The MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs

Alumni Interviews

Felix Porret

Felix Porret

Did the SGIA course meet the expectations you had upon enrollment?

The SGIA course completely met my expectations, I found it quite deep and comprehensive. The main advantage of this type of course is its multi-disciplinary nature that allows you to choose a follow-on Master’s program from a wide variety of options based on your knowledge of International Relations. The fact that you are studying with students from different countries and with varied backgrounds is also a plus: it helps you to understand and see things from a different angle and to build and maintain a very interesting international network.

What did you like and dislike most about your time at MGIMO?

What I liked most was the quality of tuition: we had access to very experienced faculty with a real background in the industry. The seminars provided a good opportunity to discuss and exchange views with them. Sometimes our schedule was too tight, so it was hard to come fully prepared to each seminar, given the amount of required reading.

Did SGIA help you to achieve your goals after graduation?

It definitely helped me to achieve my graduate education goals because, while at MGIMO, I developed the taste for the finance industry and decided to apply to the Master of Science Program in Banking and Risk at the University of Edinburgh (ranked 18th in the world by the 2019 QS World University Rankings). I knew that the fact that I was not moving along a typical business school trajectory could undermine my application, but I also believed that education at MGIMO had a high reputation globally. Eventually, it helped me to get into my Master’s program.

Did the knowledge you acquired at MGIMO prove useful?

It was indeed useful because after four years at MGIMO you have the grasp of a wide range of issues, so you are never speechless. You understand what shapes the contemporary world, what its main and new players are, what the background is of all the current issues. You are also able to speak several languages, which gives you a significant edge on the labor market.

How does the Russian system of higher education compare to the one in France?

It is a bit complex to compare the French and Russian education systems. I believe they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I do not like the fact that in Russia you have to study for four years to get a Bachelor degree as compared to three years in France. However, an additional year in Russia allows students to deepen their knowledge. So the two systems are slightly different, although their objectives are the same: to equip you in the best possible way for your future career.

Which improvements would you recommend to SGIA for the future?

I would like to see more interaction between SGIA and the Russian-speaking Bachelor programs at MGIMO. That may trigger some interesting discussions between Russian and international students. I also wish we could have more options when choosing our second foreign language, but I heard that some progress was made on that matter lately.

Felix Porret was interviewed by Daria Mokharava (Class of 2019) in March 2019