Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St. Petersburg State University, and Andrey Kostin, GSOM Director General (President and Chairman of VTB Bank) presented the main academic building on the new GSOM campus to the President. It is located in Mikhailovskaya Dacha, a royal suburb of St. Petersburg and the former residence of the Grand Duke Mikhail Romanov. The guests inspected the restored building and the Aula, surveyed the photo exhibition devoted to reconstruction of the campus, and afterwards met with GSOM students.
Vladimir Putin shared his impressions on the campus with the students: “I’ve had a look around: everything here is quite hi-tech and modern in beautifully renovated historic architecture. Several years ago I saw the place in ruins and had a strong wish to reconstruct all this and give it to the University”. Then the President suggested that they continue in an informal manner without long official speeches, allowing the students to inform him about urgent problems and ask questions.
Mr. Putin also shared a piece of his conversation with Rector Nikolay Kropachev:
- I’ve just asked your Rector: What can they do after graduation?
- He says: Everything!
Then the President asked students to describe how they see their future after GSOM. Their interests were diverse: Some are eager to go on with an academic career and stay to teach at GSOM, another dreams of building a globally–recognized Russian sport brand, the third is planning to start a private clinic already now.
Vladimir Putin summed up: “You know, you have a unique opportunity to touch upon various branches of knowledge. Here lies the advantage of your school because you’ll be able to manage everything – from finance to humanities. It’s something new for our country, because we didn’t have a good tradition of developing managers. Managers used to grow on their own from different spheres. But modern industries from manufacture to human sciences are so complex and versatile that they definitely demand this type of specialist. I hope it’s interesting for you to be here. We’ll try our best to make you comfortable here. So, I wish you good luck, guys!”