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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Firms Seek Local Staff At Job Fair

Economics students from Moscow's most famous universities met potential corporate employers at a careers day Monday but they soon discovered that foreign companies care little about their academic record or their alma mater.

"We look more for personalities rather than qualifications", said Tim Moody, Moscow head of the Wrigley gum company. "I see from my experience that people can learn more within six months with the company than within three years of university studies".

Moody said in the eight months he has spent in Moscow he has not come across a university that provides training which would suit a Western business.

Yelena Fomina, personnel manager for Price Waterhouse, had more respect for local education, but agreed it was secondary. "They need some skills in finance or economics or law but the first thing they want is brains", she said.

Increasingly, foreign firms are recruiting Russians as potential executives.

The fair, organized at the Moscow Aircraft Construction Institute by the Russian branch of the International Association of Students in Economics and Management, is modeled on similar jobs days overseas.

The local branch has built a network of committees at 29 Russian universities since 1989, according to Association Vice President Timofey Popov.

The committees help students join training courses with foreign firms and is compiling a database of job requests and openings at companies, Popov said. "We have collected details of over 2, 000 students and about 100 companies", he said. "We compare the forms and when they match we put the employer and the applicant in touch".