ITMO: ITMO Students Win Alfa Bank Contest and Receive 300,000 Ruble Prizes

Every year, Alfa Bank offers talented students the opportunity to receive funding for developing their professional skills or their projects via the Alfa Chance program. This year, Arina Dorofeeva and Denis Martseniuk, third-year Bachelor’s students at ITMO University, won the contest. Read on to learn how the winners can spend their cash prizes and how to increase your chances of winning.

The Alfa Chance Scholarship Contest is a charity program run by Alfa Bank that provides 30 best Russian students with a 300,000-ruble grant to spend in a year. These prizes can be spent on internships, new devices or software for work, or a personal project. The most outstanding participants will be offered paid internships at Alfa Bank.

The contest is open to third- and fourth-year Bachelor’s students, who need to fill in the online application form and provide the following documents:

proof of enrollment or a scanned copy of a valid student ID;
a letter or video of motivation, where they talk about themselves, their experiences and achievements, as well as their plans for spending the grant money;
a scanned copy of their grade book (the grades themselves aren’t a selection criterion, but good academic performance can be an additional advantage);
scanned copies or photographs of diplomas, certificates, awards, or volunteering records;
links to published articles or conference proceedings.
All submitted applications are then reviewed by the expert committee comprising representatives of Alfa Bank, universities, as well as Russian and international companies, including Oleg Sysuev, first deputy chairman of the Board of Directors of Alfa Bank, and Alexey Milevsky, director of investment at VK. Students from 12 partner universities of the scholarship program (ITMO University among them) have more chances to win, because these universities are allocated two grants each.

This year, among the contest’s winners were Arina Dorofeeva, a third-year student at ITMO’s Faculty of Infocommunication Technologies, and Denis Martseniuk, a third-year student at ITMO’s Faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems. We asked Arina Dorofeeva what she thinks helped her win and how she will spend her prize money.

Arina Dorofeeva:

When I learned about the contest and realized that I fulfill the requirements, I decided to apply. You don’t need any special preparations, only a certificate of enrollment, information about your current grades, and a letter of motivation listing all of your achievements – quite a few in my case.

Most of my achievements are extracurricular. In 2020, I assembled a team of like-minded people that we called televisor (television). As the team’s leader, I started participating in various hackathons; I am most proud of our wins at the national hackathon Digital Breakthrough in 2020 and 2021 and at AMC MAKEATHON in 2021. I have also been involved in different initiatives of my faculty – for instance, last year, I held a workshop on Android development at ICT.Bootcamp #2 that was organized by Info Lab student club and took second place at the ICT.Hack #2 hackathon at the faculty.

My Bachelor’s program at ITMO is Mobile and Online Technologies; I also have experience as an Android developer at Arcadia software development company and IT department project manager at German company Innoscripta International. Currently, I am developing my own app called Tamagotchi Earth. In the app, users have to take care of their own tamagotchi planets with special attention paid to the most important indicators: greenhouse emissions, water use, and the annually occupied production area. These indicators change depending on what users eat, which helps them see how their habits affect the environment and change them to more eco-friendly ones while playing a game.

I will spend one half of the grant on acquiring new skills and the other one on this project. We have already developed a cross-platform app and now we need to connect the front- and backend. I regularly take part in accelerators and pitch the project at different events, but it’s hard to secure investments without an already completed app. I think that Alfa Chance truly is a great chance to bring Tamagotchi Earth to life.

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