Open Doors Olympiad Winner: One Should Take a Chance!

16 October 2020 Education 144

Dmitry PROSHKIN is another winner of the international Open Doors Olympiad: Russian Scholarship project, who chose the Master’s degree program at Polytechnic University. Dmitry came to Russia from Latvia in 2015, and, as he himself admits, had never expected to study at Polytechnic University. Read about how childhood dreams, motivation for self-education and favorite specialty come true in our interview.

Polytechnic University student Dmitry PROSHKIN, winner of the international Open Doors Olympiad for foreign studen

- Dima, as far as we know, you have been living in Russia for several years. Tell us why you chose St. Petersburg?

- I found myself in St. Petersburg quite unexpectedly. In 2014, representatives of Pskov State University came to our school and invited us to study there. I thought, why not? And I agreed. I was preparing to enter Pskov University, went to courses, improved my mathematics and science and applied for the quota of the Russian Government for foreign citizens. But then suddenly it turned out that Pskov University did not have my speciality. I was advised to choose another university. And what mattered to me was my specialty, not just university, so I chose two random universities in St. Petersburg and two in Moscow without looking. I did not even expect to apply to any of them; it seemed to me that it would be extremely difficult to move to St. Petersburg or Moscow. But I managed to do it. And that Polytechnic University was one of the preeminent universities in Russia.

- What is your speciality about?

- Since my early childhood I wanted to become a design engineer. Here, at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Transport, my dream has gradually began to come true. I study in the area of Design and technological support of machine-building industries, I study automotive technology. At first it was not easy to study in the Bachelor’s degree program, but now, in the Master’s degree program, it is much easier.

- Speaking about the Master’s degree program, tell us how you found out about the Open Doors Olympiad and why you decided to take part?

- I started thinking about the Master’s degree program right after completing my Bachelor’s degree program. Here, at Polytechnic University, I was told about the Open Doors Olympiad for foreign students. And once again I thought, why not? What will I lose if I try? And I decided to take this chance too.

- What disciplines do you like the most?

- At this stage, all subjects are in the specialty, so everything is interesting to me. We have a lot of lab work, especially this semester. There are term papers and projects: we are given a technological assignment in the disciplines of our specialty, and we need to come up with a specific design. A whole semester is allocated for design. At this time, we work, communicate with the teacher who gives recommendations and advice. Most of the assignments in the Master’s degree program are practice-oriented.

- As a whole, is it difficult for you to study?

- Sometimes I hear from other students that in the process of learning we are not told everything in detail. For example, for term papers, they simply give assignments, as if they are being thrown into a pool of water, and we must learn to swim ourselves. But personally, I do like this approach. This strongly motivates to self-education, thanks to which knowledge is acquired much better. And if unclear moments arise, you can always seek advice from teachers. 

- How do you plan to apply the acquired knowledge in the future? Are you going to work in your speciality?

- I already do and I really like it. I plan to continue working in Russia. All the knowledge that I received at Polytechnic University was useful, but it seems to me that I have not yet fully developed in the profession and I continue to work and master my dream speciality.

- Would you advise other students to participate in the Open Doors Olympiad?

- Participation in the Olympiad is definitely worth it. Trying is not torture: as I said, you have nothing to lose if you try. If there is a chance, it must be used! 

- Dima, thank you for the interesting interview! We wish you the fulfillment of your goals and good luck!

Prepared by the SPbPU International Office

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