We continue a series of interviews with the graduates of Voronezh State University who studied at our university and got the knowledge that they found very useful in their career and that helped them find the work of their dream. A 2008-year graduate, training manager of the Renna Holding Group Nadezhda Yapryntseva told us about her studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Psychology (speciality "General and Social Psychology"), her first steps in her career and what employers expect to see in young specialists.
Studying at VSU: first steps and discoveries
'I wanted to be a psychologist that's why I chose to study at the Faculty Philosophy and Psychology, where I got a wonderful opportunity to learn things I was interested in. That choice had a great influence on my life. I am happy that I did not only study specialised disciplines in psychology. Such subjects as Mathematical Methods in psychology, for example, contributed a lot to my development. Thanks to them I learnt to think. It is very important to have critical thinking in any situation, to be able to prove your opinion and know how to support it with arguments. I am very grateful that we were taught how to collect information. When we were students the Internet did not conquer the world yet. I will never forget how we queued in the Nikitin's library to borrow "Activity, Consciousness, and Personality" by A.N. Leontiev. We knew then what it meant "to dig up information".'
The start of the career
'My career had an interesting start: it happened when I was a student. When I was a first year student I worked as a youth leader in a children's rest camp. We spent 3 months working there and not just because it was a part of our summer practice which was obligatory but because we wanted to. I have beautiful memories of this journeys which became traditional: the sea, the sun, young colleagues and, most importantly, the experience of working in a team and with a lot of children. I found it very interesting to communicate wit very small kids – some of them were younger than 6 years old. In the fifth year I had a chance to work as an educational psychologist in an absolutely unique place – Children Creativity Centre in the settlement Teplichny. To my mind, working in the sphere of education makes a very good start for your career. Then I got experience in consulting children and their parents, and working with a group of children or adults. My colleagues and I ran a very interesting project dedicated to working out educational lessons for two or three year old kids. Then it was a new thing in Teplichny. As for me, it was my first experience of making the project from the very beginning to the very end – starting with the idea, developing it, getting the approval and implementing it. Then we wrote the programmes and made the adds for the lessons ourselves. It was really interesting and provided us with valuable skills and knowledge. I spent 4 years working in the Centre. Business psychology and personnel management were much later.'
Have you met a lot of VSU graduates in your career?
'A few months ago I took part in a project dedicated to changing the structure of the financial department in the Renna Holding Group. We were looking for a great number of economists and finance specialists for senior positions. And when discussing the results with our financial director we came up with the conclusion that VSU graduates tend to be broad-minded and demonstrate their ability to use a systematic approach. And that is of great importance to us as you have to see the problem in the perspective to solve it.'
What can you advise to those who only start their career?
It often happens that young specialists who have just graduated from a university are not ready to go on learning. You have to understand that apart from knowledge university teaches you to learn on your own. As a trainer who teaches personnel in a very big company I want to tell you: "Never miss a chance to learn". "I know everything" approach stops you from learning, and thus, makes it impossible for you to move up the career ladder.'