Moscow boasts model students

September 5, 2003

Not many student job agencies boast a cover girl on their books, but Moscow's Studenchesky Stroitelnyi Otryad (Student Building Group) is different from most.

Daria Sobol, a 22-year-old student at the Baumann Technical University who won a Miss Charming contest organised by the group this year and subsequently featured as the cover girl on a glossy magazine, works for one of the company's latest divisions: the student model agency.

The company, founded in the mid-1990s by a group of impoverished Baumann students who wanted to work part time without damaging their studies, has a database of more than 15,000 students at 12 universities and colleges throughout Moscow.

The president and co-founder of the not-for-profit company is 26-year-old Maxim Mischenko, a plasma engineering PhD student. He said it had an active workforce of about 3,000 students - including the 40 student models who earned £3 an hour, with a minimum charge of £12 per job.

"The model agency was the girls' idea," said managing director Svetlana Sherbakova, a 24-year-old graduate of Baumann's power engineering faculty.

The agency was established over a year ago and has proved to be a big success.

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