The Faculty of Creative Industries is one of the most popular faculties at the Higher School of Economics. Today we have more than 5 thousand students. In the international QS ranking in the communications and media subject area, the HSE is ranked among the leading universities in Russia, and in the Art and Design category HSE became the best Russian university and entered the top 200 international universities.
Our faculty is one of the largest centers for training specialists in the creative industries: it brings together the best teachers and curators from among practicing professionals, talented students and successful graduates who work in leading russian and world companies or create their own startups.
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We all love stories, especially stories that inspire us to strive for new goals. We are starting a new series of articles about students on the Advertising and Public Relations course who have a #storytotell and about whom we want to #findoutmore. The first to tell a story is Ilya Shichanin, 4th year student and Google Student Ambassadors representative at our university.
Hello Ilya! You’re the Google representative in our university - it sounds impressive. Can you tell us how it all began?
Hi! It all started when I took part in the one-day case championshipDigital Marketing Lab, which Google ran in September 2014. They are pioneering very lively championships on internet marketing. I discovered then that they would be holding the Google Business Challenge and found out about theGoogle Student Ambassadors project. Business Challenge was in the autumn last year, with several rounds and the final taking place in Google’s Moscow office. It was great fun and our team won! And for the Ambassadors programme, they wrote to us at Digital Marketing Lab. We gave them our contact details and not long after we were invited to go through online registration. It wasn’t difficult and I got through.
Can you tell us more about the championship your team won?
We were given an improvised bank and our task was to develop a strategy to promote it online. We proposed a way to do it at the first stage and in the second and third stages we had already pitched our idea to the commission at the bank directors’ office. We won!
What is a Google representative? What do you have to do?
To be precise, I’m part of the Google Student Ambassadors (GSA) team and I represent this particular programme at HSE. The programme was created by student enthusiasts who wanted to be the voice of Google at their universities. The idea is to help students find out more about how Google can help them learn digital marketing and computer technologies. The 2014-2015 GSA programme focusses on these areas and it can also help Google to discover talent among students to satisfy the company’s growing demand for specialists.
In March, with the other ‘ambassadors’ we organised several events at HSE.
The first was on the 18th - it was on internet marketing for first, second and third years. We explained to the students what internet marketing is, how it works, how it exists, what its tools are and how to use them effectively. In April I’ve started conducting seminars for people who want to develop themselves in this area and are already studying new media. At the seminars we’ll be teaching how to use Google’s AdWords, and the best ways to develop effective digital campaign promotion strategies.
How do you work with ‘ambassadors’ in other cities and countries? Do you have a kind of community?
I’ll tell you about the GSA Family. Besides working with student ambassadors in Moscow, St Petersburg, Krasnodar and Orel, we keep in touch and work with ‘ambassadors’ across Europe. Next year there’ll be more than a thousand of us. At the moment the programme covers 65 countries, including Russia, the USA, India, Korea, Australia. We ‘meet’ every Wednesday at 7pm. We have what we call OfficeHour - it’s a conferencing service on GoogleHangouts which allows us all to chat, ask our mentors questions and discuss everything in real time. We also have a group on GooglePlus. I know that some people will think that we are being made to use company products but I’d like to point out that they much easier to use than Skype and Facebook that Russian students are more familiar with. In Hangouts and G+ we chat, share experiences about running events and arrange meetings.
You said that Google instills a new aesthetic? How does that show itself?
The catchphrase ‘Do cool things that matter’, a favourite among people who work at Google, sums up what the company has taught me. It means that we introduce changes and do it with a smile. Google is really good at bringing like-minded people together at work and for the future that we want to live in. And it’s great that help comes from everywhere. The company and the GSA team, we’re all working towards one goal - we want to make knowledge about technologies and marketing and everything else more accessible. I think that’s pretty cool.