Fedor Smirnov: ‘The Alumniportal is my link to Germany’

Name: Fedor Smirnov
Lives in: Moscow region, Russia
Country of origin: Russia
Period in Germany: 2001 to 2002 and 2006 in Marburg
Educational and research institution: Philipps-Universität Marburg (Semester scholarship for students of German issued by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), research visit)
Occupation: Managing Director with Realtime Register RUS, the Russian representation of a Dutch IT company

Mr Smirnov, you are an IT expert, hold a high-ranking position in marketing and PR, and are based in Moscow. On top of that, you are also in charge of Alumniportal Deutschland’s very sizable ‘Digital Society group, which has more than 1,000 members. What led you to become an Alumniportal group moderator?

Fedor Smirnov: My job really takes up a lot of time, but that certainly doesn’t mean that I sacrifice my interests and hobbies. I try to lead as varied a life as possible, and everyone needs a bit of time out from their day-to-day concerns.

The Alumniportal is my link to Germany and to happy memories of my research stays there. It’s a space on the internet dedicated to the German language and culture – and that’s something I really appreciate. When, as an Alumniportal user, I was invited to join the ‘Digital Society’ group in early 2014, I suddenly realised that the two most important areas in my life – the internet and Germany – were now together in a community.

Of course, a moderator also has to do things that aren’t always interesting and varied, or that sometimes seem routine. But what counts most is your personal attitude to what you’re doing. Group moderation means a lot of positive things to me. I can hone my language skills (English and German) and get in touch with great people from all over the world.

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