November 06, 2019

‘Dreaming of the stars’: interview with ICF scholarship holder Islom Jamalov

The programmes of the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy at MGIMO are unique in their content and scope. You have just completed the first year of the Bachelor’s programme at the Institute – could you please tell us about your experience?

Right at the beginning of my journey I realized that I made the right decision to enrol at this Institute. I can talk about my studies for hours, that’s how exciting they are. Professors and the teaching staff are highly professional, and they apply the strong teaching methods. The subjects that I studied this year dramatically increased my general interest. I feel I have received the major boost for self-development.

The Institute has opened a research club called ‘MGIMO Innovation Club’. At this club, we are conducting research in the field of innovation, setting up a platform for innovation development at MGIMO and taking part in various forums. I am proud to be a Board member of this club. One of the highlights this year was ‘MGIMO Innovations Week’, an event which brought together more than 500 people. During the course of the week we held a forum at the Odintsovo campus of MGIMO.

An integral part of studying at MGIMO is intensive learning of foreign languages. Which linguistic specialization did you choose and why?

During the first year of my studies I intensively studied English. This gave me a great incentive to obtain an in-depth knowledge of other subjects. In 2019 I chose Italian language, because I have been interested in Italy, it’s history and the economic system for a very long time. But I’m not going to stop there. I also plan to study Arabic. I am determined to master several foreign languages by the end of my four years of studies.

Millions of children from many different countries dream of studying at MGIMO. You have been accepted – this is a great achievement. Why did you choose MGIMO, and how did you manage to secure place at this remarkable institution?

I have always been observing changes within the international political and economic systems. And I was always interested in diplomacy. I was studying at the lycée at the University of International Economics and Diplomacy. I spent a long time researching different universities that played a key role in international diplomacy.

In my second year I clearly defined my goal – to enrol at MGIMO. I began to persistently study for the entrance exams. And eventually I achieved what I was dreaming of.

You are a recipient of the scholarship of the International Chodiev Foundation (ICF). What contribution did this scholarship make to your education? How did it help you?

The ICF scholarship gives me enormous opportunities: to get a higher education, achieve certain status in society, realize my intellectual potential for the good of society, and ultimately – help me develop new methods in the system of economics, politics, management and diplomatic relations. Student life at MGIMO is exciting. It is a world of great experiences and events that will forever remain in my memory. I am very happy that I was able to become part of this exciting university life, thanks to the ICF.

You are one of the finalists of the ‘Formula Neftegaz’ accelerator, organized by the Science Park of the Moscow State University. What motivated you to participate in this programme?

I was intrigued by this idea, and I thought: ‘Why not try it?’ The selection process was tough, there were participants from whom I could also learn something. After all, every person has something to teach the other.

What project are you working on at the moment? What skills does it allow you to develop?

At this stage I am working on the project ‘Development of systems for monitoring compliance with safety regulations, based on the analysis of video surveillance data’. I think that at the end of the year I will be ready to share the results of my research with you.

You are still at the beginning of your fascinating educational journey at MGIMO, but you might have already thought about your future plans. Where do you see yourself in a few years professionally?

Firstly, I have great interest in future relations between Uzbekistan and Russia, which I see as friendly and mutually beneficial. I would also like to work in the area of international energy policy. And, of course, I am considering options of achieving a Master’s degree.    

What is your formula for success?

The formula for success is not to stop achieving. No matter what you do – never stop and always make progress. It is important to believe in yourself, in your future and to never give up, despite the circumstances.

And finally – what advice would you give to children who are yet to choose a higher education?

Be always grateful. Do not stop dreaming big, because, as the saying goes: ‘Even whilst sitting in a ditch, you can dream about the stars…’.

Photographs: Islomiddin Jamalov’s personal archive

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