Meet our students

Read what the students in the Master's Progamme in Mathematics and Statistics have to say about their studies and plans for the future.

Where are you from?

Hi, my name is Slava and I come from the nearest big Russian city to Finland – St. Petersburg.

Tell us more about yourself?

To describe myself, I think that the main thing I have to mention is that I don’t like boring things and I welcome any other kind of activity from solving complicated math problems to watching silly sitcoms. When I have free time, I try to get away as far as possible  from a computer; I like to travel, do sports and spend time with my friends. 

Why have you chosen this field of study?

My interest in science appeared when I was accepted into the famous high school in St. Petersburg – Lyceum Physical-Technical High School, where I had intense courses in mathematics, physics and computer science.  I did well with those subjects, and started participating in mathematics and physics competitions in high school. I won many of those competitions, and therefore was easily accepted into the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Programme in the Peter the Great Polytechnic University. I graduated in the summer 2017 with an honours degree and came here in the University of Helsinki.

So, I’ve been interested in mathematics and its applications since high school, there was no doubt that I wanted to choose a math-related master programme. However, last years I noticed that I’m interested in mathematical applications in finance and economics. I have already done some research in that field and even wrote my diploma on the interface of those sciences. So, when I was searching a master programme, I found a specialization - Financial mathematics in the Mathematics and Statistics Master’s Programme in the University of Helsinki and decided to apply. Now I am a first-year student in the Mathematics and Statistics Programme.

What has been the best part in your studies so far?

Well, I liked my whole first semester here: I learned many new things, met amazing people, went to some cool events. I think the best time was after my first exam week because I took quite a lot courses in the first term and was a bit nervous about the exams, so after all finals, I felt free and much more confident.

Why did you choose the University of Helsinki?

There were a lot of reasons to apply here. I have several friends who went to Finland on exchange and they provided me with great testimonials on the Finnish education system. I also heard many good things from the professors at my previous university - they did a lot of joint research with their Finnish colleagues.

After that, I checked different university rankings and the University of Helsinki is doing really well in those rankings. Thus, together with the personal testimonials, I was sure that the education level is high.

My family wasn’t able to fund my studies, so I had two options: to get a scholarship or work to pay for my studies. The University of Helsinki has a great Be the 1* Best scholarship, that I was granted with the acceptance letter. I really appreciate it, because now I don’t have to work a lot and can concentrate on my studies.

How does University of Helsinki provide you with support, advice and guidance?

At the beginning of the semester, we had an orientation week under the supervision of tutors who are studying at the University of Helsinki right now. It was really easy to pass all bureaucratic stuff because tutors were guiding us all the time. Regarding studies, every student has a professor who is responsible for the personal study plan, so you can always ask an advice about courses you want to take.

What do you want to become when you graduate? What are your career plans?

I don’t have exact plans so far, I hope to decide about my future in the next academic year.  The main question is whether to continue studies at PhD level or find a job and start working. This semester, I want to spend more time on getting familiar with the different research groups at our university, and if I find an interesting option I will apply for a PhD position. Regarding the non-scientific career path, I am interested in investment banking research/quant positions and data science positions in consulting companies.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to apply?

I haven’t met anyone that has a bad thing to say about the University of Helsinki. Therefore, I think that you only have to check that the programme structure meets your personal goals and you are able to include all the desired courses. If you find a programme that you like– don’t waste your time on thinking, apply now!