I was born and grew up in the Republic of Buryatia, a region of indigenous people and a centre of Buddhism in Russia. My hometown – Ulan-Ude – lies along the Trans-Siberian Railway and is a few hours away from Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. When I was an undergraduate student at St State Petersburg University, I used to take a 4-day train ride from Moscow to Ulan-Ude every summer, which was the most economical way to get home.
Since childhood I have been driven to learn more and see the world. It is this thirst for knowledge that motivated me to apply to Cambridge after my year abroad in Beijing. My diligence and hard work were rewarded when I received a full scholarship for my MPhil and then my PhD studies at Cambridge University.
I have worked in academia and international organisations, including the World Bank and the European Commission. Currently, I am with the United Nations Development Programme in New York working on sustainable development issues. I speak 7 languages, including Buryat, Russian, English, Mandarin, French, Burmese and Spanish.
My long-term vision is to make a meaningful contribution to the global community and, by doing so, raise the profile of my homeland Buryatia. In the meantime, I would like to share my knowledge, skills and experience with young people and help them achieve their goals.