Qualitative education and preceptors among teachers can play an important role in a student’s professional becoming. A graduate in the field of social studies of SUSU Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Director of Marketing and Sociology (MarS) Investigation Center Ivan Polukarov told on the role of South Ural State University in his career progression.
— Why did you choose SUSU for obtaining higher education?
— My two elder sisters studied here, I visited them coming from another city and I liked SUSU atmosphere – the university itself, its buildings, hostels, the youth. It is a city of students and the youth. When I visited the university I decided that I wanted to study here and that it was a pleasure to be here. Other higher educational establishments did not arouse such an admiration.
— What did you like while studying in the field of Social Studies?
— We had some very good teachers to whom it was interesting to come for classes. I liked such disciplines as Philosophy and History of Social Studies, Sociological Technologies in PR-activities as well as disciplines connected with politics. Igor Anatoljevich Filiukov gave very interesting classes. He held seminars on Political Sociology where he used an unusual method of teaching. For example, we carried out elections. The group was divided into teams and in my team I was assigned as Head of an urban-type settlement Lokomotivny. We also had a newsmaker, a speechwriter and others who were responsible for their own work. The teams competed and were assessed by the judges including little-known politicians then who later became popular. Such competitive moments are always interesting.
— How did you start your professional activity?
— In that period when I studied marketing companies accepted the students-sociologists to work as interviewers. It was a very convenient job for a student as this work did not suppose fixed office hours — the one earned as much money as he did the work. We went for interrogations in the towns of the region and it was interesting. I had been doing a partial work for five years when one company invited me to work as a manager and another company suggested a higher post where I was supposed to interview the interviewers. In the process of work I understood all the essence of this job, understood how companies obtained orders and so on. Igor Anatoljevich who then worked in Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk Region suggested me to carry out a social research for one of the sitting politicians as he did not want to order the services of sociological companies but wanted a young not conceited professional. Upon completing this work I decided that I should have sought for other orders and so I began to hold my own investigations.
— How did SUSU contribute to your professional becoming?
— Frankly speaking, I was not an exemplary student and I could miss something somewhere. I should thank the Department as when I started my professional activity there I always could come to my teachers for a question: “I am doing such a work, could you, please, explain how to do?” And they helped me for free just because I was their graduate.
— Could you please tell about your current activities?
— Professionals who work in the same sphere as I do are called pollsters. This term comes from an American sociology, earlier they called so those people who held election opinion researches. Pollsters carry out practical researches of public opinion. They organize collecting, processing and analysis of information – a specified practical work but not scientific.
— What is it important to know for future sociologists?
— For a sociologist it is important to be a good analyst in order to be able to work with the information as nowadays it is the time of digital technologies and information society development. Special applications which keep the information on people substitute interviewers and those who hold opinion polls. For example, social networks allow collecting the data with fewer expenses. Of course, this selection is not representative now as there are not so many senior citizens in social webs and consequently such a selection cannot reflect the society portrait in full. Nevertheless, the ways of solving this problem are being sought now because the pensioners leave their digital footprints when they log in on sites. The field work is substituted by Big Data and professionals with analytical and creative turn of mind will be demanded as they are able to draw certain conclusions from these data in contrary to machines.