“I’m a Professional” Academic Competition Offers Opportunities to Russian Students

The first National Olympiad for university students "I’m a Professional" was just announced. This special academic competition aims to create new opportunities for talented students across Russia. The winners will be able to continue their education in leading Russian universities and begin careers in large companies.

About the competition

The Olympiad "I'm a Professional" is the result of a collaboration between business, industry and educational institutions. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) is organising the competition, together with public organization ”Business Russia” and 10 leading Russian Universities: Higher School of Economics, RANEPA, MIPT, Sechenov Moscow First State Medical University, Moscow City University, ITMO University, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, TPU, UFU, University of Tyumen. Yandex is also a technical partner.

President of RSPP Aleksandr Shokhin remarked that many Russian companies are concerned with the huge gap between university graduates’ knowledge and skills and the needs of their employers. This new Olympiad was developed in order for each participant to be able to evaluate his or her abilities for future work and how knowledge gained at a university can be applied in practice.

The Olympiad "I'm a Professional" is aimed at assisting talented and motivated youth who are Bachelor’s and Master’s students at universities across the country. The Olympiad takes place over two rounds: the qualifying round will be held in December, and the final round will occur on 27-30 January 2018. The Olympiad scores will be revealed in late winter, from 19 February to 2 March. "I'm a Professional" runs in two age groups and 27 tracks, including physics, mechanical engineering, photonics, medicine, psychology, management, design, etc. In each of the 27 tracks there will be: one gold, two silver and two bronze winners. Winners will have great opportunities as a result of their win!

The gold medalist will receive a monetary award, get a chance to enrol in a university of his or her choice and an offer for an internship at a large company. Silver and bronze medalists don't get a monetary prize but they get all the same perks as the gold winners. All successful participants of the Olympiads will be added to a common national database of young professionals which large companies of the country can access.

The different tracks of the “I’m a Professional” Olympiad meet the modern trends of the labor market and thus the competition corresponds to in-demand professions. Each track is led by several universities under the leadership of one University, the main one for each field (track).

ITMO University's three tracks

ITMO university is organising three tracks of the competitions: "Computer and Information Science", "Photonics", and "Information Cybersecurity"

"It's great that such an Olympiad has become available. It is large, iconic, with clear results – it will set a high standard in education and science and will cover the entire country,” explains Vice-Rector for International Relations at ITMO University, Daria Kozlova, “It will give students from all around Russia a chance to enroll in universities in the capitals of the country and leading regional higher education institutions. As a student, I tried not to miss any opportunities, I participated in contests and competitions, which promised to give me a boost and a new outlook on life. I encourage today’s students not to miss their chance to take part in the competition”.

"The universities that are co-organisers of the Olympiads have vast experience in organizing such competitions,” said ITMO University’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev at a press conference in TASS. “As such, ITMO University already has experience of working with Yandex on Olympiads, and already has the technical side figured out. We are currently deciding with companies about the format of the questions and we want to focus less on those subjects with automatic answers and more on those where you would use a so-called “project method”. So the tasks will be more similar to a hackathon format, when companies formulate and offer students, who are in teams, to find solutions. And companies will supervise a specific team. I think it will be a mutually beneficial option both for universities, and for business."

Track: Computer and Information Sciences

Partner Companies: Mail.ru Group, Yandex, Peter-Service, Tranzas Group, Kronshtadt, Netcracker

University Partners: Saratov State University, Ural Federal University, Far East Federal University, Siberian Federal University, Novosibirsk State University.

Winning the competition on this track will not only allow students to enroll in a Masters or PhD program at ITMO University, but also perhaps get a job or an internship at a major tech company.

Track: Photonics

Partner companies: Schwabe, OEP, Vavilov State Optical Institute, LOMO, Rostov Optical-Mechanical Plant", Concern CSRI Elektropribor, Skoltech and others.

University Partners: Tomsk State University,  Bauman Moscow State Technical University, MEPhI.

Track: “Information CyberSecurity”

Partner companies: Kasperskiy Lab, INFOWATCH, CheckPoint, Positive Technologies, Digital Security, Neobit and others.

University Partners: ETU, The Bonch-Bruevich Saint - Petersburg State University of Telecommunications, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, SUAI, Bryansk State Technical University, Southern Federal University, North-Caucasus Federal University, TUSUR University, Ural Federal University, Volga State University of Technology.

You can read more about how to participate (in Russian), about the competition itself, and register for the qualifying round on the project's site. Registration is open till 7 November.

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