Master Programs in Economics
Daria Matvienko, second year international student of the Economics: Research program and University of Luxembourg dual degree program, hold online meeting with the faculty of economic sciences master programs applicants and undergraduate students
During the online meeting Ms.Matvienko covered the following issues:
1. Opportunities for international students at the faculty of economic sciences
2. Structure of the program and first-year courses at the master programs in economics
3. Dual degree and study abroad opportunities
4. Personal experience, advice, and takeaways for future students.
See video on Youtube https://youtu.be/PkkFSXxmZkk
See ppt by Ms.Matvienko - related coursework, costs, opportunities
Starting September 2021, master programs Applied Economics and Economics: Research Programme will merge to become tracks of the newly established program Economics and Economic Policy. Research track will be taught entirely in English, while in two other tracks - Economic Policy and Applied Economics, instruction will be available in English and Russian. More about the merger: Economics and Economic Policy Master Program at HSE
Excerpts of Daria's Presentation
Originally from Ukraine, Daria did not participate in Olympiads in middle school. She was really fond of mathematics though and this subject really made her excited. In high school, she started a math profile, where all students had been participating in Olympiads for many years. Then she realized she was not the best student there.
Daria says: "It is my path always during life that when I find my comfort zone then I try to do something better."
After school, she was planning to get higher education in her home country but received a scholarship at HSE University based on her portfolio and interview, to HSE undergraduate program as an international student.
Microeconomics, macroeconomics were hard at the beginning, but high grades in math brought her to the research track/together with 60 or 50 motivated students who wanted to learn micro, macroeconomics, econometrics, probability theory on an advanced level.
"The quality of professors and the quality of students admitted is really amazing. You go to another university and see the background of other students and you really understand that HSE provides education at very high standards and at any university in the world you will feel very comfortable after HSE." - concludes Daria.
"I chose to go for a master's degree and the economics research program because I understood that what I want is doing research and I want to be surrounded by people who want to be in academia. I had an opportunity to work in the international laboratory for macroeconomic analysis since 2018 and to be a TA because during the first year of my master’s program I was teaching microeconomics to bachelor students.
During the two years you will have the coursework and thesis so you will have an opportunity to discuss your paper, your course work with other students and with professors, you learn how to present papers. There are different research seminars that you can choose from at the Faculty of Economics Sciences - micro, microeconomics, finance, behavioral and experimental economics, sport studies, health, and labor economics.
Also during the second year, you will also have a variety of elective courses, taking some disciplines from other master programs. The second semester of the second year you are writing your thesis, you have an internship in a company or research internship in a lab as you wish because I think it's important to gain some practical experience during your studies before you're going to the job market so also you will have a research seminar to present your paper. I would add that the attitude towards students at HSE is really very personal and very devoted and also there are a lot more practical courses with data analytics.
My second year at the University of Luxembourg started with math camp, and it was really tough -- we had two and a half weeks of studies for five-six hours a day math and probability, statistics and we had nine home works 30 or 40 pages each. I was so happy that I came from HSE because I had great fundamentals and I would say that everything can be measured in comparison because not all my classmates had this experience. The research program starts with micro, macroeconomics. There are some topics which we didn't cover - for example in HSE financial theory while it was a more theoretical one but you still need to understand it to do practical stuff. Of course, we also study Econometrics at the University of Luxembourg. Not to mention a great atmosphere when you can come to the professor's office and ask them everything you want, they will be very open to you and want to help.
During the second semester, there are more practical courses like microeconomics, empirical economics, and finance, and four out of six small elective courses that I chose were financial stability, risk management, etc. Professors in Luxembourg and HSE are teaching to a very high standard. Here the campus where I study it's not very crowded. There is a library nearby and it's really not crowded. There are many research seminars by the department of economics and finance and there is a learning center at the University of Luxembourg. There is another campus in Belval, it's quite far away so I would say the best student events are happening there. Here you can concentrate more on your studies, there is a cool library and many opportunities to study. Public transit is very good quality. There are trains, buses and everything is free."
Q&A with international applicants
What do you guys face as the greatest obstacles on the program from the academic point of view in Russia and in Luxembourg concerning course structures and working procedures?
Good universities are very similar. I cannot say that there are many differences. The structure of the exams was quite different in Luxembourg, and you don't know the grades for a long while. My advice is not to be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes. It's completely okay, it's your study process, it's better to speak with your professors as much as possible, to communicate with your classmates as much as you can. Try to do things in advance, but students sometimes do their assignments right before the deadline. Not be afraid to help each other because when you're teaching someone, when you explain something you study yourself and you start to understand better.
Will I have part-time jobs on the campus, on international companies?
On-campus, you can work as a teaching assistant or RA. You can also do a project with your professors. If you don't know Russian it's a bit complicated because it’s like this in every country - in Luxembourg, I don’t speak French so for me it's almost impossible to find a job in a central bank or something like this which I want to do.
What advice would you give to someone with a weak background in economics and mathematics?
There is a great course by professor Kirill Bukin on Coursera. He was teaching me microeconomics in the bachelor program and he also teaches maths for economists and I took a look at the course and I just did this course on Coursera before my master’s program despite the fact that I’m okay with maths. I would say but it allowed me to be more prepared for the class in September and October. Link to course
What is the workload of the student in the master’s program in economics and how much time the master’s degree takes?
During the first semester, it is better to study only, especially if you're coming from a different university (not HSE) because you need some time to adopt a new system, to some professors, to grade systems. I took a look at my curricula one year ago so I had more or less 16 classes a week - 80 minutes each. I had four subjects and there are two lectures and one tutorial for the lecture material so I think it's better to study the first semester. I would say the best strategy is to study the first semester and start part-time work only from the second semester.