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Fellowship allows professional opportunity for “emerging leaders”

Photo: Alfa Fellowship Program

“A rare and unique opportunity to immerse oneself in Russian business, social, and cultural life for a whole year"

Since its founding in 2004, the Alfa Fellowship Program has provided over 200 emerging leaders from the US, UK, and Germany with the opportunity to gain professional experience in arts/cultural management, business, human development, law, media, policy, and other related areas at over 120 leading companies and organisations in Russia.

This privately funded initiative’s goals are to expand networks of American, British, and German professionals with experience in Russia, to develop greater intercultural understanding, and to advance knowledge of Russia in the West.

According to fellowship alum, Philipp Niessen, “The Alfa fellowship is a rare and unique opportunity to immerse oneself in Russian business, social, and cultural life for a whole year… I personally had always aimed to work once in Russia in my area of professional interest for some time. The fellowship enabled me to fulfill the objective of not only gaining decent Russian language skills, but also of working in the country and gathering valuable cultural experiences.”

The program begins with individual language training in the fellow’s home country, followed by a group language course at a school in Moscow. Fellows receive approximately an academic year’s worth of Russian language training in preparation for their work placements.

Fellows also attend lectures at a leading Russian university and participate in a seminar series to gain an in-depth look at contemporary Russia and to discuss current affairs in the country.

Fellows then complete work placements at prominent organizations in Moscow, including private companies, media outlets, think tanks, and foundations.

The experience on the fellowship has been transformative for alumni like Livia Paggi, “The Alfa Fellowship was the single most important opportunity I had to bring together my different interests and aspects of my career and develop a narrative of what I had done and where I wanted to go next,” she says.

“I wanted to work in foreign policy and international relations, but I didn’t yet have regional expertise. The fellowship enabled me to learn Russian, work at an oil company, and gain unparalleled insight into how politics and business work in practice.

“In Moscow we had unparalleled access to leading decision makers and thinkers in the region across a wide range of disciplines from art to politics. After completing the fellowship, I returned to London where I immediately found a job as a Russia/FSU political analyst and five years later, I am now an equity Partner at the firm covering political risk globally.”

“In Moscow we had unparalleled access to leading decision makers”

Eligible candidates must be early to mid-career professionals from the US, UK, or Germany with previous experience in arts/cultural management, business, economics, human development, journalism, law, public policy, or a related field.

Russian language proficiency is preferred but not required at the time of application.

The fellowship includes a monthly stipend, language training, program-related travel costs, housing, and insurance.

The application deadline is December 1. For more information, please visit

About the author: This is a sponsored post by the Alfa Fellowship ProgramOJSC Alfa-Bank is incorporated, focused and based in Russia, and is not affiliated with U.S.-based Alfa Insurance.







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