From March 27 till March 31 Lana and William took part in an educational module "Doing Business in Russia" at HSE together with a group of students from Germany. During the opening session Jerke Verschoor, Director Nuffic Neso Russia, greeted all the participants with a short introduction and colleagues from our partner company ING gave an insightful presentation. Here is what our interns shared afterwards.
"As my internship is part of a collaboration between Nuffic Neso Russia and the Higher School of Economics (HSE), I visited for a week some lectures at HSE. So instead of my daily working week, I went back to the school benches!
In this week William and I, together with students from different universities around Germany who take part in a similar internship, listened to different lectures about 'Doing Business in Russia'. These lectures showed in more details that there are significant differences between doing business in Russia and in the West. Who knew that in Russia you will only be able to close a deal if you also have a good and more personal bond with your Russian colleague!
Apart from some cultural facts about doing business in Russia we also learned more about the different kind of Western companies that are also situated in Russia. For instance: Siemens and ING Bank, of which Siemens was a key player in making the Moscow Central Circle railway possible. Next, ING Bank explained how in Russia money is moved between companies, citizens etc, which makes you wonder how foreign companies are capable of surviving within the difficult Russian system. Well, a German company saw this as a good opportunity and they actually provide services concerning the handling of paperwork etc.
This week has been very interesting of course, but I couldn't wait to go back to my internship as we have been very busy with the promotion of a new product".
"Along with Lana, I joined a group of German students for the induction module on doing business in Russia at HSE University. This week proved to be insightful to learn historical and cultural facts about Russia (and even Germany) we were not aware of, while also a valuable networking event that allowed us to meet students from countries such as Germany, Kazakhstan and Mexico. We had the opportunity to see the presentations of interns who finished their work and performed valuable research regarding working in a multicultural environment".
That was a nice break but now it's time to get back to work. Follow the students' field reports in the blogs.