Students working at the 15th St. Petersburg Economic Forum on their role in the event and what it means to the city.

Students working at the 15th St. Petersburg Economic Forum on their role in the event and what it means to the city.

Published: June 17, 2011 (Issue # 1661)

Tzelmeg Tzedevin, 22

It’s the third time I’ve worked at the forum, and this year I’m working as a supply manager.

It’s a great way to gain experience in organizing a huge event, interacting with interesting people, developing multitasking and stress resistance skills, and building team spirit. Ultimately, you are taught to work, in the best sense. And the payment is good too.

Events like the forum are certainly important. They help to conduct a dialogue between countries, find solutions, or at least ways to resolve urgent problems, and establish connections between Russian and foreign businesses and the state. There is even a present for St. Petersburg citizens: Sting will sing on the opening day and everybody will be able to come and see it — isn’t that wonderful?

Olga Kuzmina, 22

It’s the second time I’ve worked at the forum, and I’ll be meeting guests, giving them directions and registering them.

The fact that the forum is a global, far-reaching and one-of-a-kind event in St. Petersburg is an advantage. And the experience is huge: Communication skills, exchanging views and an opportunity to be part of a team.

Events like the Economic Forum are very important. If nothing else, the city is transformed and spruced up for the forum, and many events are organized and timed to coincide with it, and this is also important.

Alexei Perevozchikov, 21

This is my second time working at the forum; I’ll be giving out briefcases to participants.

Working at the forum is good language practice.

Are such events important? The government certainly thinks so… Maybe it would be better to spend the money — 200 million rubles ($7 million), if I’m not mistaken, plus the money spent on decorating the city — on increasing pensions… Other bad things can be said about it, for example, the forum contributes to the deterioration of the global environmental situation, as it directly or indirectly encourages endless economic growth. But who cares about that? Rich guys get together, eat gourmet food and discuss business. The city is stuck in traffic and listens to Sting, but hey, it boosts the city’s prestige. And the waiting lists for kindergartens drag on for several years. It’s just funny.

Ksenia Galkina, 22

This is the second year I’ve worked at the forum. This year, I’ll be working in the Congress sector.

In general, the forum teaches people to work in stressful conditions, to react quickly and to solve unusual problems. The event is very serious, and every person working there has a serious responsibility. The greatest thing is that the forum provides the opportunity to have a hand in an event of world importance, even in a very small way — and that’s nice. Also, working in a young team is fun.

I think such events are essential for the city. St. Petersburg is not just a city, it’s Russia’s cultural capital, and it ought to host such high-status events.

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