Live streams and 24/7 support

The marathon began even before the university opened its doors to students. In mid-August, the ITMO.ENTER Telegram channel sprang to life. In it, the students would receive daily information about the university’s infrastructure, departments, support offices, student clubs, core disciplines, electives, and everything else related to education at ITMO. Over the course of two weeks, the channel members had the opportunity to ask any question – and staff of the Student Services Office were there nearly 24/7 to answer.

“Our students received a wealth of info on a daily basis: every day, we would publish 5 or 6 posts about the university’s mission and values, the Student Services Office team, the sports clubs, and so on. We tried to deliver content of utmost relevance so that the students would have all the necessary contact info and other tips on hand. We also provided constant chat support, answering questions that the first-year students had about the university,” says Elena Borisova, the director of the Student Services Office.

The online segment of the marathon concluded with a live stream featuring ITMO’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev, who shared his vision of a perfect student and gave the viewers a few tips on organizing their working process, managing tasks, and making the most of their time at ITMO.

The most active participants were invited to join a final quiz. 15 winners, who answered ITMO-related questions with the most speed and accuracy, won prizes: the five top participants received a Yandex.Station smart speaker, while the runners-up nabbed snazzy hoodies from ITMO.STORE.

Station to station

The offline section of the marathon occurred on September 1-3 at the Kronverksky 49 and Lomonosova 9 campuses. The activities were spread between stations, allowing students to complete their journey in their preferred order. Each station focused on a specific subject: at #itmo_edu, the students could learn about the specifics of the study process at ITMO (namely, the electives and modules), while #itmo_native introduced them to the university’s values and code. At #itmo_advice, the newcomers learned all about the various apps and services available to them.

The #itmo_science station featured young scientists and PhD students who provided insights into their research, shared tips on building a career in research and benefitting from R&D, and gave out contact info of the university’s various research groups.

The #itmo_accelerate station was curated by the Career Center and ITMO Accelerator. Here, students were told about career guidance provided at ITMO, ways to discover internships, and the opportunity to complete a special educational program on startup creation and mentor support.

The #itmo_softskills station covered the various courses from the eponymous module, which is available to all ITMO students, and even provided demonstrations of the course content. Students could choose one of two practical classes on lifehacks for self-organization or the use of study materials.

A station titled #itmostudents was dedicated to additional activities available at the university: student clubs, events, trips and guided tours, as well as the student media organization Megabyte. The first-year students were introduced to ITMO’s volunteer community and the Student Council.

Finally, the #kronbars station was a whole spectacle – Russia’s top student sports club was represented by its athletes. Those in attendance could try their mettle against rowing champions, receive a quick fencing lesson, see the cheerleading team’s impressive feats of acrobatics, or throw a frisbee with the university’s ultimate team.