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Svetlana Zhuchkova is a gold medalist of the Academic Olympiad “I am the professional”

Svetlana Zhuchkova who is a Deputy Head of Research & Study Group has won the Academic Olympiad in Sociology. Being confident and well prepared, she has got almost the highest possible score and became the winner. Congratulations to Svetlana! Down below, you will find Svetlana Zhuchkova Interview.

Svetlana Zhuchkova is a gold medalist of the Academic Olympiad “I am the professional”

© Press-office of the Academic Olympiad “I am the professional”, 2018
  • How did you prepare for the Academic Olympiad? Why have you decided to participate?
  • When I was studying at school, I loved Academic Olympiads. Since the eighth grade, I became an active participant, so I had a lot of practice. In contrast, at the university, there was a pause until this Academic Olympiad interrupted it. Well, I have never had a purposeful preparation for the Olympiads; I always just wanted to test myself. I suppose, not only my knowledge but also a lucky coincidence helped me to win. One of the tasks was dedicated to the topic with which I have been working for one year and on which I am writing my diploma – methods for searching for multivariate associations in social data. Perhaps, it sounds like it is not about sociology, but actually, it is. The key feature of social data is that most of attributes we are interested in are presented as categorical ones; however, they can reflect complex social phenomena. Therefore, to model these phenomena we need to adapt the methods of analysis seriously. By the way, this is what our Research and Study Group is doing this year.
  • Tell me about the type of Academic Olympiad tasks. Was there something crucially new for you?
  • I was really enthusiastic about tasks in sociology. I consider the organizers were great in balancing both theoretical and practical tasks, so every participant found something interesting for them. I would like to say thanks for it. Moreover, there was something new for me. It was the first time I applied one of the analysis methods manually while I used it only with statistical packages before. In particular, I built one of the decision tree models, calculating all the necessary statistics. This was quite unusual. I did not think I could find this solution, so it can be considered an excellent example of the brainwork in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Are you going to enter the magistracy? If you have already chosen the program, then why have you chosen it?
  • Well, I am going to continue education, but I am still not sure about the field. I only know that I will definitely study at HSE and will not continue my studies in the field I am working now. It seems to me that the bachelor’s degree of our university provides sufficient knowledge and it is necessary to change the field in order to get all benefits of the current two-stage educational system.
  • What are the advantages of winning the Academic Olympiad?
  • The participants knew all possible prizes in advance: it is an opportunity to enter a magistracy, to get an internship, to get into the base for employers and get a big cash prize. The set of awards differs only depending on your rank in the Academic Olympiad. Since I am a gold medalist (i.e., an absolute winner), I got them all. I was delighted that the organizers really took a responsible approach to managing the prizes for the medalists because both in the context of the internships and in the context of the magistracy they try to take into account the wishes of the students. But my specific preferences are still the secret.
  • Did you participate in the forum «Russia is  a Country of Opportunities»? Did you find anything useful?
  • Sure, I did. And this also can be named as one of the advantages of being a medalist. It was just an incredible event! Imagine: for three days, you are surrounded by the most intelligent people in the country. There were the most famous politicians, successful entrepreneurs, talented actors, directors, musicians, Olympic champions and others, all as speakers. Of course, I cannot hold back the fact that some of the medalists were also invited to the event with the participation of Vladimir Putin, including me. A lot of information was useful, but in general, for me, the forum is associated with the idea of how difficult it is for a person to dare and take advantage of the unique opportunities that life provides. And this year, I am convinced that there are a lot of such opportunities in our university, and in our country as well.