A graduate of RANEPA from Georgia says the level of education in the Academy is comparable to the level of the best USA universities
Nino Lazaria from Georgia learned that she was admitted to the RANEPA on her 17th birthday. Now she is 20; she has just graduated from the 4th year of the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS), RANEPA in the specialty “Management in public administration”. She told why she decided to enroll at the RANEPA and what kind of experience she gained through active participation in academic mobility programs.
Nino Lazaria said that she chose RANEPA because she intends to work in the public service, and the RANEPA is the best place to prepare for this. “International internship programs at ISS are a huge advantage for students. In the first year I traveled to Israel and the Netherlands, and this experience was an eye-opener for me. The teachers gave us a lot of useful knowledge and were very attentive, which also helped me a lot," she noted.
In her studies she discovered social activities. In her second year, she was the head of the Volunteering Department of the ISS Student Council, where she organized events. According to Nino Lazaria, volunteering attracts by the opportunity to help people, develop soft skills and solve problems that one has never had to face before. “In the third year, I went to work at Ward Howell, which specializes in finding senior executives. I've learned how to combine a permanent job with studies. In the company I was looking for personnel for top positions, I discovered the corporate world for myself, which greatly expanded my ideas about career and future,” she added.
Nino said that in the fourth year she won the YEAR Program contest for studying in the United States for one year. The program is drawn up for each student individually, depending on education level and research interests. She studied at Alma College in Michigan. In addition to her studies, she gave a presentation at the University of Michigan scientific conference and spent an academic week with masters at the Harvard Kennedy School, won the International Model United Nations contest in New York, and also won the regional and national Business Professionals of America competition in Interview Skills. In the US, she continued her volunteer work: she worked at the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis, where children with cancer live and receive treatment. Together with other volunteers, Nino Lazaria packed and distributed gifts that people send from all over the world.
She compared studies at Alma College and the RANEPA, noting that the difference is not as big as it may seem. According to her, this may be due to the fact that the approach to learning in ISS is similar to the American one: less lectures, more practice. Nino Lazaria noted that the Presidential Academy needs to conduct more volunteer activities aimed at helping the municipal, urban and university communities.
“In May of this year, I returned from the United States to Moscow, I passed the session and state examinations at the Academy. A new study awaits me, I received a grant from MPA Dean's International Fellowship from SPEA of Indiana University (USA). I will study at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs to become a Master of Public Administration. The School ranks first in the United States in the field of public administration, higher than Harvard and other top universities,” she said, adding that in addition to knowledge, the Academy allowed her to befriend smart and talented people.