SPbU Alumni Success stories

Esuna Dugarova, Russia/USA

Esuna is a policy specialist in gender equality and sustainable development at the United Nations Development Programme (New York). She holds a PhD in Asian Studies from Cambridge University and a BA in Burmese and Chinese Studies from St Petersburg University. Thanks to the University and my professors, I was well equipped with the knowledge and understanding of Myanmar and China, which served as a stepping stone towards my PhD at Cambridge University. The knowledge of these key emerging economies in turn opened opportunities in the field of international development and gave me a competitive advantage when I applied for a job at the UN. When I completed my PhD at Cambridge, I first got a job at the London School of Economics where I was involved in a project on highly skilled migration from the BRICS countries to the UK. Then I moved from academia to the development sector and entered the UN system first in Geneva and in a few years applied for a new job at the UN headquarters in New York. All vacancies were advertised publicly, and I went through highly competitive recruitment processes with thousands of candidates. I didn’t have any connections when I moved to England, so had to rely entirely on my own efforts to find opportunities, build a network, and develop my professional profile. From my experience I can assure that hard work, perseverance and willpower get rewarded eventually.

Ulyana Danyliv, Russia

Ulyana Danyliv graduated from the Master in Management programme in 2020. She also took part in CEMS and received an offer from Google during her studies. She currently works there as an Associate Account Strategist. I would say that all my studies for the master’s degree were one bright experience. There was everything: interesting courses, exciting projects and lots of events. I am currently working for Google. I received an offer from the company during my last semester at GSOM. In my opinion, the most significant thing is preparation. I was carefully preparing for each stage of the selection: I thought over possible answers to questions; prepared relevant stories for the fit interview to discuss my resume; and read a lot about the company and its products. As a result, I got a very clear understanding of why I want to work for this company and why I am suitable for Google.

Alexandra Bayakina, Russia/Netherlands

Alexandra graduated from St Petersburg University in 2012. Having finished her studies, she moved to the Netherlands and in 2013 she started working with Tesla. Today, Alexandra holds the position of the head of the Tesla Business Analytics team in Europe. In 2014, I became one of the first Tesla business analysts in Europe. At that time our key priority was reporting system and database development. Today, we have a totally international team of seven specialists. Teamwork skills proved to be very useful. At GSOM students are often formed into teams randomly to do group assignments. It was essential to establish contact with all the members of your team. Also, it was rather hard to study at GSOM, which helped me to develop determination and a creative approach to solving problems.

Hunter Cawood, USA

My time in Russia has in many ways fast-tracked my career. With the opportunities and network I gained from studying at St Petersburg State University, I’ve been able to spring forward in the direction I want to go. St Petersburg University Graduate School of Management is the Harvard Business School of Russia. It’s where you go to become the best in the business. It’ll be challenging, but it’ll be worth it. I became a mid-manager at a multi-national company by age 25, I’ve also worked with several startups and been an integral part of developing their strategies and success. I’ve been able to launch my own organization Ru-PAC, write column articles for the Russian International Affairs Council - Russia’s #1 think-tank, and I just recently did two interviews on CGTN talking about Russian politics.

Wang Quian, China

The most significant thing I received at the University was understanding how to find my way and how to choose my lifework. Even though this is not some specific knowledge, I think it is paramount. I am working for a consulting company. It is called the Greatwall Enterprise Institute (GEI) and it has existed since 1993. GEI deals with innovation research, start-ups, and science and technology parks for the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. We also cooperate with research centres from various Chinese cities, including the Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing. Nowadays, we are helping to develop the technology that will be used at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.

Nantarat Fumfan, Thailand

After graduating from the University, I returned to Bangkok and began to build my career ladder. For a year, I worked as a visa officer at the consular section of the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok. I discovered that not only English, but also Russian is in demand in this position. While working at the visa application centre, I continued to go to job interviews. Finally, I got a job as head of the customer service department at SHOWDC, a large retail company. My area of responsibility had become much wider. From the first day of work in the new office, I was engaged in planning corporate activities, coordinating work with foreign directors, managers and employees, and working closely with the marketing, sales, and financial departments.

Dmitry Baikov, Russia

Dmitry Baikov received an MBA from the SPbU Graduate School of Management in 2002. From 2004 to 2017 he went all the way from being a Development Director to Director General of the confectionery “Lyubimy Kray”. Currently, he is the Director General of the factory “Aztec”. The main thing that I’ve learned is working in a team in a friendly way on very complex tasks, when every team-member is a remarkable personality and a leader in their own way. Creating such teams is now my main business-trick, it is a key to achieving great results.

Alina Verbenchuk, Russia

Alina Verbenchuk moved to Poland in order to work for Google after graduating from SPbU. Currently, Alina is responsible for operational work with partners for YouTube in the European region. Try taking the most from University courses. If you get a feeling that a course isn’t satisfying you a 100%, try organizing a side project or joining a startup.If you get an opportunity to practice what you are studying, you should definitely use it.