A desire for independence
I am originally from a small town in the Moscow region. I went to an ordinary state school there, which was not differentiated by anything but one exceptional person who laid a sound foundation for my future success. It was my teacher in mathematics. He was extremely devoted to helping children exploit their potential, spending long hours with those who were interested for free. He concentrated on developing my ability to think innovatively, not being restricted by previously seen patterns. He demonstrated to me that by working hard I could solve whatever task, increasingly making me believe that I could reach whatever height. I grew up an exceptionally goal-oriented and challenge-driven person.
Unfortunately, Russian education is not recognized internationally. Lack of government support harms the development of this sector, with insufficient funds being allocated to provide students with progressive materials or even allow pedagogues stay up-to-date. This is not the case with the University of London degree at ICEF. Not leaving my home country, I was able to obtain a diploma which opened the whole world for me.
I did my degree in Economics and Finance. There were no such subjects in my school. I was fond of maths in which I did well. Whilst at the final year of my school studies, my parents pointed me in the direction of economics and finance as a way to implement mathematics in real-life situations. The new area captivated me so much that the resulting complete involvement allowed me to successfully master heretofore unfamiliar topics. Within a single year, I was able to progress so much I became a prize-winner in The All-Russian School Contest in Economics. I eventually realized that this is the field within which I wish to develop.
"ICEF's academic staff was not just comprised of people of different origins, it was more than that: all pedagogues carried the spirit of globalization."
Prior to my entering university, I was part of a small society represented by those who inhabited my home town. Once I entered ICEF, I had the feeling of being a citizen of the world. Analyzing that metamorphosis now, I realize that the key was in the faculty’s academic staff. It was not just comprised of people of different origins, it was more than that: all pedagogues carried the spirit of globalization. I wish to thank all those mentors I learnt from during my Bachelor’s degree for their exceptional influence on my views.
My study experience at ICEF was incomparable to that obtained at school. Most importantly, it was differentiated by its competitive environment. There was no absolute benchmark against which the performance of every student was measured; the rating system was used instead. I find this feature very advantageous, as it allowed us to develop the right attitude towards being continuously compared against each other. It is a mistake to think that such a system is stressful; on the contrary, I believe it helped us avoid stress in the future, as we were prepared for the working environment which is the same in this sense.
"The way in which the material is taught makes you curious, since a lot of sources that link theoretical knowledge you obtained to practical issues that govern the modern world are provided."
The way in which the material is taught makes you curious, since a lot of sources that link theoretical knowledge you obtained to practical issues that govern the modern world are provided. The fact that what you learn is applicable is extremely motivating. After the second year of my undergraduate studies, an additional stimulus appeared. I was awarded a place at LSE Summer School and that experience made me wish to do my Master’s degree at this university. However, I did not wish my parents to bear the associated cost as I felt the necessity to become independent. I learnt that there was a scholarship provided to the top two students of the University of London International Programmes who decided to continue their studies at LSE. This was the single chance for me, as I told myself I would better start working rather than continue to rely on my parents’ financial support.
Once you start studying, you will find that it is much harder than you thought. Do not let things slide, persuading yourself that this demanding period is a temporary phenomenon. It is not. You had better take this pressure as given, as this is the key not only to great academic achievements but also to impressive time management skills which would allow you to find plenty of time for activities other than studies.
"My education provides me with a great chance to start in London and thus get exposed to first-class expertise which this financial centre offers."
I am much more prepared to take the Master’s degree than other students who I currently study with. Regarding the subjects which were a part of my undergraduate studies, the theoretical foundation I learnt at ICEF was broader than the one which is taught now. This allows me to devote more time to practical aspects and thus obtain an understanding of how the real world operates which I believe distinguishes the young professional.
I wish to pursue a career in investment banking. My education provides me with a great chance to start in London and thus get exposed to first-class expertise which this financial centre offers. I would like to try several locations prior to returning to Russia in the capacity of an experienced professional intended at launching something on my own. There are many unexploited opportunities in my home country, and I will not miss the chance to exercise them.
I wish to guarantee my parents a better life. They have always worked hard to provide their children with as many opportunities as possible, thus being unable to fulfil their own ambitions. Their devotion is reciprocal, and I feel that it is high time for me to pay back.
- Anfisa is now studying MSc in Finance and Private Equity at LSE.
- The International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) is an Affiliate Centre for the University of London International Programmes.
- Find out more about studying for a University of London degree in Russia.
- Find out more about studying one of our LSE-led undergraduate degrees.