July 18, 2022

ICF scholarship recipients: Shokhiddin Tashtemirov, MGIMO-Tashkent

Shokhiddin Tashtemirov is a MGIMO-Tashkent student, who graduated high school with honours, has a big passion for maths and is currently studying for an undergraduate degree in Business Informatics. He has been playing football for 10 years, participating in several international and national tournaments. Shokhiddin was a member of the Tashkent team ‘Spartak’ and now is a captain of the MGIMO-Tashkent football team. Shokhiddin is also the class leader who has taken on several community responsibilities and serves as a link between students in his class and academic faculty. 

Shokhiddin, could you please tell us why did you choose to study Business Informatics at MGIMO-Tashkent? And how do you find your studies?

Why MGIMO? – I have dreamt about it since childhood, and also because my father recommended it. He used to give me examples of famous MGIMO graduates, such as Patokh Chodiev and Alisher Usmanov. We all know them. Why have I chosen to study Business Informatics? Frankly speaking, I learned about this field not so long ago, in the 11th grade. But since this is a new specialty and there are very few professionals in this field, I decided to study it and acquire all possible knowledge during my time at MGIMO-Tashkent. We will graduate as business analysts and would be able to develop different business models and plans, which will then be implemented by IT specialists. I find it very exciting; it takes creativity and imagination.. I also love maths, which is indispensable in this field.

Besides studies I do not forget about hobbies. I have been involved in football since childhood and I continue to do so at university. We have participated in many championships. We competed with teams from other universities – sometimes we lost, but more often we won.

Do you have a large element of computer science at your course?

We study coding – otherwise how can we create models if we do not know the basics? We have already learned three programming languages – C++, Python and Visual Basic. It was difficult, but very interesting.

Considering the specifics of your course, do you have a lot of practical lessons?

The core subjects are taught by professors from Moscow. ‘Digital Marketing’ and ‘Macroeconomics’ are taught by local specialists. We will also have ‘Econometrics’ and ‘Database’ modules.

We have already gained an in-depth knowledge in technology, I have learned to apply it better, whereas at school I did not need it much. For example, my knowledge of ‘Excel’ has improved, because the subject ‘Modern Office Technologies’ made me understand the importance of this application and its various functions. In addition, in the second year we will write a course work and it should be done in ‘Excel’. I have also noticed my progress in English, as we have lessons five times a week.

What other skills have you developed during your time at university so far?

I think I have become more responsible. I have  realised that commute was exhausting, you have to wake up early, to plan, to take responsibility for everything. And this forces you to be responsible. I have also developed my time-management skills. And, as a class leader of my course, I feel responsible for others. I do not want to let others down because of some mistake of my own.

What foreign languages apart from English will you study?

I have  a dilemma – to choose between Chinese and German. I studied German at school and would like to take it on the next level. Chinese is a very exciting language, despite its complexity. There are about 50,000 symbols in it, and it will be a bit difficult to learn it, but it is no less interesting to study than German, because we know that the population of China is more than 1.5 billion people. There are numerous successful Chinese companies and considerable Chinese investment. In any case, Chinese can become a major language of the world. I have not made up my mind yet, I will think about it. The workload will be six hours a week, and we will study the language of our choice for the rest of our studies, so one has to choose carefully.

What is your typical weekday like?

I live very far from the university, about 40 kilometres away. Every day I get up at 6.30am – I must leave around 7.30am to get to the university for 9am. There, I go straight to the director to get the registry, then I take the keys and open the classrooms, so my course mates do not have to wait. The first two classes we have are either languages, or lectures on specific/focused subjects, economics. Sometimes we do not even have lunch, because we have so much to do, whether it is doing our homework, or preparing for mid-term exams. We take our studies very seriously. We try not to miss any classes. During the year I only missed one or two days when I was sick.

After classes I either go home or stay at the university and do all my homework there, then go home and rest. There have been times when we have stayed at the university until 10 or 11pm. We have very productive days and a lot of homework.

What are the duties of a class leader?

It is the responsibility of the class leader to keep an eye on order, to remind students why they are here, and that they are the ones who benefit from education. I have to ensure we follow the educational processes and to relay important information from students to academic staff, and vice versa. In a way, I serve as an intermediary. I also have to keep an attendance log.

Do you have any time to participate in student clubs?

At first, we thought that we would join various clubs and have time for everything, though we then realised that the clubs should be put aside, and studies must come first. Having said that, I am a member of a sports club and attend meetings with interesting and outstanding speakers arranged by the university. Also, for example, we had a very interesting event called ‘Model Economicus’, where we were divided into teams and had to develop a business plan with an idea that could possibly attract investors. We were joined by students from the Odintsovo branch of the university, we exchanged ideas, worked together and then presented our ideas to the jury. This was an interesting experience. 

You are the captain of the university football team that has won several championships. Could you tell us more about this part of your life? 

We have a great coach, and we train twice a week. Next year we will have an inter-university tournament, so we are working hard on it.

You are only a freshman now and much will change indeed, and there is so much time ahead – yet we wonder if you have any ideas and plans for the future? What does your ideal job look like, for example?

It is just our first year of university and we do not fully understand and see a picture of the future yet. Although, at the very least, I can state that we will gain excellent knowledge of economics and social media marketing. We already have good knowledge of the subject thanks to our ‘Digital Marketing’ course and we can safely engage with social media, which is very popular now. I think thateven today, if there is a need, we can earn money. It is a little early to start coding though, as there is a lack of knowledge, and it is noticeable. Also, we can already work as translators or interpreters. We will have at least two viable careers in the future, and if a person can bring value in one or two areas, he will already be in demand.

What advice would you give to those who, like you, have chosen to study at MGIMO-Tashkent?

First, try to challenge yourself as much as you can during your time at middle and high school – this will make things easier at university. As they say, train hard, fight easy. I tried very hard at school, now I study without much effort, I grasp everything quickly, and when necessary, I help my classmates. Secondly, believe in yourself, even if your teachers tell you that you will not get anywhere. Sadly, there might be people who will say that you are not good enough and will not make it – you have to find the strength to prove them wrong. Do not listen to non-believers, try your best, give your best to what you are going for, and you will do well.

How important was it for you to get the ICF scholarship?

I heard about the scholarship when only a month before applying, and you should have seen the spark of my eyes when I found out I could qualify for it. In fact, paid tuition is expensive, my parents would have had a very hard time paying for it. This is a unique chance and opportunity for young people to prove themselves, and perhaps, if not for this scholarship programme, neither myself nor other guys would be studying at this university now. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I am going to give it my best. I am very grateful to Dr Patokh Chodiev personally and to the International Chodiev Foundation for creating such an opportunity for young people!

We really enjoyed our conversation and would like to wish you the best of luck and success in your studies and in life in general – we hope you will always do well! The ICF scholarship recipients are truly wonderful, hardworking, and inspiring people.

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