Ural Federal University: The International Economy Program Celebrated 30 Years in the Urals

On June 18, Ural Federal University held an anniversary meeting of International Economics, a program that united graduates of the Ural State University Department of Economics, the Department of Foreign Economic Activities Management of Ural State Technical University and the Ural Federal University World Economics and International Business program.

In 1991, the Department of Foreign Economic Activity Management under the guidance of Professor Leonid Strovsky was the first in the Urals to open a specialty in World Economics, and today the combined program at UrFU continues to produce many generations of economists focused on international markets and occupying high positions in companies in many countries.

The meeting was opened by the First Vice-Rector for Economics and Strategic Development of Ural Federal University, Daniil Sandler, who noted the program’s strengths and presented the University’s current projects to the graduates.

The event was joined by corporate partners who systematically support students and alumni of World Economy: PwC, Raiffeisenbank, Unilever, Sberbank, Ernst and Young, Coca-Cola HBC. Colleagues told about joint projects with the program and held a drawing for prizes among guests.

Maxim Matsiborko, Managing Partner of PwC Russia’s Ekaterinburg office, and Elena Kabanova, Head of Corporate Services, PwC Ekaterinburg branch, noted that the International Economics program today and always is not only about the best students, but also about diverse business activities aimed at constantly improving the quality and importance of tomorrow’s education:

“It’s not just the knowledge, it’s the people who make the educational content, who you learn with, who you work with. One of the most important parts of the program is the opportunity to connect with the people who inspire you.”

The winner of the PwC’s graduate drawing was Georgy Gemedzhiev, general director of DataData, co-founder and executive director of MKE group of companies, and head of the territorial development committee of the Sverdlovsk regional branch of the all-Russia public organization “Business Russia”. At the awarding ceremony Georgy Hemedzhiev noted that as a graduate he had developed systemic thinking and a global vision for further work thanks to the specialty he received at the university.

Natalia Berdnik, Head of HR Service at Unilever, presenting the next prize – a business book signed by Unilever’s CEO in Ekaterinburg – emphasized that graduates of the program work in many positions and projects in different countries. This tradition of joint projects should be developed.

Alexandra Byvaltseva, head of Sberbank’s Talent Center, announced the bank’s openness to systematic cooperation in supporting students.

Program head Zhanna Belyaeva shared with the participants the news that the International Economy and Business program has once again confirmed the prestigious international accreditation by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) for 5 years.

“Today, International Economy is an advanced program that provides a strong foundation of analytical competencies, allows for cross-cultural adaptability and soft management skills to solve multifunctional tasks of the digital economy. We do not stop there; we actively introduce digital competencies to solve specific tasks of the real economy. The program is attended by students and taught by faculty from countries ranging from America to Asia, together shaping new opportunities in the global economy. The values of the program develop analytical, creative, entrepreneurial thinking, mature ambition and a responsible mentality. This resonates with graduates to further support our global community and talented applicants and students,” said Zhanna Belyaeva.

Sergey Boykov, executive vice-president of Raiffeisenbank Ural Branch, mentioned the prospects of employment for economists-analysts with knowledge of international market aspects and raffled off a series of prizes. Elvira Iskhakova, a graduate of the program and today the owner of an international company, receiving the prize emphasized that the frequent experience of cooperation with Shanghai shows how the speed of change in the Chinese economy is similar to the rapid development of International Economy at UrFU.

“It was very nice and joyful to meet classmates we haven’t seen for 20 years! The meeting turned out to be very friendly and informal, I even got a nice bonus – an unexpected present from my corporate partners! It was nice to feel a part of the program! I felt real pride, because our home department remains in demand in today’s reality. The program of training becomes stronger, more interesting. For me personally, such meetings are very valuable, they add faith in their own strength. Thank you!”, Ksenia Berdnikova, Unilever manager and alumni of the program, shared her experiences.

At the end of the holiday, the organizers held an intellectual game “Battle of the Generations” on the topic of global economics and international business, in which teams of teachers, graduates of different years and today’s students of the program took part. The competition was won by the Breakeven Points student team, while the alumni teams Millennials and 2009 Gold Graduates took second and third place with a minimum margin.

The event allowed for renewed contact between past alumni, finding practical interest in continuing to work with the program and bringing the intergenerational World community together.

“With the program office team and students, we held a great event – the International Economics alumni reunion. For 30 years, our university has had excellent faculty and talented and ambitious students! I want to say one thing, looking at everything going on around me and at the graduates of our program, their successes and achievements: I made the right choice, I am very happy and proud that I study here,” said a second-year program student Veronica Sapogova.

Alumni of different years joined in congratulations and noted the opportunity to contribute to the development of talented students and the formation of new partnerships with the program. A plan of current events with the participation and supervision of alumni for the new academic year was approved. It was decided to make the meeting a tradition and hold it again in 2023.

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