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Dennis Aven ’16

Year: 2016

College: Davenport

Major: Economics and Math

Hometown: Moscow (born in Vienna and went to school in London, though)

When our Campus Cutie’s not busy deciphering economic theories, you can probably find him binge watching the new season of Game of Thrones or playing FIFA. This worldly European likes to toe the line between realist and romantic and spends a good amount of time contemplating why people don’t ever want to have deeper conversations. So next time you catch him studying at 4 am, ask him how he is (he’ll really tell you!) and you’ll get to listen to his wonderful multi-lingual accent!

Fun Facts:

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu

Most-used emoji: Winky face (without the tongue)

TV Show you Binge Watch: Last year during finals week I watched all three seasons of Game of Thrones, I was watching, no joke, 6 or 7 hours a day, easily. This Spring Break it was House of Cards, I watched two seasons in like 4 days

Celebrity Crush: Natalie Portman, its definitely her

Relationship status: Single


HC: We have to ask, we hear you have a twin on campus, do you guys look anything alike?

DA: No we don’t, funny enough a lot of people don’t even know that I have a twin, even some of my friends a month into Yale were surprised. I suppose its because since I grew up with her I don’t mention it to people because back home everyone just knows that I have a twin.

HC: Any pros or cons about having your sister on campus?

DA: We have quite a similar friend group here, which is quite nice and so I see her quite frequently because of that. The con is that I’ve grown up with her and seen her my whole life so we haven’t really separated yet. I’m in two classes with her, I see her every morning for German and then for my British Empires class!

HC: Do you ever run into her at parties?

DA: Yeah, we have such a similar friend group, but its kind of weird. It’s nice though because we do our own things.

HC: What are you involved with on campus?

DA: Yale European Undergraduates, Yale Student Investment Group, Editor for the Yale Economic Review, what else? Oh, I was very into Ping Pong last year, but unfortunately the team no longer exists. And I did Fed Challenge in the fall, its for college students and you evaluate the monetary policy used by the federal reserve and make suggestions.

HC: What are you looking forward to during the summer?

DA: In May I’ll probably go to Russia to see my friends and family for a bit, and London, too, then I’m going to do the Sienna L1 L2 Italian program, then I might go visit a few of my friends elsewhere.

HC: So you take German and you are going to learn Italian this summer, how many languages do you speak in total?

DA: Russian, English and German more or less fluently. And then Italian later on, so it will be four.

HC: What do you want to do after graduation?

DA: Maybe grad school for economics, if not then some sort of a Masters program. Definitely continue studying economics in some capacity.

HC: So you’re interested in economics for more than just the banking job after college?

DA: Definitely, my dad has a PhD in economics so it very much runs in the family. I’ve always been interested in it. Not purely from a money making perspective, but more academically. Because the classes I have to take for econ and math are much more theoretical.

HC: What do you like about the theoretical side of economics?

DA: Its more challenging, I think. Its great when you grasp the political framework and can then apply it, you can see where it’s coming from. Just plugging in numbers isn’t very satisfying.

HC: Later on would you want to try and help other economies?

DA: Yeah, I’m not sure if I want to work in the public or private sector, but if I do decide to go back to Russia, there are huge things to be done there in terms of the economy.

HC: Where could you see yourself living in the future?

DA: As a teenager, everyone dreams of living in New York because its such a vibrant city, its glorified, so probably the first couple years of my life I’d like to work in New York. But its not somewhere I’d like to raise a family. I’ve visited San Francisco a couple of years back and thought the people there were really laid back, so it seems like a really cool place to live in the long-term.

HC: Best memory at Yale?

DA: Just this Spring Break, a bunch of guys and I went to Mexico and that was amazing. One of the best times I’ve had in my life. Also last year for the Harvard-Yale game we rented a party bus which was so much fun.

HC: Most Embarrassing Moment?

DA: Well I fell over a couple of times. I remember once it was outside WLH and it was kind of icy because it was winter, I was walking and I just completely collapsed on College St in front of everyone.

HC: What is on your Yale bucket list?

DA:  A large part of me wants to get the whole “American experience” out of college. The first things that come to mind are “what are the crazy things you can do at college?” but they’re quite cliché. I just want to have a good time, I’m usually against very radical things.

HC: What do you miss most about Europe?

DA: Well the cultural differences, the way people dress, the drinking age. Here its less of a big than I thought it would be originally, I was scared at first when I heard the drinking age in America was 21, but its not that bad. And I miss my friends, but that’s quite common. I also just like the proximity of countries in Europe. I feel very removed by that part of the world (which I am, obviously).

HC: What do you find weirdest about Americans/America?

DA: Of course the way people dress, I dress more European, and my friends will say “dude, you can’t wear that here”. And definitely the cliché things, like the portion sizes, I’ve been eating a lot here because they put a lot of food in front of you. Unlike England, people here are more open, saying “Hey”, but that’s just on the outside. But I’ve had a lot of surface level conversations here I feel. In England people are more reserved, but then you actually get to know someone. I understood after a couple of months that when people ask how you are here, it doesn’t actually mean anything. I used to give an explanation of how I am, but no one really cares.

HC: What is your favorite way to relax?

DA: Definitely FIFA. Or go watch a movie with my friends, watching a movie relaxes me a lot. I either go to the Criterion here or to Milford, it’s a bigger theater.

HC: What’s the last movie you watched?

DA: I watched Nonstop on Monday.

HC: If you could eat one food for the rest of your life?

DA: Sushi! I like salmon sushi and California rolls. California rolls are very Russian, everyone there is obsessed with them.

HC: What are three things you can’t live without?

DA: I need something meaningful to have in my life, I hate having nothing to do. FIFA. And the last pathetic one is probably hair wax. It’s another thing people don’t do in America.

HC: Do you have any secret talents?

DA: I can do pretty good accents. My friends tell me I’m good at mimicking other people’s accents.

HC: Your profile picture is you hunting- do you have any other hobbies?

DA: Oh no that looks so terrible! Its one of those things where I got to England and decided I wanted to do something very English, so I went to shooting school every Saturday from ages 13-16. And in Russia, hunting is huge, its considered very manly. So from a young age I was brought up with it. Its really fun, in Russia it’s a huge deal, everyone hunts. My other hobbies are FIFA and soccer. I love soccer, I’ve supported Chelsea since I was seven. And I play here occasionally, I’m not good enough for the club team, so a bunch of us try to play frequently inside at Payne Whitney.

HC: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for a girl?

DA: Ah, I knew you were going to ask me that! I do consider myself quite romantic, but I’m not romantic for the sake of being romantic, its more in the moment, the experience that I have with a girl. I don’t think that there is one perfect, ideal date. Getting to know the person is more important, because then you can have a great time no matter what you do. Most people would say eat dinner and lie under the stars, but that doesn’t actually happen. I’m more realistic about these things.

HC: What is the best date spot in New Haven?

DA: Barcelona, the food is great and its not stuffy, its upbeat and you’re going to have a great time there.

HC: Do you have any advice for Yale girls?

DA: I like them a lot because they’re really smart and you can’t always figure them out. I think that not being obvious is very attractive quality, when I can’t figure something out, it really attracts me. But I think the girls here do that pretty well because everyone here has so much going on in their lives.

HC: Yale girls are the best because…

DA: Because I can’t figure them out. I also really appreciate a sense of humor. When girls are funny I like that a lot. It’s the best when you’re with a girl who you’re really good friends with, its more relaxed and you really enjoy spending time with them.

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