‘HSE Was an Ideal Base to Launch Me into a Successful Start to My Career’
Jobs in logistics and consulting, tobacco industry and infrastructure projects, in Saudi Arabia and Russia… Dmitry Papulin, a graduate of the HSE Faculty of Management, told us how studying at the HSE helped him to find his way in business.
— What attracted you to the HSE Faculty of Management?
— I believe that almost every faculty in the HSE will prepare you well for a job in business. The faculty of management attracted me because it allows you to get to know all the aspects of work in a big organisation and to postpone the moment when you have to choose a specialization. It increases the number of options you have when you start your career after graduation.
— Of the things that happened to you while you were at HSE, which was the most important for you and for your career?
— The trip to the US which was part of the “International Trade and Business Institute” programme determined a lot for me. We had a very varied and busy timetable there, we met the directors of dozens of different organisations – probably in all the time I’ve lived in Russia, I never had so many chances to meet so many companies and ask their bosses questions directly. That was of incalculable value to me. And besides, after that year in America, I decided I want to live and work in lots of different countries. I really like what St. Augustine said about “The world is like a book and if you don’t travel you will only be able to read one page of it”...
— How do you evaluate the experience of study at the HSE? What did you get out of it?
— Study at the Faculty of Management was largely interesting and useful; we got access to a wide range of knowledge. And that knowledge helps me to orientate myself in life in general and in a professional environment in particular. And the specifics of the academic schedule (5 exam sessions a year) develop very useful habits, such as time management, the ability not to leave everything to the last minute, to do many things in a short period of time. So, when you start working, the endless sequence of deadlines doesn’t seem that scary.
An important role in my development was played by the HSE Case Club championships. I also made use of the skills and knowledge I acquired in different university events. I remember going to Grigory Yavlinsky’s lectures in the first year, organizing meetings with Alexander Voloshin, Andrey Illarionov and other famous politicians and businessmen. All these things have been an ideal base to launch me into the world outside university, where the key factor of success is being able to learn and develop constantly.
— How has your career unfolded? Where did you start and what are your professional interests today?
— When I was choosing where to start my career after graduation, there were certain things I knew I wanted. It was important for me that I should be given responsibility for a particular area ofa big enterprise. I wanted to see potential for my professional growth in a company, and I wanted a chance to build an international career. As a result, I chose the intern manager programme at British American Tobacco.
Now, when I remember the time I spent there, I realise that it was a pretty good choice for me. Over two and a half years, I got to know from the inside out how an international FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company works. I was lucky enough to work in different departments (production, logistics, marketing, and global supply chain) and on different levels (at a plant, in an East European regional office, and in the headquarters). My first project was at a plant in Saint Petersburg, where I even got to work three shifts as a cigarette machine operator, and my last project was in the headquarters in London, where I spent a year optimizing the supply chain of all 48 of the company’s plants.
Then I spent some time developing my own online business, and after that I decided to move to management consulting. In March I started working at McKinsey & Company in the Middle East, in Dubai.
— How do you see your professional future in five or ten years? Will you come back to Russia?
— It’s is difficult to say for sure where I’ll be in five or ten years and what specifically I’ll do. In terms of work, there are several scenarios which I find attractive, but I think that I’ll also have projects in Russia, since in the next ten years a huge amount of work on renewing and developing the infrastructure is going to happen here.
The current stage is a turning point in my career, and my whole future will depend on how the next two or three years work out. But ten years won’t be enough to turn all the interesting pages of this book, and that’s why I’ll have to travel more.
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