Before my MBA
Before my MBA I spent eight years in Moscow working in big companies of different sectors in sales, human resources and project management. One post was as the Head of Learning and Development in Raiffeisenbank, where the task was to devise and then implement the training strategy at the time of two banks' merger. Those experiences of initiating and managing large-scale projects on the national level were valuable experiences for me.
Yet my aspirations were to lead change management projects and teams across borders, on the international level. For that I needed new skills and work experience abroad. The MBA in Cambridge was a perfect fit: it gave me the opportunity to learn best practices in business management and study in a truly multicultural environment.
The power of relationships
The MBA exceeded my expectations. The smaller size of the class enabled closer relationships to be formed with a wider variety of people. I found myself surrounded by intelligent, successful classmates from every conceivable background. And everyone was ready to share their practical knowledge and even contacts! Working in study groups, doing projects, taking part in various competitions (we went to New York and Paris - unforgettable trips!) and, of course, socialising outside the school helped me to build up new, invaluable friendships. Now I am a part of the global network of professionals (my classmates and alumni) who help each other succeed in business long after graduation.
Consulting projects lead to my post-MBA job
During the MBA I participated in two consulting projects: one was to advise a medical device company in Cambridge on their marketing strategy; another one was to recommend growth strategy for a giant insurance broker in London. Both projects involved reporting to CEOs and both were very successful. They introduced me to the world of consulting and gave me the confidence to pursue it. I visited many on campus presentations of employers and at one such presentation I found the employer I connected with - Gallup Consulting.
The Careers Services office helped me a lot to find the right employer and supported me through the interview process. I was delighted to be offered a position. Now in my role I am responsible for European clients in the London office of Gallup. It's a fascinating, challenging and rewarding job in consulting that also allows me to realise my aspiration for managing projects on the international level.
— Izabella Khazagerova, Gallup Consulting
Cambridge MBA alumna