Anuar Akhmetzhanov: Bolashak is people’s program


Kuralay Orynbekkyzy

Anuar Akhmetzhanov: Bolashak is people’s program“I am proud to be a citizen of Kazakhstan and Bolashak scholarship graduate”, Chief Manager on Exploration Projects of “Kazmunaigaz” NC Anuar Akhmetzhanov said in an interview to Kazinform.

In 1998 A. Akhmetzhanov got admitted to the Graduate Courses of John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington under the international Presidential Program Bolashak.

This school is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the USA and worldwide along with Harvard and Columbia Universities in the field of international relations and world economy.

I chose two specialties for Master’s degree as: “Energy resources, environment, equipment and technology” and “International Finances”. They were the most attractive ones among the other specialties offered by SAIS and necessary for sufficient contribution to the development of Kazakhstan. I graduated from Karaganda State University with specialty “International Economic Relations”.

What makes the national education different from the education abroad? What experience did you gain abroad?

The educational system in the USA in 1998-2000 had strong differences from the Kazakhstani one. As far as it is aimed at self-guided work of students and it has no intrusion of ideas. At the beginning it was difficult when I had to choose disciplines for study. I spent a lot of time in libraries and learned how to work in a group. During my study I learned how to express my point of view, take a strong stand, listen to others and make benefit of this.

How do you use the knowledge that you obtained?

After completion of my studies I began to work in “Kazakhoil” National Oil and Gas Company. From the first days I tried to use my knowledge received abroad in the work. Then when the rejoicing of first days had disappeared I understood that I should compete in a good sense with thousands of young people who have the same objectives as me. Now I am satisfied with the fact that Bolashak graduates find their place in life, they are in demand and achieve great success.

From the early moments of the work I drew an important conclusion that it is not sufficient to receive good education, it is also necessary to be able to use knowledge in practice and improve it constantly. I think it is the principal rule which helps me in my work. Besides, one of the main skills I received during my study abroad is the skill to analyze the situation, make decisions on my own as well as the creativity and strivings to achieve results.

What other skills have you received during your study abroad besides knowledge?

First and foremost I learned how to believe in myself, my own potential. The study in the USA has become my first long trip abroad.

As far as being in the foreign country, far from my home, among people speaking another language I understood that everything depends on me and therefore I roughed it.

The second, my study taught me to be responsible. Being the scholarship holder of the Presidential program has become one of the most important factors at entry this prestigious school. That is why from the early moment I felt a big responsibility as far as I was not only a simple student but the representative of my country, my people and President. That time the most part of my course mates had little knowledge about Kazakhstan. They could gain an impression about our country seeing our students from Kazakhstan who studied abroad. We always tried to be the first both in study and sports. We tried to receive knowledge, living experience and use them with the benefit for our country.

The third, I learned to be open and communicate with different people. America is the country where the people of different nationalities, religions live, people here have strong differences according to their social status and views. Therefore one should be able to act according to the situation. The same time it is necessary to be open and understandable for everybody. Now it is easy for me. Of course, I remember a lot of things: the life in America I heard a lot of about, meeting with students from different countries, their customs and culture. There were moments when I was sick for home. Despite all the difficulties I think that it was a good time. Many students became my friends and I still maintain relations with them.

The President named Bolashak scholarship a breakthrough project. What contribution do the graduates make to the development of our country?

There were a lot of opinions concerning the Bolashak graduates’ contribution and I do not want to repeat it. Now Bolashak scholarship holders take an active part in all important events for Kazakhstan not only at state service but also in private sector.  All the scholarship graduates actively work in the field they chose and are held in great respect from their colleagues. As a whole, all of them can achieve success not only in their work but also in private life.

All Bolashak scholarship holders point out the originality of the program. In your opinion is this scholarship affordable enough for young people and what should the state do to raise its accessibility?

The accessibility of Bolashak scholarship has been increased following the program extension. If some years ago it was affordable for students studying in the USA, Great Britain and Germany, now it is affordable for those studying in China, Russia and New Zealand. This is another factor according to which we can judge about the accessibility of the program. I think that “Bolashak” has become a national program. Concerning its improvement, as is known there is no limit for development. Therefore I think it will be developed further.

At the end I would like to add that everybody who is the program graduate or its future scholarship holder should believe in oneself, try to become a specialist of high qualification despite all challenges. I am proud that I am Bolashak scholarship graduate and citizen of Kazakhstan. And I am much obliged to President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his care about us and that in 1993 he made a decision to approve international Bolashak scholarship which opened new possibilities for me.