well as internship applications and agreements.

The National Student Competition Your Move is organized by the ANO Russia – the Land of Opportunities, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh), and the National League of Student Clubs with the support of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Held for the first time, the competition received more than 560,000 applications.

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