"I can say without doubt that my horizons have widened"
During his studies at MIB Ivan obtained a deeper understanding of business processes and nowadays, not a single day is spent without reading news on the economy, currency fluctuations and government policies.
Current job : Head of Production and Development at United Media Holding group Russia
Prior education: Specialist degree in International Relations, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow, Russia)
Professional areas of interest: Strategic management, Organization development
Languages proficient in: Russian, English, Arabic
Favorite authors: Yevgeni Grishkovetz; Boris Akunin; Jacque Fresco
Someone you admire: Arkady Volozh (the principal founder of Russian search engine Yandex)because he is a self-made entrepreneur.
Ivan, at the age of 27 you are in charge of the Production and Development department at UMH Russia. Such a responsible job requires business acumen, relevant skills, experience as well as a certain amount of luck. Could you share with us your life story?
I started working at the age of 18 and simultaneously studied humanities in Russian State University for the Humanities. From the early days of my career, I started specializing in media industry, where I started to work as a marketing manager and then became deputy PR-director at Publishing House “Argumenty i Fakty”. Later, I was employed by Kommersant in the advertising department. In 2011, I moved to Stream TV Company (non-terrestrial TV channels) where I was in charge of developing marketing and PR. My work required relevant understanding of business processes but my undergraduate degree was in International Relations, thus I needed a business degree. Soon after graduation I started looking for different options to acquire knowledge in the field of business. I considered various MBA programs and fortunately I learned about new master’s program at the Higher School of Economics. This program was comprised of traditional MBA disciplines with a focus on international business. It was also crucially important for me to choose HSE MIB program because it was taught in the evenings and English was the medium of instruction. That allowed me to continue my professional life and helped me in improving my English. At the time of my graduation from HSE MIB, I was lucky enough to get a job offer at the UMH Russia.
Ivan, how did obtaining a master’s degree in International Business change your professional life? Have your responsibilities expanded into new areas?
Until now I’m employed in the media industry, but currently I’m working for the international media holdings and my job tasks have shifted towards economics, production and development. My background in marketing helps me to understand our customers, but these days I’m working on the other side of supply chain. My daily responsibilities comprise production optimization, supply forecasting as well as communication with our foreign partners on the issues of paper supply and publishing. With MIB degree I definitely feel more confident doing business; it opened work opportunities for me in the international companies at global scale. As Head of Production and Development at UMH Russia I realize that many times our foreign partners are able to offer us better quality and variety at reasonable prices.
Ivan, what are the most memorable moments you had at HSE MIB? Are there any specific disciplines you especially enjoyed?
I remember in the beginning it really struck me that all of my classmates were from different backgrounds and even they came from various parts of the country. I could hardly believe that we could study together. However along the time I learned to appreciate this rich variety of opinions and experiences present in one room. We learned a lot from each other!
As for the classes, I really enjoyed Corporate finance taught by Professor Anastasia N. Stepanova where we learnt how to build financial models. There was also a discipline in International Marketing taught by Loginov, and I remember how he taught us marketing strategies while paying a special attention to world markets and currency fluctuations. When last year our national currency Ruble started losing value, lots of businesses were affected. Luckily I could use the knowledge I learnt in International marketing class to avoid drastic losses for our company.
Ivan, one of the unique offerings of HSE MIB program is the variety of seminars where industry experts come to share their knowledge and experiences. Was this program feature useful to you even though you had such a rich business background?
Absolutely. There is never enough of business knowledge that you can get directly from the industry key figures. We had fantastic Masters classes with Gazprom, E.ON Ruhrgaz and Volga-Dnepr. The unique feature of these classes was an opportunity to hear what kind of problems these professionals face every day and how they deal with them. Their experiences were crucial!
Ivan, are you a different person today after having obtained MIB degree?
I can say without doubt that my horizons have widened. I’ve obtained a deeper understanding of business processes and nowadays, not a single day I spend without reading news on the economy, currency fluctuations and government policies. Needless to say I’ve got amazing classmates who I meet up with whenever our schedules match.