How I benefited from an MBA

“Social action gives students the mentality, ‘Oh, I can do something for someone else and I am doing it. This makes me feel really good.’”

Senior Leader in school, March 2017

You may wonder what this quote has to do with an MBA. In fact, this quote reflects my Management Research Challenge topic, where I explored youth social action in some of the most deprived areas of England. For me, one of the biggest benefits of the MBA was the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge I had gained during the study programme in a completely different environment – namely the non-profit and educational sectors.

Prior to starting a 21-month Executive MBA at Henley Business School, I worked mostly for large private companies in various industries, including consumer electronics, sporting goods, banking, and manufacturing, but I felt that I lacked experience in the third and public sectors. Throughout the study programme I not only significantly broadened my knowledge of those sectors, but I also gained real-life experience working with not-for-profit organisations and schools during our study trip to South Africa and in my final master project. These projects have inspired me due to the level of commitment, enthusiasm, and care shown by schools’ and charities’ staff members while faced with extremely demanding workloads and time pressures. It has also given me new ideas of how to influence stakeholders at senior managerial levels while lacking institutional authority.

After almost two years of studies, Henley now feels like home and the graduation day was a mixture of happiness and sadness for the whole EM15 cohort. It was a celebration of countless hours of hard work and amazing experiences with people who have always supported and motivated each other.

Graduating with a distinction and with a Henley Business School 2017 prize reminded me of the journey that I have gone through. In October 2014, I moved from Moscow to London to take up a product sales development role in an emerging markets business unit at Canon EMEA headquarters. Soon after, I decided to pursue an MBA, selected the school, applied, and was awarded a scholarship, which helped to pay for my studies. Today, I overlook European sales governance strategy and develop processes to monitor, investigate, and prevent illegal trade flows into European markets. I am certainly excited about the new challenges that I could apply my experience to in the future.

You can find more information about my research here.

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