In 2023, 3,600 ITMO graduates got their diplomas. 1,250 of them also opted for special digital diplomas that record their practical experience as well as their professional and soft skills, reflecting a unique learning path that the student followed during their time at university. A further 49 top graduates who showed exceptional results in science, sports, extracurricular activities, entrepreneurship and cultural activities were presented with personalized NFTs. 

ITMO’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Rectorate and Academic Council. Vadim Gurov, a 2002 ITMO graduate and current CTO of the social network Odnoklassniki, joined him in presenting gifts and diplomas to 2023’s best graduates.

“The architectural complex of Yelagin Island, where we celebrate this graduation ceremony, was built about two hundred years ago. In a similar fashion, ITMO’s 2023 graduates will create products and services that will be used for many decades. ITMO is a one-of-a-kind university where we don’t just teach, but work together: we generate new knowledge and create products, responding to global challenges that are faced by our country and humanity as a whole. All of this calls for competencies, knowledge, and the sense of community that exists at ITMO – and you are part of it. We don’t tell you “goodbye”, but “see you” – because ITMO is a corporation of people who cherish the values they've acquired in their years as students,” said Vladimir Vasilyev.

A part of the graduation ceremony was the traditional midday cannon salute from the Peter and Paul Fortress. Among its participants were graduates Andrei Suvorov from the Faculty of Infocommunication Technologies and Elena Egorova from the Faculty of Digital Transformation. 

Yesterday's students were congratulated by previous years’ graduates: Mikhail Telegin (2005), deputy CEO for strategic projects at OBIT and Vadim Zayats (2006), co-founder and CEO of LIIS Engineering Solutions.

“Some 18 years ago, I, too, was getting my ITMO diploma, and I’m sure that the emotions I felt back then correspond to what you’re feeling now. I wish you to hold on to this drive and find a team with whom you will fulfill yourselves. It’s very important to make the most of your talents, be interested in what you’re doing, and find pleasure in it,” noted Mikhail Telegin.

Vadim Zayats underlined the advantages of modern education:

“The university gives you an opportunity to work with large amounts of information and pick what’s most important. You’ve already gotten vast fundamental knowledge, but also something extremely valuable that we had no access to – and that is soft skills. It’s great when your word is worth a lot. A good position at work is important, but being respected regardless of it is something entirely different. I sincerely wish you to focus on what you really like, because having a job is good, but having a calling is even better," he said.

(left to right) Vadim Zayats, Mikhail Telegin, and graduates at ITMO.LiVE 2023. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

(left to right) Vadim Zayats, Mikhail Telegin, and graduates at ITMO.LiVE 2023. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

In the time between the speeches and the handing out of diplomas, graduates, their friends, and relatives watched performances by the university’s FLAME dance troupe, the STAYTUNED singing club, and the ITMO.Megabattle club. They could also take memorable photos in the photo area and play sports games at an area organized by the KronBars student sports club. At the booths of the Career Center and the Office of International Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies, recent graduates could spin the wheel of fortune, have their future told, and get help with landing a job at ITMO. ITMO.STORE sold souvenirs. In the evening, the graduates danced to sets by top DJs (DJUX, askar, FOMIN, LURE, LR13 b2b steelojesus) at Aurora Concert Hall. They could also watch a stand-up comedy show and a performance by the cover group Joker’s Band.

We’ve talked to several graduates and wrote down their impressions and plans for the future.

Arina Dorofeeva
Top Bachelor's graduate, Faculty of Infocommunication Technologies.

Arina Dorofeeva. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Arina Dorofeeva. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

– I’ve wanted to become a programmer since fourth grade; in ninth grade, I decided to enroll at ITMO. At that time, I thought ITMO to be the best university for programmers, and I still believe so. Also, I really like St. Petersburg – I come from Vladivostok, and the climate here is very similar.  

I took up programming very early, so by the time I was a first-year student, I had considerable experience in Android development, and I started working soon after. Today, I head a development team and own a product at the Protei company. My product is System-112, which is used by emergency services.

At ITMO, I met lots of interesting people, many of whom already have cool jobs and earn a lot. In the future, I plan to continue working – and I also want to travel.

Mikhail Moskvin
Master's graduate, Institute of Laser Technologies

Mikhail Moskvin. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Mikhail Moskvin. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

– I got both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Institute of Laser Technologies. At ITMO, I got the chance to implement my ideas in the field of laser physics, which became possible thanks to a great community of students and lecturers, as well as the academic mobility program. Since I was a Bachelor’s student, I’ve been working on my anti-fraud laser technology; in my Master’s years, I gathered a team and found specific applications for my research – and now my product is almost ready for demonstration. In October, I’ll be having my defense, after which I want to teach at ITMO.

Thanks to the university, I also met great people from the yachting club and started to learn this sport during sessions on the Gulf of Finland.

Anna Doshchenko
Master's graduate, Faculty of Digital Transformation

Anna Doshchenko. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Anna Doshchenko. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

– I got my Bachelor's from the Programming and Internet Technologies program, also at ITMO; for my Master’s, I decided to shift towards machine learning, as I got a job in this field during my third year.

I liked doing a Master’s at ITMO: I acquired fundamental knowledge that helped me get a well-paid and interesting job. And I have great memories of my time at the university: I met a lot of people and got into a cool community where I’m surrounded by open-minded, energetic people who are always ready to learn something new.

As of now, I work in the field of data science at Shelfmatch Robotics – we work on product recognition in images and help with automation of merchandising.  

Artur Taskaev
Bachelor's graduate, Faculty of Software Engineering and Computer Systems

Artur Taskaev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Artur Taskaev. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

– Studying at ITMO was hard, but enjoyable: I got lots of applied knowledge and skills that came in handy. Now I work as a programmer at INTETECH, where I do backend development in Java. I got there thanks to ITMO.

I am grateful to the university for my peers, who helped me to keep pushing on, and my lecturers, who taught me. I’m especially grateful to associate professor Vladimir Polyakov. In the future, I plan to do a Master’s program at ITMO, although I’m yet to choose which one. 

Daria Bogolubova
Master's graduate, Institute of International Development and Partnership

Daria Bogolubova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Daria Bogolubova. Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

– In my Bachelor’s years, I studied to become a physics teacher, and then I applied for the Science Communication Master's program at ITMO. Here was the first time that I’ve felt that I’m being taken seriously. At other institutions, they often look down on you, but here they treated me as an equal and helped me.

ITMO gave me various opportunities: I got to work with my research advisor Aleksandr Bogachev, taught at the Sirius educational center, and did an internship at ITMO.NEWS and the university’s press center.

I really like how motivated and energetic the people at ITMO are. In the future, I plan to work in the field I studied at ITMO, and I’m currently looking for a job like that.