The official ceremony was kicked off by ITMO Rector Vladimir Vasyliev, who started by saying that every member of ITMO.Family contributes to the university’s development and even after graduation remains part of this large community of driven individuals.
“Today, during my boat tour with the top graduates two of them thanked me for the best university that is ITMO. In turn, I want to return this gratitude to everyone standing here about to be awarded their diplomas, because we all as ITMO.Family are building this university together. We live in a whole new measuring system – we live in the future. I would like to thank our graduates for building this future with us today, regardless of whether they work in the industry or academia, in Russia or abroad,” says Vladimir Vasilyev.
Overall, 2032 graduates received their diplomas from deans and the rector this year, 40 of them also receiving the new ITMO Diploma highlighting their special achievements in research, sports, social activities, or art. Apart from that, this supplemental document includes the competencies acquired by students, including digital, entrepreneurial, and soft skills (we wrote about the initiative at length here).
Another university tradition is the midday cannon salute at the Peter and Paul Fortress, the task annually trusted to two graduates. This time, the honor went to Yulia Kenzhebaeva, a graduate of the Faculty of Physics, and Nikita Pavlenko, a graduate of the Faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems.
Former graduates also attended the ceremony to congratulate those who were graduating and award them with gifts. Among them were Maxim Slyusarenko, head of the backstream development service at Yandex.Market, and Vadim Zayats, co-founder and CEO of LIIS Engineering Solutions.
“The most valuable thing we have is our experience and it turns into an invaluable asset when we have the opportunity to share it. There is true synergy in two generations sharing their values with each other. For instance, currently all business analysts at our company are under 21 years old. They are much younger than our developers and it’s incredible that we have the chance to constantly feel so young. This symbiosis of optimism, entrepreneurial experience, and the ability to offer quick and specific comments is very important,” notes Vadim Zayats.
Maxim Slyusarenko shared his ideas on what the graduates should focus on to successfully develop their careers.
“Hard skills are something every graduate has – after all, they are not hard to acquire on your own or at university, but you will not go beyond average without your soft skills. You have to be able to communicate with people without being reserved, to find the information you need and be able to structure it. Most importantly, however, you need to have the desire to grow, because then you will bring more value to yourself and others,” he says.
At the event, the graduates were celebrated by their friends and family. They also had the opportunity to watch the performances of the FLAME and BLANCHE student teams. The specially arranged lounge zone offered nitrogen ice cream and cryo lemonades courtesy of Cryo Team, while the KRONBARS zone welcomed everyone wishing to play Jenga or volleyball. Moreover, the graduates could consider their career options at the stands of the university’s Career Center and Office of International Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies. The event concluded at ITMOTION Night, where the graduates danced their hearts out at the Aurora concert hall to sets from top DJs: DJUX, Arelove, AMVY, Fomin, Value 1, and DJ Erick.
We talked to some of the graduates to find out the highlights of their time at ITMO.
Best Master’s graduate, Faculty of Physics
To me, ITMO equals opportunities and they are truly limitless here. You can do anything you like: from sports to research. I was lucky to have discovered science here and I am still involved in it now, for which I am really grateful to the university.
Over the two years of my Master’s I became the first author on several papers published in international journals, I won presidential and governmental scholarships, and I am now engaged in three state-funded projects. I do research in the field of optical properties of metal-organic frameworks. Moreover, I had the opportunity to study in France as part of the Erasmus+ program.
Thanks to ITMO, I joined a great community of people, who accompanied me over the course of my studies. Gradually, they became my family, and now we continue to go through life together.
A Master’s graduate, Faculty of Energy and Ecotechnology
To tell you the truth, I liked just about everything about ITMO. I came here from Almaty, Kazakhstan, and I was curious to see how both social life and research manage to flourish at the university. Whenever I get asked about ITMO now, I say that it’s a cool university people should definitely apply to. Here, you will be supported, you will receive assistance for developing in those fields that you find close to heart.
I studied chemistry as a Bachelor’s student, so I know what is most harmful to the environment. As a Master’s student, I wanted to look at this issue from another angle and learn how we can help nature, so I decided to enter the Industrial Ecology program. Studying in a foreign language was a challenge that I gladly accepted. I’ve established new connections with international professors and significantly improved my level of English. In a certain sense, it was a transition to a new life that will stay in my memory for a long time.
In parallel to my studies, I was also working as a mentor, including for international students. I was able to explain topics in English and it was a little victory for me. Moreover, I organized various events, such as the open day at the faculty, which I also view as a great achievement.
A Bachelor’s graduate, Faculty of Biotechnologies
During my studies, I really valued the lecturers I had the opportunity to learn from. For instance, in my first year Mikhail Kurushkin, the dean of the faculty, taught us molecular chemistry using VR headsets. I also really appreciated the honest and heartfelt approach to teaching of senior lecturer Tatiana Evstigneeva.
I took part in the 11th Congress of Young Scientists and received a diploma for my presentation on the development of ice cream with oat beta-glucan as a functional additive. This product will be beneficial for people with cardiovascular conditions. Thanks to my victory at the Congress, I was able to enter a Master’s program offered at my faculty.
ITMO also offers many opportunities for sports and other extracurricular activities. For instance, I joined the arm wrestling club.
A Bachelor’s graduate, Faculty of Photonics
To be frank, when I entered ITMO, I didn’t expect it to not be just perpetual studies, but also a great amount of extracurricular activities. Take for instance this graduation ceremony at the Peter and Paul Fortress – it is so cool! But what’s even better is that students can benefit from everything available at university and do research or other activities even after the end of the office day.
I believe that at ITMO I grew on both personal and professional levels. Before studying here I didn’t know anything about photonics and I don’t believe I could’ve got it from anywhere else. In my first year associate professor Anastasia Babkina convinced us that photonics is not just about glass, but also about creating and applying it, while Daria Koval, our English teacher, showed us that ITMO is a cool university, where we will find help with our ambitions.
Together with my supervisor Leonid Mironov, we studied the luminescence of argentum clusters, which do possess this property, unlike atoms and nanoparticles of the same material. This property can be used in solar cells and temperature sensors. This research helped me win the competition for best presentation at the 11th Congress of Young Scientists, as well as the ITMO grant contest and another project.
A Master’s graduate, Information Technologies and Programming Faculty
Studying at my faculty is really challenging, so I am proud to have completed my degree. I believe it demonstrates my determination, no matter if I have an honors diploma or not.
A big part of my time was devoted to studying, which helped me to boost my professional skills. For instance, I wanted to improve my proficiency in algorithms, which was why I chose my program. As a result, I landed a job at the company I aimed for – I am now a middle-level developer at Yandex. I am also assisting lecturers with classes on algorithms. I can say that I got exactly what I came for and all my efforts paid off.