I always had a clear understanding of what I wanted to do in life - implementing social projects. However, my parents did not support my passion to become a sociologist. Based on certain peculiarities in my country, where we are told “before you help others, achieve stability for yourself”, after leaving school, I enrolled in a “Finance and Credit” program so I would have a better chance of finding a stable job. I didn't regret it as by studying finance and implementing social projects aimed at poverty eradication in my country, I became more confident about what I wanted to do in life, which at the time of graduating from my bachelor's program, was to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills in public policy. I was sure the CPP faculty would teach me how to take into account different schools of thought and find the optimal, socially accepted result that achieves the political goals set by society, to the maximum satisfaction of public needs and expectations. Now, I can say that my expectations were met. My choice of university was based on two reasons: the existence of a public policy program, and the opportunity to get a scholarship.
My time at HBKU influenced me in terms of confidence, which of course had an impact on my plans for the future. Previously, I had very limited thinking, but now I realize that nothing is impossible and that a willingness to do something useful and global is not just an empty ambition and dream, but is an achievable goal. At HBKU, you meet a lot of great people and experts and you become inspired. The most important thing for me is that during my time at HBKU, I did not face a single criticism, and that's what was dramatically different from my previous experience. It allowed me to say and write what I wanted in my work.
One highlight at HBKU was my first offline visit to the university six months after the start of my studies. I don't know if it had to do with the fact it was the end of quarantine and a breath of freedom, but the first day was truly unforgettable. We (myself and a friend from Kazakhstan) were met, we did a little filming, were told about the program itself, took a tour of the university and just talked with our professors face to face. It was very heartwarming and it was probably the moment I realized that I was where I was supposed to be.