“Discussing how to cook paella after civil litigation classes is great,” — Daria Efremova, 10-semester A — student, Law Institute
How important is it for you to be perfect at everything? Where can you afford to relax?
Since childhood, my parents have been teaching me to strive for a better result. The argument was very simple: in life, like in sports, in order to move on, you need to surpass your own records. In many ways, this determined my attitude to studies, work and life. I don’t claim that a successful person should do everything perfectly, but this assessment is a good guideline.
I don’t see anything wrong with brief procrastination. Sometimes you need to give yourself a break, otherwise your marathon will end in the first 500 meters. I don’t like to put off anything for tomorrow, but I can afford to shift things for an hour or two and do something more pleasant: watch a movie, read a book or walk the dog. At the same time, it is important to prioritize — if the task is critical there’s no way we can relax.
Which A-grade was the most difficult for you?
The most vivid memory is connected with the first exam. I cannot help smiling when I remember studying for the Theory of State and Law exam at night and stood, standing at the classroom door trembling. Now I don’t feel those emotions anymore. I’ve been through a lot of exams — it’s hard to scare me.
What do you need to be prepared for when you go to study law?
The profession of a lawyer is only seemingly easy. My parents dreamed that I would be a microbiologist, and law was for them something ordinary and trivial, something anyone could do. But they changed their minds when I was in my first year, after looking at my desktop with piles of papers and books. A law student needs to read a huge amount of literature, learn to think critically, analyze dozens of points of view. We must be ready for changes in our personality and manner of communication. My friends often joke that I “turn on the lawyer mode” in a conversation. It’s almost impossible to turn it off.
Jurisprudence is diverse. You can be a lawyer, a judge, a corporate lawyer... What is your career choice?
I am really happy for my colleagues who have chosen one professional direction. Now there is a huge number of opportunities to try yourself in different areas, gaining experience. I have worked in a court, in an audit organization, and at the moment I am working in an IT company. The main thing is the interest in what you do. I can’t predict the future of my career. Perhaps in a few years I’ll choose a completely different direction of jurisprudence.
Name 3 favorite subjects during 5 years of study at RUDN University.
Probably, the disciplines of the Department of Civil Law and Procedure and the Department of International Private Law were the most attractive. Lessons of the Civil law in the second year were a real marathon, just like in the movie “30 Minutes or Less”. Everything was very dynamic, the conversation could lead us in one seminar from the concept of a sales contract to the purchase of a land plot in Tatarstan. I also remember lessons in constitutional law — that basis helped a lot in the following years. Fortunately, we were not made to list all the deputies of the State Duma and their brief biography, but we were taught to look wise.
It is impossible to imagine my education without seminars in Spanish. They helped to switch from an endless stream of new definitions and articles to something more mundane. Discussing how to make paella after a civil law class is maravillosamente!
What is your leisure time like? Describe your perfect Sunday.
I have been dancing for 15 years. Thanks to dancing, I always “reboot” very quickly. When I was doing my bachelor’s, after studying, I ran to the dance hall and splashed out the emotions accumulated during the day. Now, due to the tight schedule, I rarely appear on stage, but in rare moments under the spotlights, I feel happy.
I also have two weaknesses: long walks and dogs. When they can be combined together, it really lifts my spirits. Therefore, my ideal Sunday will begin with a workout in the dance hall, and then turn into a walk with family, friends and a dog. And then you can all gather at a large table — drink tea, talking heart to heart.
What advice would you give to students who want to get excellent grades?
You should understand that “excellent” is a benchmark to strive for, but much more important is an internal assessment of one’s knowledge and efforts. When you understand that first of all you need to work for your benefit, and not for a grade, then studies will become much easier. Setting new goals for yourself, you will soon notice that the “A-grade” has become not an end in itself, but a well-deserved reward for the work that you have invested in your development. And don’t doubt your abilities. Even 100 points in constitutional law are possible if you really make an effort.
What is your cherished professional dream?
Soviet actor Yevgeny Leonov wrote: “Happiness is when you want to go to work in the morning and go home in the evening.” I’m aiming for it. In the morning I am enthusiastic to go to work. During the day I want to enjoy what I am doing, implement new projects and overcome possible difficulties. And in the evening I want to let go of what has accumulated during the day, and return home.
Interviewed by Sofia Korneeva
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