Alumnus spotlight: Vladislav Shayman

November 30, 2021

In November 2021 alumnus Vladislav Shayman (LEGS ’06, EMBA ’14, Russia) made a very substantial gift of 30,000 euro to the CEU Alumni Campaign, which inspired the CEU 30 for 30 Alumni Matching Gift Challenge.

A consultant and writer, Vladislav was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, but grew up in Budapest, where he graduated from the American International School in 2001. Launching his career with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in 2006, he currently works in the field of finance.

Vladislav is among the top financial supporters of the CEU Alumni Campaign. In 2022 Vladislav says he’ll be focused on founding a new company and writing a novel, among other endeavors. He lives in Moscow with his wife and daughter. See Vladislav’s full bio

We caught up with Vladislav to discuss how CEU impacted his life, why he supports his alma mater – and the relevance of the number 30.

What’s the one thing we should know about you? 

Perhaps that I have lived, studied, and worked in six cities on three continents, including Budapest and Vienna, “and that has made all the difference” - Robert Frost.

What stands out most about your CEU experience and how has it affected your life? 

During the 2005-06 academic year at the Legal Studies Department (comparative constitutional law), I had to relearn to read and write again. As a writing person, both personally and professionally, the long-term impact of this cannot be overstated.

Why did that happen?

 I am certainly no bookworm, but at law school I had to read at least 100 pages every evening, and the writing was like nothing like I had ever encountered before: increasingly complex statutory documents and judicial decisions. During that single year, I probably wrote more than 120 court case summaries, while my 67-page-long LL.M. thesis took only slightly more than two months to write.

As an alum, what do you feel is the relevance of CEU, 30 years on? 

To paraphrase an old Soviet film, life only begins at 30. I am convinced that CEU has yet to tell its tale historically. Don’t forget that Harvard University was founded in 1636, Oxford University in 1096

As an alum, what do you feel is the value of a CEU education?  

A dual alum in fact. Elon Musk has said that there is a somewhat unfortunate imbalance of intelligent young people committing to the fields of law and finance professionally (as opposed to engineering). I would agree with that but would add that it is what it is: almost every academic or intellectual field is worthy of serious pursuit. CEU is known worldwide for its unbending dedication to building open societies. This may entail defending freedom of speech, religion, or assembly, tackling the nuances inherent in fair economic competition, meaningfully combatting climate change, or fighting gender inequality. All these endeavors are worthwhile. I certainly did not choose law and business, because these disciplines potentially pay more money. For those considering study at CEU, I say prepare for an epistemological paradigm shift. Prepare to be challenged every day.

What do you miss most about your time at CEU? 

Friendships can be perpetual. I really believe this. I miss the camaraderie of graduate education. I think that it is generally undervalued.

What inspired you to give to CEU?

I have been a donor in the past. As my personal and professional circumstances evolved over the years, I felt that a more serious contribution would be appropriate.

Why is it important to give now, during CEU’s 30th anniversary?

30 seems to be the magic number. I gladly challenge everyone and anyone to support our alma mater, and whether it is 30 EUR or 30,000 EUR or anywhere between, your support obviously matters more than the number.

What do you feel is most worthy of support at CEU? 

I hear that the new Vienna campus is going to cost some money. Furthermore, how many brilliant young people could we educate?

What would you say to your fellow alumni donors to encourage them to continue their support? 

No gift is too small or irrelevant, no contribution is inconsequential.

What message do you have for students supported by alumni giving? 

You won’t regret having studied here.