29/08/2012Last week the students of the Azerbaijan State Economic University, Gunay Miriyeva and Murad Hamidov have completed their training course at the King's College Summer School in London, as part of the Youth Support Project by PASHA Bank, one of the leading banks of Azerbaijan. We are going to learn about the selection and the education process first hands from our heroes.
- How difficult was it to pass all the selection rounds and win the contest that was organized by PASHA Bank for students?
Gunay: -- I wrote an essay on "World's three biggest challenges today" for participation in the contest and I was excited to find out that I succeeded to the second round. The next stage was an interview which I also passed successfully. The last round was also an interview but this time Farid Akhundov, the chairman of PASHA Bank's Board of Directors, was also among the interviewers: this round was most challenging since the participants were asked questions about the future of our country and the time for answers was limited.
Murad: - Already before the start of the contest I was oriented to the success only but despite my academic progress, I felt the strong competition among 95 participants of this project at the first stage. Nonetheless, I managed to pass all the stages and became one of seven at the end. The last stage was most difficult and I cannot fully express the feelings that overwhelmed me when I learned that I won the contest. It was indescribable.
- King's college which is among top 30 best universities of the world is believed to give a wonderful opportunity not only to get a brilliant education but also become a part of the multinational student community...
Gunay:- That's true. Along with high quality education process and other advantages, I met different people, learned many useful things and made new friends. I also got convinced that education is not only a hard process but very interesting too.
Murad: - Students from 69 countries were represented in the summer school of the King's College and the networking, the relations that we established with each other became an invaluable experience for me. Certainly, the professors also played a great role in this since all lessons were interactive and very interesting. The knowledge that we acquired within those six weeks will probably be a basis in our future employment and career.
- PASHA Bank is planning to continue the educational projects. What ‘tips' can you now give your peers who may also take part in future similar programs of the bank?
Gunay: I am happy that Azerbaijan has such a bank as PASHA Bank that tries to encourage the young people. I also would like to take part in the new projects of the Bank, because the victory in the essay competition had a positive impact on me. As for the ‘tips, everything probably depends on one's behavior in a particular situation. But, anyway, I can give a couple of recommendations that were useful to me.
First, you must believe that you can win and this will automatically bring confidence to you. Second, you must use your creativity to the full. And the last, never think about the opponents - better think about the way you can demonstrate the qualities that will make you a special candidate.
Murad: - I am pretty well aware of all similar projects that are implemented by PASHA Bank. I have to say that these projects are essential for the students that seek to use their potential in full. I can recommend all my peers to be persistent in their fight - success does not always come easy, you need to believe in yourself and your abilities. In this case, the victory in this and other contests will not take long to come.
- And the last, what are the main differences of the teaching methods abroad?
Gunay: - For example, during the Strategic Management course, we visited the famous Oracle company with our professor. Our visit there was very productive, because the vice president of the company, who also used to be a student of our proessor, spoke before us. There were also many practical tasks that demanded great creativity: for example, we had to create a new business during the Marketing Management course. It was difficult to find a fresh idea but we managed to make an excellent presentation. I think that the main difference was a psychological factor. Students were more active at the lectures there, since they felt at ease and could freely express their views.
Murad: The King's College pays great attention to practical knowledge and real business practice. We visited various international companies almost every day and got familiar with their activity ‘in the real time'. In addition, we could have a direct contact with the senior management of these companies, assimilated their experience and learned many other things. I think this plays a great role in the career progress of the university graduates.