The MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs

Alumni Interviews

Mariana Corea

Mariana Corea

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

They advertised what was truly available. Student support was certainly great, they arranged various seminars, workshops and so on. The university is really up for supporting the students, ultimately it is down to each inspanidual to reach their goals but all the tools were there. Meaning that if a student truly wants to achieve something, they have such an opportunity to do so, thanks to the resources that are available in the university. The dean’s office was very supportive and also impartial in advising us if we had any academic issue. I felt that the students were always the priority.

What did you like or dislike the most about the classes and MGIMO in general?

I enjoyed my studies and found my courses mostly interesting and engaging. The lecturers were always helpful and willing to do what they could to ensure we understood what we were studying.

During my time at MGIMO, our classes were very small, and that made me feel in better contact with the lecturers and my fellow students — the smaller groups seemed to have people in them who really wanted to be there. This allowed for more flexibility based on what the class needed, whether it was to pause during lectures and ask questions or choose particular topics to focus on for small seminars. All very beneficial to learning if approached seriously.

I also made friends and continued to keep in touch with them after graduation, and met the people whom I will carry in my memory and heart for the rest of my life. Most students at MGIMO are friendly. However, like everywhere, there are exceptions; you are free to choose who to be close with.

I feel that in some areas some of the lecturers were maybe stuck in their ways and not very dynamic but thankfully those were in the minority.

Did SGIA help you to achieve your career goals?

It did help me to achieve my goals, we were highly encouraged to take part in internships or summer placement and were given the resources to find and apply for them. This is how I got my current job. There were also several CV workshops in order for us to be able to give companies or institutions the best impression possible.

Where do you work at the moment and do you enjoy it?

I currently work at the Nicaraguan Embassy as counselor for cultural relations, education and tourism. I like my job, for us at the embassy these are very busy areas. Always a lot of work, everyday there is something new, something different, and always learning and moving. I enjoy this and have actually chosen such career because of this in the first place. I am the kind of person who always needs to stay active and learn something new, always move forward to greater achievement.

Was the knowledge and skills you acquired at MGIMO helpful?

I think that when you are in a foreign country, you don’t always know what the next challenge is going to be, all you know is that it is going to be a big challenge!

I would say that the SGIA program helped me develop new skills, enhanced my existing ones and broadened my knowledge base, as we had subjects covering spanerse areas. I feel enriched by what I learned during my time at MGIMO. Since then I have been able to open myself up more to new opportunities and also to realize who I am and what I am capable of. Moreover, my confidence in my learning skills and abilities have increased immensely. Studying abroad gave me plenty of useful experience, strength, and confidence. It taught me how to adapt to and work in a different environment.

In your opinion, which educational system (Russian vs. your home country) do you prefer and why?

When I arrived to MGIMO (in 2013) and met with some of the professors, I realized the teachers I had back home and professors I had at another Russian university, in which I was enrolled before moving to MGIMO, were not as open to hear us as the MGIMO faculty. People in the SGIA administration were very perceptive, and I would like to thank the Founding Dean Professor Yan Vaslavskiy, Elizaveta Babadjanova, and Anastasia Solomentseva who were my first contacts at MGIMO. They provided me with all the information I needed about the program and the university, opening the doors for me to the MGIMO life and academic experience, and explained to me the study and internship opportunities. They were usually available to talk and share their experience. They always prioritized SGIA students and were happy to help me in any way possible. This allowed me to adapt to my new life more easily and feel safe in the new environment that I had to live in onwards.

Mariana Corea was interviewed by Yana Chikvashvili (Class of 2019) in March 2019