Oksana Ivanova, Information Technologies and Programming Faculty
Studying at ITMO University wasn’t a piece of cake – we had several deadlines each Sunday; each new task demanded the previous ones to be completed, and in order to get credit you had to pass two exams with two professors. After the first semester, I didn’t quite understand what was going on and what was going to happen next. However, it wasn’t for nothing. After two years of studies, I feel confident and able to solve all kinds of tasks.
One of my most vivid memories is of Emotional Intelligence, a subject I took as part of the soft skills set. I won’t ever forget us dancing during the classes, and the moment when someone I didn’t know had to answer questions about my personality and habits – and guessed correctly. Also, I couldn’t believe my luck when I attended lectures by famous scientists who would talk about their latest articles in Nature. I could ask them anything and even work with them.
Apart from my studies, I was working at a laboratory. It so happened that my Master’s studies have improved and determined my professional qualities. This way, my new field of studies has helped me in performing my job. In the first year of studies, I visited my first international conference in Athens, where I presented the results of a project by the Almazov National Medical Research Centre and the Department of Computer Technologies. It was hard to work and study at the same time, but if the two intersect, there is a chance to succeed both ways.
What’s my secret for success? I think everyone has their own path. Personally, I’ve been trying to participate in various research activities that interest me, and tried not to get upset when refused – it happens. I never missed an opportunity to learn something new, even when I thought that the level of an event or a lecture was too high for me. I think you should learn to see opportunities for personal growth everywhere and avoid underestimating yourself. It’s important to remember that education is not only about getting useful professional skills, but also an opportunity to try various fields, travel, or get inspired.
Roman Yatsuk, Faculty of Laser Photonics and Optoelectronics
I wasn’t one of those students who come to the university just to sit through lectures, pass exams, and then forget everything. Even before I was accepted, I knew that the university would be like a fascinating job for me rather than a place of study. I was lucky enough to be in the right place and meet the right people who not only helped me do important work, but also became my close friends. In my first years of studies, I was working on a technology for color laser marking of metals, which led our research team to create a startup that focuses on this technology. Lately, we’ve been working on laser structuring and surface oxidation of dental implants.
As I complete my Master’s degree, I complete my studies at ITMO University. I’m not getting a PhD because I’ve already been working in a major company while getting my Master’s. So I plan to keep growing there. I had an amazing time at the university. There were great conditions and opportunities. It’s hard to imagine it could’ve been any better. Now, to keep it up and to see the rest of the world, I’ll continue on my path and explore new horizons.
Mariam Muradova, Faculty of Food Biotechnologies and Engineering
I work at the Biotechnologies of the Third Millennium international research center. Together with my colleagues, I worked on a project on the development of technologies of functional food products based on nanoencapsulated complex ingredients and evaluated their impact on human health. Other than that, we’ve been looking for sources of raw materials that can be used in production of new functional food products.
During my first year of Master’s studies, I spent an exchange semester at the University of Verona (Italy), where I studied biology, food technologies, and bioinformatics. Starting with my second year of studies, my research activities took place at the Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory of the University of Lorraine (France). I’m applying to ITMO University’s PhD studies as part of a double degree program and I’m planning to study at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France.
My advice to current students is don’t be afraid to try new things. They aren’t all going to work, but when you find the one that does, you’re going to be so proud of yourself for trying. Before going abroad, I was afraid that my level of knowledge would not correspond to the level of foreign universities, and I was deeply mistaken. Firstly, universities have many international students who face the same problems. Secondly, universities always have international offices that can answer any question. You do not need to have everything figured out, just try new things, experiment, mess up, and start over. Adaptation happens very quickly if you are active and sociable.
For students wishing to participate in long-term or short-term internships, the answer is “Do it!” Experience, new knowledge, new sensations, and meeting interesting people is very interesting and useful. This is what will stay with you forever.
Aleksandr Razumov, Faculty of Laser Photonics and Optoelectronics
In addition to my studies, I’ve been developing esports activities at the university. In my first year of studies, I began to work at the Department of Light-Guided Photonics. A lot of memorable events took place during my six years of studying at ITMO – It’s hard to list them all. But I’m certain that the most important one was meeting people – friends, professors, and colleagues. I will also remember the initiatives that I managed to complete over the years: the esports scholarship, a partnership with the Dostaevsky company, and offering students P.E. credit for esports achievements during quarantine. I would also mention my exchange semester, which was a unique experience.
Is it possible to reach the impossible and combine the incompatible? Actually, while you’re a student, it’s even beneficial to switch between activities – it helps you avoid burnout. The main thing is to know how to prioritize and manage your resources. Plus, of course, a team you can rely on is important.
I advise everyone to participate in as many activities as possible. While you’re a student, you have a lot of time and energy, so you should take advantage of them as much as possible. Plus, ITMO University provides you with a lot of opportunities and encourages all kinds of initiatives. Gain some experience and it will help you find yourself and your passions.
Linda Girsh, Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations
Student life was great! The dearest memories are the ones about winning competitions. That’s when I felt the most intense emotions and excitement, and that’s when I realized that my efforts were not in vain. In my first year of studies, me and my team won the INNOVISION national competition and were awarded a strategy development grant. This semester was marked by the victory in BigGame by Marketorium, an international marketing contest. Dance performances were also very memorable. Student energy is something special, it’s nothing like the contests!
There’s no perfect recipe for success, but I’ve kind of compiled a manifesto for everything I do: you have to love what you’re doing, you have to trust yourself and your partners, you can’t stop because of minor inconveniences, and you’ve got to keep going. I’d like to give everyone an obvious tip that sometimes gets overlooked – explore, get inspired, try new things, grow, and put a bit of your heart into everything you’re doing.
Innokentii Kryzhanovskii, Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations
The most memorable event for me was a Malibu-themed installment of the Fort ITMO urban quest. I will never forget having to inflate hundreds of balloons, arranging a sandbox with my friends until 4 AM in the main hall of the campus using 600 kilograms of sand. We set everything up, went home to sleep for a couple of hours, and got back to the campus at Kronversky at 7 AM to put on the finishing touches. Then guests came, fun began, and for the next 12 hours I was running around the university, solving problems, taking care of things, laughing and shouting. Overall, working and enjoying myself. And then we had to clean up hundreds of balloons and kilograms of sand...
What keeps me going is passion and love for what I do. You can't imagine how cool it is to see a few hundred people having fun and enjoying an event that you and your team put together with your own hands.
I would like to tell current students that what you’re going to do is always up to you. And if you want to take part in an event but no one has organized it yet, do it yourself and you’re guaranteed memories that will last a lifetime.