So, I chose the profession that could be monetized, first and foremost.
My first impression of Moscow was, of course, incredible. Even now, having moved to Kazan—we've been living here for two or three months—I recall how gigantic Moscow is. My wife and I opened Yandex.Maps to see our apartment next to Moscow State University, we remembered Sparrow Hills, saw those streets. And even the courtyard path there is often wider than an avenue in Kazan; well, they're practically the same width.
So I got to People's Friendship University and built a Tatar community there. In 2002 we registered Kardushlek [Brotherhood] as an association of students from Tatarstan and other regions. My student life was spent in Kardushlek, and it was an inspiration for associations in other universities.
And even as a student, I found all sorts of grants; I won a scholarship from the Potanin Foundation a couple of times. My goal was to get as many people as possible from Kardushlek to win that scholarship. In the first round, out of one and a half thousand straight-A students, a hundred are selected, and 14 of them were from our community. It was funny: Aleksey was standing there, and then Aliya, Eldar, Dinar, Mansur … all in a row.
How did you start in your profession?
In my sixth year I applied to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), and they called me, saying "You passed our selection, congratulations. There were five thousand of you, we only chose a few, so come in for testing." I went through six interviews and various tests, and, in the end, I got an offer with a salary of $7–8 an hour. That's how I started officially working for an international company in November 2007, thirteen years ago.