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In this interview, Alexei Smirnov speaks about the capacities necessary to work in an increasingly globalized world, as well as his university’s efforts in international relations and some issues facing sustainability in his specific region.
In my way of thinking sustainability is a very important thing nowadays and every university has to be in time. I mean in the projects universities must be in time and sustainable concerning the development of the work with students and with teachers. I think that sustainability is when you go forward, and if you want to go forward you have to exchange your experience, you can exchange your experience with your colleagues from other universities or with other countries because it is important not only to talk, we must do this or we must do that, we have to do something. That is why the exchange of experiences to my way of thinking is very important concerning to this question.
Where are some of the barriers to sustainability in your country or your region?
I live and I work in St. Petersburg, in St. Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics so the field and of my work is banking and financial markets. So to my way of thinking is hard to speak about sustainability concerning financial markets nowadays because everybody knows that for the time being, is the time of crisis and that is why it is necessary for teachers and for students to think about development of themselves concerning the crisis because a great amount of firms, banks, organizations don’t allow new students to participate in their work because of the crisis. That is why we try to make the quality of education high.
Which are the skills, knowledges and competences that we would give the students to cope with the world’s current situation?
I am absolutely sure that is impossible to speak about economy, to speak about banks, to study banks without knowledge from other countries so the main projects in our university is to visit organizations and universities from other countries to, as I said before, exchange experiences. About skills first of all if you work in a bank you have to know financial analysis, the analysis of financial markets, how to work on the financial markets, or with treasury bonds, stocks, you have to be a good accountant, to possess an ability to read the account, to read the bill, to read the financial analysis, so you have to communicate with other people, so you have to know foreign languages, good skill because I can’t imagine working in a financial organization without knowing English for example or Deutsch, German.. What other skills? The skill to understand and to talk, you have to possess a good language skill first of all to communicate and to understand other people and what they want to tell you, because someone can talk but can’t understand and on the other hand they can understand but they can’t talk. They can’t use their language correctly. So I think the main skill is to know financial market, other skill is to know foreign languages and to possess communication skills.
What are some of your currents projects within AG and sustainability?
Current projects deal with international programs for example with the Erasmus Tempus program or with the exchange of students between the European Union universities and our university. For example twice a year our department, department of finance and banking of our university, travels to the European Union with our students and with the professors of our department. So we visit different financial organizations, banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and our students have an opportunity to communicate, to see how does the European financial system work, to communicate, to speak with managers and top managers of different financial companies of European Union. I repeat it is important and absolutely impossible to speak about financial system, to study banking system without knowing foreign experience. So current projects deal with international communication and change of international experience.