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Andrei Starkov

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I expect the MBA to be a transformational experience which will help me to grow not just professionally but also personally.

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

I was looking for a challenging programme that will be impactful and help me to achieve my goals. The Cambridge MBA has such a reputation. It is a highly ranked one-year programme which means I will have an opportunity to progress with my career quickly. The programme can also be tailored to my specific needs and it offers a good balance between practical and theoretical learning. Finally, Cambridge Judge Business School is part of University of Cambridge which opens tremendous opportunities in terms of networking.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My most significant accomplishment has been to improve the flagging sales of Crocs's winter footwear in Russia. I undertook market research and identified the factor that most influences customers, which is technical information about the lowest outside temperature in which the boots can be worn. I then implemented a retail campaign highlighting this information which was a success - it caused a marked increase in sales and positioned Crocs as a winter brand in the Russian market. The marketing materials remain in use and have since been emulated by other regions where Crocs sells winter styles. I demonstrated real marketing insight and used my leadership skills and initiative to devise and deliver the project.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I have always been passionate about diversity and equality because of my personal background. LGBT awareness plays an important role in the workplace and I strongly believe that modern organisations can no longer afford to ignore these issues. The fact that Cambridge Judge Business School has such a scholarship positions the Cambridge MBA as a progressive programme. I am keen to increase organisations' understanding of inclusive work environments during my MBA journey.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

I would like to widen my knowledge of managerial disciplines and functions in order to get a holistic view of how companies are run and managed. Also I expect to develop transferable managerial skills which will help me to maintain a high level of professional agility in the future. And of course, I consider the MBA as a gateway to a community of successful managers and leaders - a community to which I will be able to contribute and benefit from during my future career.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

Being surrounded by so many bright people from so many different professional and cultural backgrounds made me think that the best strategy during my MBA year would be to step back from my career plans and be open to all new ideas and opportunities which might arise during this journey. I expect the MBA to be a transformational experience which will help me to grow not just professionally but also personally.

Something that not many people know about you

Not many people know that I have a certificate in fitness instruction and I am qualified to teach group fitness classes. It is something that helps me a lot with managing my own sport activities and help deal with team work.

Scholarship awarded

LGBTQ Scholarship

Nationality

Russian

Education

Certificate in Marketing, University of California, 

PhD Candidate, Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University

Pre-MBA career

Marketing Manager, Crocs, UK