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Student interview - Vasili Mankevich, Class 2012

The mix of theoretical studies and practical cases. The close connection between education and research and the skilled teachers are three reasons that makes Vasili Mankevich glad that he applied for the master’s programme in IT management at Umeå University.

It was a real good decision to move from Minsk in Belarus to Umeå in northern Sweden. After nearly two years as a student at the department of Informatics at Umeå University Vasili Mankevich is very glad for his time in Sweden. Being a student on the IT management programme means an active search for knowledge, problem solving and critical analyses based on a scientific approach.

The working methods vary between individual study work, group work, live cases, seminars and lectures. All of this Vasili appreciate. "We have really good teachers. They take time for us students not only in class and during lectures but also for personal discussions", Vasili Mankevich says.

"The teachers are devoted to help students to express their ideas and help us provide arguments for them", Vasili says. He also points out the close connection to research groups at the department and the researchers' willingness to bring up examples from ongoing case studies, which also has given Vasili a chance to be involved in one of the research groups that aims to explore innovative networks among creative industries in Sweden.

Vasili says that he is impressed of how the theoretical studies always are shared with practical perspectives. "I found it extremely helpful to learn more about practical consultancy in guest lectures with professionals from different fields. They tell us their personal stories and teach us an attitude of being successful providing value for a client", Vasili declares.

The broad and different perspectives that the companies give has also been important for Vasili. Digital media, broadband providers and software development for stock markets are different aspects given during the courses. "It prepares us students for a wide range of industries", Vasili says.

A project concerning open data gave Vasili and his fellow students opportunities to learn more about local authorities and information systems in the public sector. OpenUmea is an ongoing project run by the municipality of Umeå with useful sets of data on the Internet that anyone can collect and search to develop commercial or non-commercial services or products. "That project emphasized how to practice our skills in different environments, both in the public sector and the commercial", Vasili says.

Umeå is comfortable as a city with good possibilities for training at the local gym IKSU. And with hiking, rivers and lakes nearby Vasili finds the surroundings pleasant. "Umeå is also very international and high ranked among the international students. The town offers great possibilities to explore Swedish culture", Vasili says, and adds that he himself spent last Christmas together with a Swedish friend and his family.