On April 25, 2019, a round table on the current status and development prospects of GR-education in Russia was held at MGIMO.

The event was attended by graduates of MGIMO working in the field of government relations. In attendance were: Marina Zhunich (GR-Director, Google Russia), Julia Belyakova (Head of Government and Non-Governmental Relations, Acronik Russia), Sergey Lebedev (GR-Director, Alibaba Russia), Alexey Teteryuk (Head of Foreign Economic Activity Support, BIOCAD), Arseny Frolov (GR-manager, Nestle Russia), Yury Berestnev (Executive Director, Development of Legal Systems, LLC) and Eduard Voytenko (CEO, Baikal Communications Group).

At the beginning of the event, experts unanimously noted a great interest among the younger generation in the profession of a GR-manager. It is not for nothing: according to the participants of the round table, GR-specialists are becoming more and more popular not only in foreign companies, but also in Russian. At the same time, quality education in the field of GR is still not much.

In connection with this issue, which is not new, the experts discussed in detail the matters of basic and extended education in the field of GR and mechanisms for the student’s involvement in the GR community. Each of the experts shared his vision regarding the level of training of young professionals, which is expected by employers. In particular, according to Eduard Voytenko, the main quality of a young specialist at the entry-level should be assiduity and the ability to work with information: its search, systematization and analysis. In addition, the skill to combine creative and systematic approaches is required. It is also necessary to gradually develop the skills of a negotiator.

Following the discussion, the participants agreed that it is necessary to involve practitioners as often as possible in the educational process, and also to stimulate student’s self-educations and acquiring of experience through the internships in various companies, including foreign and Russian lobbying firms.

In conclusion, Eduard Voytenko also noted that during the lessons with practitioners, students expect not to hear conceptual stories about GR (this knowledge is acquired at the university lectures), but to get practical experience through the example of real cases. Such an approach to master classes arranging is a pledge not only of interest in the profession, but also a contribution to the development of its human capacity.

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