"My University of London degree gave me an additional lens to see the world"

Engineer Yuriy Babenko studied independently for our BSc Economics and Management to gain a better understanding of global issues
BSc Economics and Management graduate Yuriy Babenko
"You cannot understand today’s situation if you have only one lens on the world": Yuriy Babenko (Photo: LSE)
What is fascinating about social sciences is that in the majority of cases there is no ‘right’ answer, but a spectrum of different solutions with different implications

Yuriy Babenko is a strong believer in the importance of examining issues from different perspectives.

This was why, as a qualified engineer with a full-time job in telecommunications, Yuriy decided to enrol in our BSc Economics and Management degree with academic direction from LSE.

“I believe in multi-degree education. You cannot understand today’s situation if you have only one lens on the world,” Yuriy said.

“You know the old saying: 'To the man with a hammer, the world looks like a nail'? For me, my University of London degree gave me an additional lens to see the world, or an additional set of tools in the toolbox – a way not to be that man with a hammer.”

Yuriy said the degree had equipped him with an understanding of socio-economic issues, which allowed him to develop a more nuanced view of problems.

“In engineering, there is often one right answer, as the problem can be solved analytically or mathematically (there is a law, formulae, etc). What is fascinating about social sciences is that in the majority of cases there is no ‘right’ answer, but a spectrum of different solutions with different implications,” Yuriy said.

Flexible study

Yuriy, originally from Russia but living in Germany, studied for his degree independently so he could tailor his programme of study to fit in with his work and family commitments.

As well as being able to set his own study schedule, Yuriy enjoyed the freedom to shape his own learning. He used the study materials provided by LSE to guide his learning and then sought out other resources to deepen his understanding.

“For me it was fun to be able to design my own way, to find materials, to look for books for research – to basically uncover this topic where I had no idea whatsoever five years ago,” Yuriy said.

Exchanging views with different cultures

Yuriy also loved the opportunity to exchange views with students from around the world via the Virtual Learning Environment and social media.

“I made a good friends in Singapore. We chatted via Skype regularly every weekend and worked on problems and test cases together. Over the course of the last two years we never skipped a call, so the level of this additional commitment against your peers was very helpful and fun,” Yuriy said.

"The idea to study with your international peers and share the stress and enjoyment of the studies brought me a lot."

“Moreover, the idea to study with your international peers and share the stress and enjoyment of the studies brought me a lot. The experience would had been completely different for me if I had not had my virtual student room with my co-students.”

In the final year of the programme, Yuriy also contributed to the Official Student Blog, sharing his tips on how to succeed studying independently.

“I wanted to share some of the lessons that I learnt the hard way while following the programme - thus giving back some of the knowledge, methods and tricks to the great University of London student community,” Yuriy said.

Looking to the future

Now that he has graduated, Yuriy is utilizing his knowledge of socio-economic issues to bring value to his job and hopefully make a greater contribution to society in general.

“That's my plan for myself – to benefit from the University of London degree and have a better understanding of the complex world where we are today. LSE’s motto is Rerum cognoscere causas  ("To Know the Causes of Things") and this is something I like to follow too.”