Job title and company: Managing Director of Gazprom Sakhalin Holdings B. V.
Previous degree and university: Master in Economics and Management from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, and an MBA from MIRBIS Business School in Moscow.
1. Why did you decide to join RSM’s Executive MBA?
“It’s been nine years since my MBA programme in Russia and I wanted to go back to classroom. We have young people in my company and I wanted gain new business skills to be more competitive. I also wanted to bridge east and west when working in business. RSM is truly international so it’s the right place for me.”
2. How did people around you react when you decided to go for it?
“Some people tried to discourage me by saying I wouldn’t be able to cope with the challenge or that I didn’t need it. Many others offered me moral support and shared their similar experiences. I know people with an MBA and they were happy with their choice.”
3. How are you managing to balance studying with work?
“I had to look for more efficient ways of working. At first I was overwhelmed by the amount of new information and assignments. But the programme’s structure allows you to pick up quickly and get on track. Although I have a big workload, I try using every spare minute to catch up on assignments. I try not to let my extensive business travel get in the way of EMBA classes.”
4. How is the EMBA experience affecting your work?
“I have a versatile job and can put new knowledge into practice immediately. My colleagues are from various countries and RSM is helping me deal with my international team and also with foreign partners – oil companies that I work closely with.”
5. What is the return on investment you expect from the Executive MBA?
“This MBA is partly paid for by my company. My manager encourages my efforts and expects me to improve my results. On a personal level, I want to become a better and more professional and experienced leader.”
6. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme affected you?
“I’ve started to notice positive changes when approaching situations at home and at work. It’s making me a more effective leader which is the point of being here.”
7. What can you say about your classmates?
“We are learning to understand each other and overcome cultural barriers. We share our knowledge so we can do better in the programme, and have fun on a social level too!”
8. What has been the best part of the EMBA so far?
“I’m getting new knowledge so the study process itself is a great exercise. The highlight so far is the study trip to South Africa. When visiting Alexandra township in Johannesburg, it was different than anything I’d seen before. It made me evaluate everything about my own life. The business in South Africa isn’t so mature yet, there’s a different approach. I was really touched by the warm welcome –my birthday was during the trip and the receiving party presented me a birthday cake!”
9. Which class have you enjoyed most so far – and why?
“Organisational behaviour was interesting, and the lecturer was great! There were also several guest speakers that made the subject more colourful. For every class, one team had to prepare a presentation. We studied different cases, deeply analysed them and were really involved when others presented their topic.”
10. What is the biggest challenge of the Executive MBA?
“The time pressure when combining my job with studies. As for the programme, sometimes assignments are challenging. We have tight deadlines to submit them and have to find consensus and a common opinion, this can be difficult.”
11. After the Executive MBA, what does the future hold?
“This MBA and my work experience makes me well-equipped with cutting-edge business knowledge and skills. In the mid-term I want to stay in my present position to drive the team to new levels using my new skills from EMBA. Later on I hope to join a new and challenging international project within Gazprom Group where I can add value to my new team. ”