"I Was Lucky To Find Good Friends And Study-buddies"
First-year Economics: Research Program student Natella Agikyan on her first semester and ERP scholarship award
My Academic Background
I graduated from HSE University, Moscow, bachelor’s program "World Economy". The main advantage of that was a perfect combination of two languages (English and German in my case) and economic subjects. I loved every second I was studying there and HSE University became, so to say, my home. Mainly I was focusing on microeconomics and climate change economics. At the same time, I was working as a TAt for a microeconomics class. Having different choices at the program allowed me to try a lot of totally different subjects and understand which of them are more suitable for me personally.
First-year Economics: Research Program student
During my bachelor's time, I was involved in research, started working in the research lab of climate change economics, and at the same time as a research assistant. I found myself enjoying participating in and organizing conferences and communicate with the people doing research. So, the EPR program seemed like a perfect fit for me. This year I started teaching seminars for 1st- and 2nd-year students and continued doing research. Now I can say for sure that I intend to continue my academic career and will do all the way (master’s and Ph.D.)
The first semester was tough, mainly because of the online mode. There is a lot of mathematics, which at the same time interesting and scary. It's been a long time since I've dealt with such sophisticated math. Since I started at HSE 5 years ago, now everything is understandable and familiar. As for my undergraduate program, it is difficult to even compare. It is like two different worlds and realities. I like both and there is still a lot to explore for me here at ERP.
Advice To Future Students
Be ready and don't underestimate the difficulty of the program. To be able to truly study here, it is not just advisable, but also vitally important to know basic math and understanding how economics works. Even if one does know it, it will still require a lot of time to self-studying. I was lucky to find good friends and study-buddies - Polina Borisova and Ayazhan Zhangalova (also EPR scholarship recipients). So, I would say that there are two reasons I got an ERP scholarship - my background and our joint study sessions, and the second was even more important. We met online after each lecture and each seminar to discuss everything we didn't understand or to review the new information. I can say that it's the best part of the EPR program - interesting subjects and smart people to discuss it with.
So, yes, it will be difficult and future students should think not only twice but maybe even 10 times, but in the end, you can be 100% sure that it will be worth it!